Friday, April 27, 2012

April Sale & New Kit

You can find several of my kits still on sale 25% off through April 30 at my shop at Heritage Scrap.  Plus all my new Homestead products are on sale for the next two weeks. Happy Scrapping!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Kit - Homestead

For months I have had a kit floating around in my mind but haven't quite had the time or inspiration happening at the same time to complete it.  Finally now I can announce the arrival of Homestead!  The layout about was created using an almost 100 year old photo from my Johnson family.  The older woman is my great, great, Grandma Hilda Augusta Landgren Johnson, who immigrated to America from Sweden in 1887.  She lived in Michigan where her men worked in the iron mines (as they had done in Sweden) until she got tired of worrying about all the mine disasters.  She gave her husband Jakob Gustaf Johnson an ultimatum - they leave mining or she leaves.  So they packed up everything in 1904 and traveled to Washington State.  There they had a small farm in the community of Jorden.  Their 2nd son was my great Grandfather.  The younger woman in the photo is her youngest daughter, Naomi Dorothy Johnson Priddy, who sadly in later years was left a quadriplegic after a car accident.  In this photo she is still a young teenager and the women are standing in the corn field to show how tall it has grown.  When I scanned this poorly damaged negative and saw their faces - this was a treasure!

Homestead Digital Scrapbook Kit is available at Heritage Scrap.  Here is what I had to say about it in the store description:

Most of my ancestors never sat in a Victorian parlour. They were more comfortable in the woods, on the farm or in the mines and worked hard building their new lives in America or migrating westward. Homestead was designed with these types of ancestors and family in mind. I have blended real farm photos taken with my Nikon dSLR to create some tan neutral rural backgrounds and the colored papers were created with the green of the 1930s-40s as an inspiration and a little blue to reflect the sunny sky. The patterns are not the fancy damask of the parlour but more suited to everyday clothing a rural family might own. There are period and themed elements as well as traditional heritage kit elements such as lace and flowers. Hope you enjoy!

This shows a look at some of the neutral tan papers that I created blending some of my own photographs taken with a Nikon dSLR camera. They are all farm/rural themed.

These papers are also available in the Homestead - Just The Papers pack.  My idea is that, being neutral, they could be combined with other kits to match in your heritage album, if you have one already going that you like, but needed some backgrounds that were more rural in nature. (Please note these papers are all included in the Homestead kit so there is no need to buy them extra - this is for people who don't want the kit but may want the papers)

Naturally there are some other colored papers as well.  Blue like the sunny sky above and soft greens.  The textures and designs in these are small and similar to the types one would see in clothing or textiles of the working class rather than the velvety damasks found in a Victorian parlour.

The green tone here was chosen to match the greens my Grandma had in her 30s/40s kitchen.

There are a few themed element pieces to give an idea, but not over the top.


Of course there are the regular types of elements that would expect to see in a heritage kit as well.

Journaling elements include 2 quick pages of 5 generation charts, 4 titles and papers and bookplates to tell your story.

Frames and Frame Clusters - a variety of plain and clustered.

Then I had so much fun, I kept going and creating things, thus the Homestead Pedigree Add On.

One of the main features of the add on, is the selection of pedigree charts.  This comes as full 12x12 jpg QP or 11.5" square with beveled edges that can sit on top of a background sheet allowing 1/4" all around to show.  A third option is the whole pedigree part with the book plates is available as a png that you could put on any of your papers.

Here is a view of the elements included in the Add On.  They have been reduced in size for the preview.

And these are the papers from the Add On kit.

Last, but not least - if you want both the kit and the add on, you can purchase them together as the Homestead Bundle.

This was a fun kit to create and I hope you'll enjoy it.  Please share any projects you might do with this.  I would really love to see them.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

CT Layouts - English Garden

My creative team member, Anita is so talented and she lives in a lovely place.  She used my English Garden Collab and English Garden Add On to make these layouts:

Look at the view from her kitchen window - it's like looking out into a park!

This layout highlights some of the beautiful young ladies in her family.

This one makes me drool!  I love cottage gardens, but where I live, they do not stand up to the heat.  Her garden is amazingly beautiful!

Thank you Anita for all your hard, but lovely, work!

Update on 1940 Census at Ancestry

In my spare moments I've been online looking at the 1940 census. It was interesting to see people on the census that I have known socially. I still have a little thrill when I find the name I'm looking for! And here's some exciting news:

"Insider scoop for you: we should have every page, all 3.8 million of them, online on sometime tomorrow (latest ETA is by 2 p.m. Eastern Friday – maybe sooner). At the same time, we’ll be launching a handful of tools that can help you find answers in those images."

So, today while I take breaks from redecorating my bedroom, I'm going to be looking to see what kinds of tools and resources they have available.  I just found out that there is an Ancestry You Tube channel with videos that can familiarize you on using the census at Ancestry. Find info on Facebook too. Ancestry has an interesting blog with stories and information, called Sticky Notes. 

Once the images are up, what next? 

"What’s Next Once all images are uploaded, we’ll move the focus to creating a searchable index for all 132 million records. (FYI, this process has been underway since we picked up the images at 12:01 a.m. Monday) As soon as the first state is ready, we will let you know. In the meantime, we want to know what questions you have and what questions you are hearing from your friends and followers. Please submit them to and put “1940 FAQ” in the subject line. Based on your questions, we will create a Frequently Asked Questions document that can be shared."

