2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards – the Joke’s on Me!

You’re going to laugh when you read this. At least I did, because the joke is on me. On Wednesday, I received the following e-mail:

The Photo Preservation Center is announcing the 2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards through an upcoming Businesswire news release and your site was mentioned. Congratulations and I hope the attention draws many more people to your excellent site. An advance copy of the release is posted on our Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog – www.blog.ScanMyPhotos.com. We will make sure to have your site hyperlinked on the official Businesswire release. Thanks for your commitment to also helping preserve families history and memories.

Well, I had never heard of this organization and to be quite frank, there were a couple of spelling and grammatical errors in the subject line and message, and the link embedded in the message led to a 404 error page–all normal indicators of a possible spam message. So I deleted the e-mail. Yes, I did!

On Thursday, Becky’s congratulatory post at kinnexions popped up in my feed reader, followed by many others in the geneablogosphere, and suddenly I realized this was authentic! Sheepishly, I retrieved the e-mail from my trash folder and replied with a humble “thank you.” Are you laughing at me yet? That’s all right. I’m laughing right along with you!

Here is the correct link that will take you to the blog, and here is the press release on Yahoo! through Businesswire. I’m not going to repeat the whole message here as most of you have probably read it on other blogs, but I did want to mention a few things.

First of all, thank you to the Photo Preservation Center for creating these awards and to all those who voted for AnceStories as Best Personal Genealogy Blog (Renee Zamora of Renee’s Genealogy Blog also received this award). I’m sorry that I didn’t recognize the award for what it was at first glance!

Secondly, congratulations to all my fellow award winners! I’m honored to be listed among them. Every one of the recipients was familiar to me at first glance, with the exception of Favorite Genealogy Research Guide: Genealogy Research Guides, Tips and Online Records. After investigating this site, I slapped my forehead and said, “Oh, it’s Joe!” Yes, Joe Beine of www.deathindexes.com and Genealogy Roots Blog. ResearchGuides.net is the front door to his portal of wonderful pages of links to online records. The other one that seemed at first unfamiliar but turned out to be part of Illya D’Addezio’s conglomeration of sites (think GenealogyToday) was Family Tree Connection, which won Most Popular Genealogy Database.

One thing I learned from all this (besides not to look a gift horse in the mouth!) was that April is The Great American Photo Scanning Month! As the hostess of Scanfest, I think that’s simply terrific! In honor of that event, ScanMyPhotos.com has created the following offer:

Throughout April, ScanMyPhotos.com is providing free photo scans to all members of four leading social networking sites; subscribers to Flickr, MySpace, Blogger and Facebook can have up to 1,000 4×6″ photos scanned to DVD without charge when they mail their pictures to ScanMyPhotos.com and pay $19.95 for return S&H, along with the downloadable order form.

This sounds like a sweet deal, and would work wonderfully for all those modern photos you have sitting around in boxes that need to be digitized. As for the antique or one-of-a-kind old family photos or documents, I urge you to join me and scan them during Scanfest (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday this coming week) and Spring Break Scan-a-thon, currently in progress. If you can’t make it this week, the April Scanfest will be held Sunday, April 27th from 11 AM – 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time.

2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards – the Joke’s on Me!

You’re going to laugh when you read this. At least I did, because the joke is on me. On Wednesday, I received the following e-mail:

The Photo Preservation Center is announcing the 2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards through an upcoming Businesswire news release and your site was mentioned. Congratulations and I hope the attention draws many more people to your excellent site. An advance copy of the release is posted on our Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog – www.blog.ScanMyPhotos.com. We will make sure to have your site hyperlinked on the official Businesswire release. Thanks for your commitment to also helping preserve families history and memories.

Well, I had never heard of this organization and to be quite frank, there were a couple of spelling and grammatical errors in the subject line and message, and the link embedded in the message led to a 404 error page–all normal indicators of a possible spam message. So I deleted the e-mail. Yes, I did!

On Thursday, Becky’s congratulatory post at kinnexions popped up in my feed reader, followed by many others in the geneablogosphere, and suddenly I realized this was authentic! Sheepishly, I retrieved the e-mail from my trash folder and replied with a humble “thank you.” Are you laughing at me yet? That’s all right. I’m laughing right along with you!

