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16 February 2010

Journal Entry: Poignant Childhood Memories

Paula A. Tomey-Allen

I was looking up the word "poignant" for spelling and noticed one of the definitions referred to "profoundly moving; touching". It moved me to thinking about childhood memories and which ones I would call "poignant"?

One that comes to mind is how my siblings and I witnessed the love between our father and mother in one way that we share often.

When our father would want to speak to our mother in a hushed, private tone, he would kneel down beside her as she sat in her "Queen Anne" chair reading the paper and whisper in her listening ear of his desires or thoughts. It was a very private moment, but shared with us to learn that he thought of her as his queen and he was not beneath kneeling at her humble throne.

Our mother passed in 1988, and our father nursed by her bedside and continued to whisper to her waiting ears sweet, humble, poignant thoughts. He has since moved away from Nauvoo, Illinois where they had lived, but in a recent year, he came back to visit and went to the quiet and pristine cemetery where she lay in rest.

There, he once again, on older and weaker, bent knees, knelt at her grave and spoke to her in hushed tones that only the two of them could hear. And once again, we learned about the love that is eternal between a husband and a wife and not only until "death do us part". 

On a personal note: Writing our family history should include treasured memories and inspiring moments. It should be more than a tree and a list of ancestors. It should tell of fathers and mothers teaching by example and children who carried on the lessons to future generations.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers... Malachi 4:5-6
1959, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

12 February 2010

Genealogy: How Would Your Eulogy Read? Do it Now!

I have often told friends and family that they need to write out their final requests now while they are living so their family and friends won't have to come in at a sorrowful time and try to put together a service with no true knowledge of your final requests. Since I have health issues, I decided to put mine together and edit it as needed...

Hey, Hey, Paula  was born November 18,1950, in San Antonio, Texas to Max Howry and Thelma Laverne. The daughter of a career military man she spent her growing-up years living in various places including: Texas, Illinois, Germany, Ohio, Kentucky, California and Iowa.
In 1968 she received her GED from Southeastern Iowa Community College in West Burlington, Iowa and then went on to later graduate in 1991 from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Interpreting for the Deaf. She then commenced to graduate again from Iowa Western in 1993 with an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science with a major in Psychology. In 1996, she completed her junior year at Iowa State University, majoring in English and minoring in Educational Computing.
Prior to relocating to Council Bluffs to attend college, she worked in Fort Madison, Iowa for Big A Auto Parts for ten years. After graduating from Iowa Western, she went on to Interpret for the Deaf and teach sign language in the local area, as well as in Lyman, Wyoming and Ames, Iowa. After interpreting for ten years, in 1997, she went to work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a Facilities Management Office Assistant until she became ill in 2001 due to congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.

On December 30, 1982 she was baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. This step would bring much joy in serving in the remainder of her life in various callings including Primary, Relief Society, Young Women's, Music, Interpreting, Missionary and Family History. She loved each and every calling she was blessed with and found it hard when released to move on to another. On May 30, 1987 she received her endowments in the Chicago Illinois Temple.
On September 10, 1969 in Biggsville, Illinois, she married Michael F. Sr. They were blessed with two children, Annette Marie and Michael Francis Jr. With Mike serving in the US Marines, their young family would see tours of duty in North Carolina and California. They were later divorced and the family eventually moved to Iowa.
On November 29, 1982, she married Larry in Montrose, Iowa.
They were blessed with a daughter Calla Renee.
Paula's love for researching family history flourished and put her in contact with many “cousins” and new found friends all over the United States. During her later years, as her health permitted, she would spend many hours compiling her family's genealogy, and the genealogy of others, as well. She worked when her health cooperated in preparing her ancestors to have their temple work done, so that their families could be sealed together forever. She was amazed how many babies would find her that others did not have in their family trees on the same lines. She would often say, “It is like they are calling out to me, 'Please don't forget me!' “
She loved to travel, write stories, poems, journal and loved to work on the computer and loved the Internet and all the good it brought into her life. One of her favorite websites that she frequented was There she became know as “Hey,Hey,Paula”. She would make birthday posts for everyone and loved all the members she got to know, both through the “net” and also some she was able to meet in person.
Paula's favorite calling was that of mother and “Grandma Paula”, as her grandchildren Kayla Marie and Zachary Thomas called her. She loved spending time with them and learning about their latest baseball or volleyball game. She especially enjoyed the times she got to play “grandma” and had one-on-one time with them. Although they lived many miles apart, they were always in her heart and made her very proud.
Paula is survived by her daughter Annette (John) of Montgomery, Alabama and their children Kayla and Zachary, daughter Calla (Jeff) of Council Bluffs, brothers William (Gayle) Jr. of Goldsboro, North Carolina and Darryl (Gen) of Fort Madison, Iowa, sister Lisa of Council Bluffs, as well as aunts, cousins, nieces and one nephew and friends. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, son and brothers Max Allen and Jeffrey Keith.
She also leaves behind her “other children”, Pepper, Targe', Tigra and Shaft.
Funeral services will be at The Council Bluffs Stake Center, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Burial will be in Aspen Grove Cemetery, Burlington, Iowa near her son Michael.
In lieu of flowers, Hey,Hey,Paula has requested that memorials be directed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Genealogy: Data Entry Tips