The index will be so helpful!  Once the index is up, I'll go through name by name in my trees to find them on the census.

Have you been looking in the 1940 census pages?  I would love to hear your stories!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1940 Census at the Archives Site

Today was my second and very gratifying experience with the 1940 Census.  First I found the enumeration district for the community my family lived in and then I went to the NARA1940 Census site.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could look at images today.  Not only could I look at them, but I found my Hopkins, Tisdale and Neff families.  The images are clear and allow you to save in regular or high resolution, which was great to me!  My only complaint is that if you know a page you want to go to, you cannot enter that page number and go to it.  You have to advance page by page.  But hey!  It's FREE!

While looking the last couple days I found some funny names:

James Kirk

March Wright

Earnest Houskeeper

Have you searched for your family yet?

Monday, April 2, 2012

First Experiences With 1940 Census

Like many genealogists, I was excited to begin my day looking at the 1940 Census.  To begin with I went to the National Archives Unified Search site to look for the Enumeration District for some of my ancestors.  This is important because there is no index at this point for the census.  I wrote down a few to look up. It was helpful to know either the address or the enumeration district in the previous (1930 census) to narrow it down.  Otherwise if it was a big city, you could be looking through hundreds of pages.

I went to Ancestry and clicked on the 1940 Census search button.  There is limited availability at this point (but will be increasing).  Today they had the following states/territories available:  American Samoa, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, Panama Canal, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands and Virginia.

So, since none of the states where I have a concentration of 20th century family were listed, I went to the National Archives 1940 Census Site.  I was able to put information in to do the search and find the census sheets, however no images came up, just a white and blank page. My guess is that they have bombarded and that we will all have to be patient! Their servers can probably handle only so much.

Disappointed, I went back to the Ancestry site and remembered that my great Grandmother Tisdale's brother Elmer Kirkland, lived in Gary, Indiana.  Because the enumeration district numbers that the site gave me based on address and 1930 enumeration district were incorrect, it made quite the goose chase for me!  It reminded me of the old days, sitting in a dark room at the archives turning the handle on the old microfilm viewers, waiting expectantly to see your ancestor's name pop from the page.

Persistence paid off and I found him!  One of the things that helped is that I had found him in a directory for 1939 and 1941 at Ancestry.  This gave me his street address which then took me here to Google Maps.  How fun is that?  There is a picture of the house as it looks today.  The map was instrumental in finding Elmer Kirkland because I could see the streets near him and as I searched through the files, I could tell by the street names and numbers if I was getting close.

Did I learn anything new about Elmer Harry Kirkland?  A little.  Now I know he completed school through 8th grade.  He had lived in the same house in 1935, so they had been there for awhile.  I already knew he was a railroad engineer, but discovered they had two men lodging in their home. 

Two lines on each sheet are chosen for supplemental questions.  This was a disappointing find for me because I have several ancestors on this census who were born in eastern Europe and I was hoping to find out more information.  This will not occur unless they were on one of those lines.

All in all it was a fun experience!  When I started genealogy at age 14 it involved a lot of letter writing and stamps.  It was hard to wait but pretty exciting when the reply came.  Today we sometimes have instant gratification, but that does not diminish my joy in finding out something new about the people who all contributed their DNA to make up me!

Have you found anyone on the 1940 census yet?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

UPDTATED: 1940 Census at the Archives

If you live near a National Archives and Records Administration office, they will have digital copies available, though not indexed.  You can find out about it here.  My cousin also told me that you can find the enumeration district numbers here.  Happy Hunting!

Someone from the National Archives kindly left me a comment with updated information and it contains good news:

At on April 2nd, 2012 at 9 am (eastern time) all the census images will be available online. You do not have to go to a branch of the National Archives to view these population schedules.

You will need a location initially though. Use our Unified Tool at:
to find the right district.
Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA

1940 US Census

On the upper right you will see an icon that connects to Ancestry's page about the 1940 US Population Census.  Many of us genealogy geeks have been waiting a long time for this.  I can't wait to find my family and ancestors on this census.  I signed up to be an Ancestry Ace and I will keep you informed as I learn.  This is the first information they are giving out:

The National Archives and Records Administration will open the 1940 U.S. Federal Census on April 2, 2012—the first time this collection will be made available to the public. Once we receive the census, we will begin uploading census images to our site so the public can browse them. Initially, this collection will be what we call a browse-only collection. This means a person can scroll through the pages of the census districts much like you would look at a microfilm or a book. At the same time, we will be working behind the scenes to create an index of the census that will eventually allow people to search for their family members by name as they currently can with all other censuses on Note also that the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be accessible free of charge throughout 2012 on

We'll have to be patient.  it won't be all there all at once.  They realize everyone is anxious to see the census pages for their state, but until they begin the process, it will be difficult to determine how quickly it will go.

Right now I am looking at the Enumeration District maps.  These will help determine where your ancestors and family may be on the census.  The maps are quite interesting and I'm glad I looked because the name of my family's district is different than I thought.

If you click on the badge on the upper right, you will go to this page and there will be updated information there as well as a download link for a blank 1940 Census page.  This is the exciting part - you can see what types of information may be provided for your family members.  Some new possibilities are a personal description, place of birth and the place where the person lived as of April 1, 1935!  Oooooh the possibilities! Stay tuned!

(Please Note: I am voluntarily connected with in getting this information out to the public.  I am not compensated in any way)

April Spring Sale

Look at my previous post to find all the specially priced spring and floral kits.  Happy Scrapping!