Here is the correct link that will take you to the blog, and here is the press release on Yahoo! through Businesswire. I’m not going to repeat the whole message here as most of you have probably read it on other blogs, but I did want to mention a few things.

First of all, thank you to the Photo Preservation Center for creating these awards and to all those who voted for AnceStories as Best Personal Genealogy Blog (Renee Zamora of Renee’s Genealogy Blog also received this award). I’m sorry that I didn’t recognize the award for what it was at first glance!

Secondly, congratulations to all my fellow award winners! I’m honored to be listed among them. Every one of the recipients was familiar to me at first glance, with the exception of Favorite Genealogy Research Guide: Genealogy Research Guides, Tips and Online Records. After investigating this site, I slapped my forehead and said, “Oh, it’s Joe!” Yes, Joe Beine of www.deathindexes.com and Genealogy Roots Blog. ResearchGuides.net is the front door to his portal of wonderful pages of links to online records. The other one that seemed at first unfamiliar but turned out to be part of Illya D’Addezio’s conglomeration of sites (think GenealogyToday) was Family Tree Connection, which won Most Popular Genealogy Database.

One thing I learned from all this (besides not to look a gift horse in the mouth!) was that April is The Great American Photo Scanning Month! As the hostess of Scanfest, I think that’s simply terrific! In honor of that event, ScanMyPhotos.com has created the following offer:

Throughout April, ScanMyPhotos.com is providing free photo scans to all members of four leading social networking sites; subscribers to Flickr, MySpace, Blogger and Facebook can have up to 1,000 4×6″ photos scanned to DVD without charge when they mail their pictures to ScanMyPhotos.com and pay $19.95 for return S&H, along with the downloadable order form.

This sounds like a sweet deal, and would work wonderfully for all those modern photos you have sitting around in boxes that need to be digitized. As for the antique or one-of-a-kind old family photos or documents, I urge you to join me and scan them during Scanfest (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday this coming week) and Spring Break Scan-a-thon, currently in progress. If you can’t make it this week, the April Scanfest will be held Sunday, April 27th from 11 AM – 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time.

Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF

Source: Midkiff, Mary Emeline Wilbourn. Photograph. Taken before Sep 1919. Reproduction of original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Mary Emeline WILBOURN was my husband’s Great-great-grandmother Midkiff. She was born 11 Aug 1839 in Sandoval Twp., Marion Co., Illinois to Dr. John Wilks WILBOURN of Orange Co., North Carolina and Martha Susan DEADMOND of Bedford Co., Virginia. John and Susan’s respective families had migrated to Marion Co., Illinois by 1831, when they married. Mary was the fourth of nine known children which included Rufus K. (b. c. 1833), Denita Frances (b. c. 1836), James Manissa (1837 – c. 1837), John Henry (b. c. 1843 – bef. 12 Mar 1878), Aramanthe E. (b. 1846), Thomas Jefferson (1849 – 1942), Sarah Jane (1851 – 1940), and Benjamin Franklin WILBOURN (1854 – 1944).

The Wilbourn family moved from Illinois to Grayson Co., Texas between 1843 and 1846, and were prominent in that early community. It was there on 24 Jul 1859 that nearly-20-year-old Mary was wed to Charles Anderson MIDKIFF. They lived in Sherman Township when the 1860 U.S. Federal Census was taken; a time when trouble between the North and South was brewing. Charles served with the Texas Cavalry for the Confederacy, along with two of his brothers. About that time, the family moved to nearby Springville, Cooke Co., Texas. During the war, their two eldest, William Preston (1862 – 1936) and Charles “Anderson” Jr. (1865 – 1948), were born. Louanna Ellen “Annie” (1868 – 1940), John Franklin (1870 – 1926; my husband’s great-grandfather), Ethel Susan (b. 1874), and Thomas Jefferson “Tex” MIDKIFF (1879 – 1941) soon followed. An infant, Mae, did not survive.

The Midkiff family remained in Cooke County where they were enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Charles’ occupation was a miller. Sometime within the next few years, they moved to Lexington, Cleveland Co., Oklahoma Territory, where some of their children were married and their first grandchildren were born. Ever on the move, the family may have also lived in Pottawatomie Co., Oklahoma Territory, and were definitely residing in Delta Co., Colorado by 1902, where Charles was cattle ranching.


The Midkiff Family in Delta Co., Colorado. Charles and Mary are in the center, surrounded by their children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.