Family History Center Guidelines, 
provided by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.

Full Name Joseph F. Smith, Jr. (always use full punctuation)
Joseph F. Smith (father of JFS, Jr. - NOT Sr.)
Partial Names Joseph F. \\, Jr. (use // in FTM/FTW for proper indexing)
\Smith\ (if spouse exists)
1m Smith (no spouse, childrens list)
2f Smith (unmarried female child of Smith)
3u Smith (unknown gender child)
4m Smith (numeric is birth order)
Unknown Name \\ (if other data available)
(blank) (no data available)
Nn. Smith (ONLY for no legally given name)
Split Given Emma(alt0160)Lou Smith (alt0160 creates a hard space)
Split Surname Liana \Su Chan\ (forces indexing under S)
Whole Name \White Cloud\ (NOT White Cloud \\)
Roman Numerals Joseph F. Smith VIII (III through VIII no comma)
Joseph F. Smith, IX (IX forward use comma)
Name Suffix Joseph F. Smith, Phd. (NEVER - use suffix or title field)
Name Suffix Joseph F. Smith, Sr. (NEVER - adopted suffix)
Name Prefix Rev. Joseph F. Smith (NEVER - use title field)
Name Change Johann Smitherington (ALIA - John Smith - AKA in FTM/FTW)
Nicknames Honest John (NICK Only - NEVER in ALIA or AKA)

It is preferred that the children of one marriage or partnership
NOT be included on the page with the step-parent, even if the child or children lived with the new parent their entire lives.
This is to avoid confusion to other genealogists. It is acceptable in your own private databases to do so, but clearly indicate the relationship in the Lineage section and also make additional reference to same in the Notes section. 

If a child is Adopted, so indicate in the Lineage section.
If the child's true name is known, this is the name that should be placed in the name placeholder, the name taken at adoption should be placed in the ALIA field (AKA field in FTM/FTW).

Divorces are usually bitter events that affect everyone
involved. Genealogists close to or involved in the event
oftentimes omit those sections from their database or alter
them to be inaccurate representations of the childrens parent.

Your personal Genealogical Database is a permanent record of the FACTS associated with the Lineage of the Individuals
contained therein. Purposely introduced errors, can have
exponentially devastating effects in the years to come.
Please keep all data entered as accurate as possible.

Always use full name of individual, if middle name is known
use the full middle name, not the abbreviation or letter.
Always use Maiden name or \\ if unknown, Never married name.  

Unknown given name of unmarried children, use numeric and gender in lower case or 0 and gender if birthorder is unknown.
Only use Nn. if person was never legally named, such as a
stillborn child, NEVER use Nn to indicate an unknown given name.
Only the exact name given at birth, normally the name shown on the birth certificate, shall appear in name placeholders.

Titles and/or adopted Suffixes should NEVER appear with name.
Titles and/or adopted Suffixes may appear in the Title field.
Earned degrees shall NEVER appear in the name placeholder.
The Suffix Sr. is adopted by the parent of a Jr. and shall
NEVER appear in the name placeholder.
NEVER use the Roman Numeral I behind any Surname.
NEVER NEVER NEVER use I, II, III, etc. to differentiate
individuals with the same name in a database.
The Roman Numeral II is NOT the equivalent of Jr. for most
European or American born individuals. II normally denotes
a rank of succession. If in doubt use Jr. unless the actual
birth certificate or bible notation shows otherwise.

The ALIA field (AKA placeholder in FTM/FTW) is for legal name 

changes only. The ALIA field is NEVER to be used for Nicknames.
Pre-version 6 FTW users, preceding the Legal Name used in the
AKA field, the use of doubledashes --John Smith in the AKA field helps to differentiate in the indexing program AKA's shown.
Nicknames are not Legal Names, nor or they universally used by family, friends, classmates, co-workers, etc. A family member may use one nickname, a classmate another, etc. 