Source: Midkiff Family at Home in Delta County, Colorado. Photograph. Taken c. 1902 – 1908. Original photograph in the possession of John and Mary Lou Midkiff, Midland, Texas. 2008.

On 10 Mar 1908, Charles wrote his brother in West Texas from Hotchkiss, Delta Co., Colorado and told him he had sold his ranch the summer previously, as he had been injured when his mules ran away with him, getting caught under the wagon and breaking his left leg. Because of being crippled, he could not work the ranch in the winter when the snow was so deep. This injury was probably also motivation for Charles and Mary to retire after a few years to Chico, Butte Co. in Northern California, where the warmer climate and town living were more suitable for the senior couple. Mary’s mother and four younger siblings and their families, along with most of the adult Midkiff children with their families, also lived in the area; however, I haven’t done enough research to discover if the Wilbourns or the Midkiffs emigrated to California first.

In 1914, both Mary and Charles are listed on the Butte County Voters Registration. California had granted suffrage to women in 1911, nine years before the federal government did so. After Charles died in 1919, Mary lived with their daughter Annie until her own death in 1923. Mary and Charles are buried in unmarked graves in the Wilbourn Family Plot in Chico Cemetery.


The “empty” grassy spot in the midst of the Wilbourn Family Plot in Chico Cemetery is the final resting place of Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF, and her husband, Charles Anderson MIDKIFF, Sr. The graves of Mary’s sisters can be seen in the foreground.

Source: Midkiff, Charles Anderson Sr. and Mary Emeline (Wilbourn) burial location, Chico Cemetery, Chico, Butte Co., California. Photograph. Taken 31 May 2006 by FindAGrave photo volunteer Laural N. D. at the request of Miriam Robbins Midkiff. Digital photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF

Source: Midkiff, Mary Emeline Wilbourn. Photograph. Taken before Sep 1919. Reproduction of original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Mary Emeline WILBOURN was my husband’s Great-great-grandmother Midkiff. She was born 11 Aug 1839 in Sandoval Twp., Marion Co., Illinois to Dr. John Wilks WILBOURN of Orange Co., North Carolina and Martha Susan DEADMOND of Bedford Co., Virginia. John and Susan’s respective families had migrated to Marion Co., Illinois by 1831, when they married. Mary was the fourth of nine known children which included Rufus K. (b. c. 1833), Denita Frances (b. c. 1836), James Manissa (1837 – c. 1837), John Henry (b. c. 1843 – bef. 12 Mar 1878), Aramanthe E. (b. 1846), Thomas Jefferson (1849 – 1942), Sarah Jane (1851 – 1940), and Benjamin Franklin WILBOURN (1854 – 1944).

The Wilbourn family moved from Illinois to Grayson Co., Texas between 1843 and 1846, and were prominent in that early community. It was there on 24 Jul 1859 that nearly-20-year-old Mary was wed to Charles Anderson MIDKIFF. They lived in Sherman Township when the 1860 U.S. Federal Census was taken; a time when trouble between the North and South was brewing. Charles served with the Texas Cavalry for the Confederacy, along with two of his brothers. About that time, the family moved to nearby Springville, Cooke Co., Texas. During the war, their two eldest, William Preston (1862 – 1936) and Charles “Anderson” Jr. (1865 – 1948), were born. Louanna Ellen “Annie” (1868 – 1940), John Franklin (1870 – 1926; my husband’s great-grandfather), Ethel Susan (b. 1874), and Thomas Jefferson “Tex” MIDKIFF (1879 – 1941) soon followed. An infant, Mae, did not survive.

The Midkiff family remained in Cooke County where they were enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Charles’ occupation was a miller. Sometime within the next few years, they moved to Lexington, Cleveland Co., Oklahoma Territory, where some of their children were married and their first grandchildren were born. Ever on the move, the family may have also lived in Pottawatomie Co., Oklahoma Territory, and were definitely residing in Delta Co., Colorado by 1902, where Charles was cattle ranching.


The Midkiff Family in Delta Co., Colorado. Charles and Mary are in the center, surrounded by their children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.

Source: Midkiff Family at Home in Delta County, Colorado. Photograph. Taken c. 1902 – 1908. Original photograph in the possession of John and Mary Lou Midkiff, Midland, Texas. 2008.

On 10 Mar 1908, Charles wrote his brother in West Texas from Hotchkiss, Delta Co., Colorado and told him he had sold his ranch the summer previously, as he had been injured when his mules ran away with him, getting caught under the wagon and breaking his left leg. Because of being crippled, he could not work the ranch in the winter when the snow was so deep. This injury was probably also motivation for Charles and Mary to retire after a few years to Chico, Butte Co. in Northern California, where the warmer climate and town living were more suitable for the senior couple. Mary’s mother and four younger siblings and their families, along with most of the adult Midkiff children with their families, also lived in the area; however, I haven’t done enough research to discover if the Wilbourns or the Midkiffs emigrated to California first.

In 1914, both Mary and Charles are listed on the Butte County Voters Registration. California had granted suffrage to women in 1911, nine years before the federal government did so. After Charles died in 1919, Mary lived with their daughter Annie until her own death in 1923. Mary and Charles are buried in unmarked graves in the Wilbourn Family Plot in Chico Cemetery.


The “empty” grassy spot in the midst of the Wilbourn Family Plot in Chico Cemetery is the final resting place of Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF, and her husband, Charles Anderson MIDKIFF, Sr. The graves of Mary’s sisters can be seen in the foreground.

Source: Midkiff, Charles Anderson Sr. and Mary Emeline (Wilbourn) burial location, Chico Cemetery, Chico, Butte Co., California. Photograph. Taken 31 May 2006 by FindAGrave photo volunteer Laural N. D. at the request of Miriam Robbins Midkiff. Digital photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Wordless Wednesday: Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF

Source: Midkiff, Mary Emeline Wilbourn. Photograph. Taken before Sep 1919. Reproduction of original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Wordless Wednesday: Mary Emeline (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF

Source: Midkiff, Mary Emeline Wilbourn. Photograph. Taken before Sep 1919. Reproduction of original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Scanfest and Spring Break Scan-a-thon are Coming!

Hear ye! Hear ye! A couple of announcements to my readers regarding March’s Scanfest event and the all new Spring Break Scan-a-thon!

First off: March’s Scanfest will be held on Sunday, March 30th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, PDT.

Secondly, I will be on Spring Break from Saturday, March 29th through Sunday, April 6th. Several of you have expressed a desire to join me for Scanfest, but due to church or family activities, Sunday afternoon has not been a good time for you. I wanted to let you know that I plan to set aside Tuesday and Thursday afternoon (evening for you back east) of that week from 3:00 – 6:00 PM, PDT to do some extra scanning…AND, I also plan to do as much scanning during the week as my family will allow me, and promise to be on Windows Live Messenger whenever I am doing so in order for other Scanfesters to drop on in to join me for some scanning and chatting fun!

SO, be sure to set aside the following times to join me and the other Scanfesters:

Sunday, March 30th, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, PDT
Tuesday, April 1, 3:00 – 6:00 PM, PDT
Thursday, April 3, 3:00 – 6:00 PM, PDT

And be looking for me whenever you get on the Internet at any time between Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, April 6th to “catch me if you can” and chat with me while I scan (hopefully, you’ll be scanning, too!).

For those of you who have never heard of Scanfest, it is a time that those of us who are wanting to preserve our family documents, photos, and other scanable items choose to meet online via Windows Live Messenger. We usually meet the last Sunday of each month, except in November and December, due to the holiday season. Here’s how you can join us:

To join us, you’ll need a Hotmail or Gmail account, and Windows Live Messenger downloaded to your computer (Mac users go here to download Microsoft Messenger for Mac). Although WLM states that it is compatible with Yahoo! e-mail accounts, we have had difficulty adding Yahoo! users to our chat conversation. If you don’t have a Hotmail or Gmail account, it’s very easy (and free) to set one up. Just go to the links in the first sentence of this paragraph. Once you have gotten set up, send me an e-mail (my address is found on this page) and I’ll add you to our chat list. You’ll receive an invitation message from me at my Hotmail address, which will be sent to the e-mail account that you’ve set up for Messenger (Hotmail or Gmail), and then you will need to verify that I can add you as a contact.

The second thing you need to do to prepare for scanning is go to Sally’s website here and sign up for her free e-mail newsletter. This will then allow you to download her helpful information called 8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs…and How You Can Avoid Them All. Then you will know how to set your scanner correctly to enable you to scan your items without damaging the originals or compromising the digital images you create.

I hope you can join us!