DO NOT place nicknames of individuals in the ALIA or AKA fields, use the NICK placeholder (in FTW use the Facts Fields).

European Standard 15 January 1998 (NEVER 15/1/98)
American Standard January 15, 1998 (NEVER 1/15/98)
Unknown Day January 1998 (NEVER 1/98)
Unknown Month and Day 1998 (NEVER '98)
Unknown Year January 15 (Avoid if possible)
Unknown Year Prefered Abt. January 15, 1998 (Year only is estimated)

Always spell out the month, never use numerical data only.
When a month and day are known, try to estimate the year and place either Est., Abt, Cir., etc., It is understood if a month and day are shown, they take precedence over the year shown.
Make it a practice to NEVER estimate a day or month if the year is not known.
The use of double dates is not encouraged, due to the fact that the new calendar was adopted at different times in different locations. The date in your records was recorded using the calendar of the period, double dates tend to confuse the issue.

American Standard Special Location, City, County, State
County Hospital, Rolla, Phelps, Missouri Holy Cross Church, Ballwin, St. Louis, Missouri

Consistancy is the keynote in data entry.
Use the standard addressing for the applicable country.
Show the country if not in your present country or if the
country is unusual, changed names, etc.

Spell out completely all location names. USA states may be
abreviated, but if you share your files internationally, then
spell out the name of the state.
NEVER put the cemetary name in the Death Date Location field.

INTR, INTE, etc. are NOT available tags, CEME is preferred.
Use Facts Tables and Notes fields ALWAYS.

Documentation It is preferable that all data be sourced as to where the information was obtained. However, a SOUR is NOT Aunt Hilda or the Berg Family Bible, these are personal sources to the data entry person and should be indicated in the Notes Field, NOT in the SOUR field.
Any entry placed in the SOUR field should be obtainable by any person using the information shown in that field.

Examples of Sources are:
Certificate of Live Birth #1234567, St. Louis County, Missouri
Death Certificate #5678901, Trimble County Courthouse, Tennessee
1880 Census of Pike County, Kentucky, Film #RP78TL880
Church Records maintained at St. Richards Catholic Church,
Branson, Missouri, Archive Section 1940-1950, Nuptuals.
Holt Family History, ISDN 456789, from Reference Section of
Clark Library, Burlington, Winslow Township, Arizona

10 February 2010

Tree Currently Down

Sometimes I get messages from individuals asking me to add, subtract or correct some of the information in my family tree. Recently I received a request to remove a family 
because a relative was afraid of Identity Theft. Seems they had experienced it from other sources and feared their family tree online could only add to the pain, even thought the people that show up online are deceased.

That said, a STRONG reminder; when you publish your tree online, make sure the individuals names who are showing are not living. Such an important matter!

03 February 2010

Genealogy Website Spotlight: ""

From an article at

Share Your Family History

The primary purpose and function of is to connect people so that they can help each other and share genealogical research. Most resources on are designed to facilitate such connections.

"But where do I begin?" That question is often asked by new users when faced with all the options available at The best ways for you to connect to others on are to make it easy for others to find you, ask for help, and give others help. This page will give you a brief overview of the many resources available at; and areas where you will want to contribute as your own research progresses.

Share your Research:
The hundreds of gigabytes of data on are a by-product of millions of online genealogists sharing research.

Submit records you have transcribed for inclusion in our user-contributed databases. Only a small fraction of genealogy-related information is on the web. Most is in the form of books, documents (many handwritten), photographs, microfilm, and microfiche held by tens of thousands of libraries, genealogy societies, churches, local, state and national government archives, and other organizations. Much of the best information is located in the attics, file cabinets, bookshelves, and computers of millions of individual genealogists.

Upload your family tree to the WorldConnect Project, a database of family trees submitted by thousands of researchers. There are currently more than 345,898,176 ancestor names. With your family tree posted here, other researchers with common ancestors can find you.

Post your family surnames on the RootsWeb Surname List (RSL). The RSL is a registry of more than 1,121,502 surname entries that have been submitted by more than 270,195 online genealogists. Associated with each surname are dates, locations, and information about how to contact the person who submitted the surname. The RSL is one of the primary tools on that online genealogists use to contact each other and share information.

Communicate with Others:
The quickest way to make progress in genealogical research is to connect with someone who is further along or is more experienced than you are. Keep in mind that a large part of the fun of genealogy is the relationships you develop with people along the way. Be kind, courteous, helpful, slow to take offense, and quick to forgive, and you will be rewarded.

Join a mailing list. A mailing list is simply an e-mail party line: every message that a list subscriber sends to the list is distributed to all other list subscribers. There are more than 28,645 genealogy-related mailing lists on covering surnames, U.S. counties and states, other countries and regions, ethnic groups, and other topics. Subscribing to a mailing list is one of the best ways of connecting to people who share your interests. If you do not find a mailing list covering your topic of interest, start one.

Post a message to a message board. A message board is a computerized version of the old-fashioned bulletin board. There are more than 132,000 message boards on related to surnames, localities, and other topics. By posting a message to the appropriate message board, you create a record through which other researchers can find you. If you do not find a message board covering your topic of interest, start one.

Add Post-em Notes to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), the WorldConnect Project, or to other databases. A Post-em is the electronic equivalent of a yellow sticky note. It allows you to attach your e-mail address, a link to another website address, or other information to the record of any individual. Search for your ancestors and leave your calling card attached to their names.

Build your own genealogy website on Request free webspace. Building a basic website is not as difficult as you might imagine; millions of people have done it, and offers an online editor for those who wish to use one.

Add a link to your website using RootsLink. RootsLink is RootsWeb's website registry, where users can add and categorize a genealogy link from anywhere on the Internet.

Link your website to the relevant surname, county, state, and/or country resource cluster. Thereafter, a link to your website will appear at the top of whatever surname, county, and/or state resource cluster(s) you have chosen. Users specifically interested in the information on your website will see this link whenever they use the surname resources, U.S. county and state resources, or world resources. This feature is ONLY available for websites located at

Volunteer: hosts many of the largest volunteer genealogy projects on the Internet. Volunteers locate, transcribe, and publish genealogical data and help new users. Through this work they meet other genealogists with similar interests. You will find a listing of some volunteer efforts on RootsWeb's main page and in our website registry. Your own interests may lead you to others.

02 February 2010

Last Rites for the Military

"The flag-draped coffin is secured inside a cargo plane... Military and civilian crews take great care with the remains of U.S. military personnel... Soldiers form an honor guard and say a prayer... The coffin is loaded for the trip home." (Seattle Times, April 21, 2004*)

As I read the story that described how the fallen military members were transported home from Iraq, my heart swelled with love and pride. The pictures that I have seen that show the American Flag draped coffins are incredible as our nation's red, white and blue flag is so beautiful and I hold it in such high respect and honor, as do the men and women who fight under it and some, unfortunately die under it.

My dear father spent 23 years of active duty in the military with combined service in the Navy and Air Force, retiring as an E-9, CMSGT. One of the awards he received was the Legion of Merit, which is an accomplishment in itself. He saw World War II and all the wars that followed until his retirement in 1963.

There have been many in our family who have served in the military and as you can see by my father's length of service, I am an "Air Force Brat" as we are affectionately called. I love the title and cherish it still today.

He often talked of his final wishes, as to how he is to be cared for at his demise. He is to be flown from his present home in North Carolina to Southeast Iowa where he will be buried in a National Cemetery with my mother. He is to be dressed in his blue Air Force uniform, decorated with all the medals he had acquired during his wonderful and memorable career while serving his country. There will be a flag draped coffin and an honor guard to give him a 21-gun-salute, followed by the playing of Taps.

I can only imagine that he will be treated with the same respect and dignity as the current military men and women who have served our country without remorse or regret. They deserve our respect and love and we need to outwardly express it in whatever positive manner we can, be it flying the flag outside our homes, tying yellow or red, white and blue ribbons on our properties, sending cards and letters filled with well wishes and support or sending much welcomed and needed packages to these brave men and women in the countries they serve in at this time.

It was hard to hold back my proud tears when my father shared with me, when the war started in Iraq he called Washington D.C., and told them he would be willing to serve again should his country need him. He was told that was appreciated, but it most likely would not come to that.

When my father passed, his remains were flown to Keokuk Iowa to the Keokuk National Cemetery. Since he was cremated, his urn was placed in the ground with his Air Force uniform wrapped around it. At the memorial service wonderful words about "service" were spoken eloquently by Jay Richardson. There was an honor guard and a 21 gun salute. All was perfect; just as he had requested. Another soldier honored with the respect due to him.

Let us not argue about the things we cannot agree on, but let us show our support to those who have taken up the gauntlet and have gone to fight the fight that keeps us safe and helps to free oppressed nations.

May God bless all the nations of the world who support freedom for all and may He comfort the families of those who have lost their lives fighting for this cause.