Feeling Like A Tech Genius Today

Have you ever noticed the small images that sit next to a website’s name in a bookmark list or on the tabs at the top of your web browser?  I have but I had no idea what they were called or how to get one for this website.  So I Googled “What is the picture next to web address.”  The websites in the results all used the term favicon.  They also said that you just had to upload something to a root directory.  While I want to be technically savvy, this was way beyond my comfort level.

Next I did a Google search for “favicon wordpress.”  The results included more instructions how to add code to the website.  Again, not very comfortable with this idea.  I noticed at the bottom of the search a related search suggestion for “favicon wordpress plugin.” I got excited!

I have a bunch of plugins already added to my website.  A plugin is a tool that will add a function you want accomplished.  For instance, I have plugins for creating a backup of my website, website analytics, blocking spam, and an option to send each blog post to you as an email.

I found there were lots of options for favicon plugins available through WordPress. Installation was fast and easy.  The favicon plugin pointed me to a favicon generator where the fun began.  You get to create an image by uploading an image and using the generator to turn it into a favicon or use the editor to create an image that is 16 pixels by 16 pixels.  I went with door number two. Once I created the image, the plugin uploaded it and like magic it appeared.

Take a look for yourself – the little tree next to my website name in the tab of your browser. The tree is an up arrow with multi-color green leaves.

A huge THANK YOU to the real tech genius brains out there for providing a tool to make me feel like one too!


Tuesday’s Tip – Check Again and Again and Again

I have learned this tip several times in my research history.  I was reminded AGAIN this past week.  The scene is me sitting in my family room watching TV with my tablet in hand.  I was not watching anything in particular and decided to take a look a look at the Ancestry App.  In a tangential genealogist (check out this link for a definition) mood, I let myself be sucked in by those green shaky leaves.  I have not put a lot of time into accepting or ignoring the suggestions by Ancestry.  Most of the time they lead to records I already have documented in my software.  All of my dead people have those shaky green leaves screaming at me to give them attention.

A click into the black hole of green leaves lead to a list of people who have suggestions.   I immediately zoned in on Emma Dovel.  She was the first wife of my g-g-grandfather, Abraham Strickler.  She died young and there are not many records available for her.  I have been trying for years to find out where Emma died.

The previous information was light at best.  Her son’s obituary said that she had passed away in Kansas City as the family was traveling west.  I did not have an exact location or date.  I only knew that Abraham and David W (without Emma) were living with Emma’s mother in the 1880 census in Page County, Virginia. Since David Walter was born in 1876 that left a 4 year gap in information.

I have searched Find A Grave in the past with no luck for Emma.  Guess what the first hint on that shaky green leaf was?!  A link to the gravestone photo for Emma Dovel Strickler.

Emma F. Dovel Strickler Gravestone

Findagrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com), accessed 2 December 2014, photograph by Kathy Eltiste, gravestone for Emma F. Dovel Strickler (August 11, 1878 ), FindAGrave memorial # 55549418, Kite Cemetery, Nemaha County, Nebraska.


Emma F.

Wife of

Abraham Strickler

Died August 11, 1878

Aged 25 yrs

8 mos & 8 dys

Along with birth and death dates, I now know Emma was in Nemaha County, Nebraska when she passed away.  She is buried in the Kite family cemetery.  This name is familiar to me as one of the usual suspects in Page County, Virginia.  My first hypothesis is that Emma has a sibling who married a Kite and they traveled west together.  I will have to do some further research of the other burials in the same cemetery to determine just how Emma and Abraham were related to this group.  I also need to check what sources are available for Nemaha County.  There may be additional information about Abraham and David Walter there.

So check again, and again, and again for information you cannot locate.  You never know when and where you will find what you are looking for.



Sunday’s Obituary – Barbara (Frick) Gamble

Barbara Gamble is my 4th great grandmother.

Me to Barbara Frick

I have found her name and relationship to John L Gamble in his military pension papers.  Using the obituary index on the genealogy page at the Butler Area Public Library, I ordered a copy of Barbara’s obituary.

Butler Citizen, 28 March 1890, Page 2, Column 2, Film # 015, Butler Area Public Library.

GAMBLE – In this place, suddenly, March 26, 1890, Mrs. Barbara Gamble, wife of Mr. John Gamble, aged 71 years.

On Wednesday evening, about 6 o’clock, Mrs. Gamble was in the toll house on the plank road kept by her husband, when she was, without any warning, stricken with paralysis.  She was removed to her home nearby, where she died about 10 o’clock the same evening.



Tombstone Tuesday – John and Barbara (Frick) Gamble

In the military pension papers for John L Gamble, I identified the names of my 4th great grandparents, John Gamble and Barbara Frick.  I was able to find their gravestones on Findagrave.com.  They are buried together at South Cemetery in Butler, Pennsylvania. A google map of Butler shows the cemetery on South Main Street.

I would like to thank “Me” who has posted over 41,000 memorials to Find A Grave.  Another thank you for posting permission to the contributor’s bio to use the photo.

Frick, Barbara Gravestone

Barbara Gamble

Our Mother, Barbara, wife of, John Gamble, born Apr 5, 1819, died, Mar 26, 1890.

FindAGrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com), accessed 2 December 2014, photograph by “me”, gravestone for Barbara Gamble (Apr 5 1819 – Mar 26, 1890), Find A Grave memorial # 68540886, South Cemetery, Butler, Pennsylvania.


Gamble, John Gravestone

John Gamble


Our Father, John, Gamble, died, Sept 30, 1901, aged, 85 years.

FindAGrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com), accessed 2 December 2014, photograph by “me”, gravestone for John Gamble (Sep. 30, 1901), Find A Grave memorial # 68540887, South Cemetery, Butler, Pennsylvania.

Military Monday – John L Gamble Deposition A, Part 1

The Pension Questionnaire completed by John L Gamble outlined the family he had with his wife.  The first page of his Deposition A given 15 October 1900 outlines the family he was born into.

Here is a transcription of the first page of the deposition:

My full and correct name is John L. Gamble. The initial
“L” does not stand for any name, but I use it in order to dis-
tinguish myself from other John Gambles.

My parents were John Gamble, and Barbara, maiden name
Frick. Father lives, mother is dead. Father is now stopping
with me. He is 84 yrs.old, and when at home, resides in Butler,
Butler Co., Pa.

I was born May 9″, 1839. I have two brothers and three sisters living, as follows:-
Samuel Gamble, J.P., at New Kensington, Westmoreland Co., Pa, 63 yrs.
Michael F. Gamble, merchant, Ponca, Dixon Co., Nebraska, about 45 yrs. old.
Mrs, Mattie, widow (?) Johnson, Butler, Butler Co., Pa., about 52 yrs.
Mrs. Mollie, widow John Albrant, Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., 48 yrs.
Mrs. Lydia, wife Elmer Yarger, oil-well-driller, Butler, Pa. 38 yrs. old.

I was born in Armstrong Co., Pa., near Worthington, May 9″,
1839, on a farm. When I was about three yrs. old, my parents moved
to Butler Co. , Pa. about 4 miles S.E. of Butler, Pa. Since then my
people have always lived in the vicinity of Butler town.

It is pretty awesome that in just two pages of information I was able to put together this descendant chart:

Gamble Decendants

Sunday’s Obituary – Alice L. (Wise) Gamble

Earlier this week I began detailing the information I found in the pension file of John L. Gamble.  You can read about click here to read about the information found in his pension questionnaire.

The questionnaire confirmed that his first wife, and my ancestor, was Alice Wise.  She is listed with the middle initial “J” in the questionnaire.  Other sources listed her with the middle initial “L”.

Another deposition given by John L Gamble states that:

I was married to Alice Wise in the fall of 1865 in Butler, Pa and she died about April 1887, and is buried in the graveyard at Pine Creek Church, 5 miles south of Butler, Pa. She has no grave-stone.  Undertaker Alexander Martin of Etna, Allegheny Co., Pa. , buried her, and her physician was Dr. (?) Purvis, dead.

John L. Gamble continues in the next paragraph that Alice must have died in 1886 because he married Margaret Thompson in 1887.

Using the Obituary Index at the Butler Area Public Library website, I was able to find Alice.  I sent off for Alice’s obituary and promptly received two in the mail.  There was both a death notice and short obituary in the paper on the same day but different pages:


GAMBLE – On March 12th, 1886, at her residence in Etna, Allegheny county , Pa., Alice L. wife of John L. Gamble, of pneumonia, aged 40 years.


Mrs.  A.L. Gamble, of Etna, Allegheny county, died of pneumonia on Friday last.  The remains were taken to the residence of her father, Mr. Daniel Wise, of Penn Township, this county, and on Sunday were interred in the church-yard at that place.

Democratic Herald, 19 March 1886, Page 2, Column 2 and Page 3, Column 2, Butler Area Public Library, Film #060.

Military Monday – John L Gamble Pension Questionnaire

A couple of months ago I wrote about going to the National Archives to find the military pension paperwork for my great-great-great grandfather, John L Gamble. (You can catch up here.)

Me to john gamble

As I looked at the incredible paperwork I kept it in the order I found it in the file.  One of the last items in the file was a standard form questionnaire filled out by John L Gamble.  It clearly identified his first wife and children including dates and places.  The biggest find in this document is that Alice Wise had been previously married.  The names of the children were confirmation of information previously found in census records.  Their dates of birth is new information.  The marriage information is also new to me.  I wonder who has the family bible?!

This is an image stitched together from my Flip Pal scans taken back in April.

John L Gamble Pension Questionnaire


Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D.C, January 2, 1915

SIR: Please answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated below. The information is requested for future use, and it may be of great value to your widow or children. Use the inclosed envelope, which requires no stamp.
Very respectfully,
xxxxxxxx (signature) Commissioner

John L. Gamble
2001 Perrysville Ave
N S Pillsbury Pa
No.1 Date and place of birth? Answer: John L Gamble born May 9 1839 Armstrong County Pa

The name of organizations in which you served? Answer: Company D 6 Pennsylvania V Heavy artillery

No.2 What was your post office at enlistment? Answer: Butler Butler County Pa

No.3 State your wife’s full name and her maiden name. Answer: Alice J Gamble Alice J Wise

No.4 When, where, and by whom were you married? Answer: November 14th 1865 in Butler Pa by Rev Stores

No.5 Is there any official or church record of your marriage? If so, Where? Answer: the record of our marriage is in our family bible

No.6 Were you previously married? if so, state the name of your former wife, the date of the marriage, and the date and place of her death or divorce. If there was more than one previous marriage, let your answer include all former wives. Answer: I was not Previously married

No.7 If your present wife was married before her marriage to you state the name of her former husband, the date of such marriage, and the date and place of his death or divorce, and state whether he ever rendered any miltary [sic] or naval service, and if so, give name of the organization in which he served. If she was married more than once before her marriage to you, let your answer include all former husbands. Answer: Yes James Meyers dont remember died in Pittsburgh. Don’t know the date he never rendered any military or naval service.

No.8 Are you living with your wife, or has there been a separation? Answer: yess [sic]

No.9 State the names and dates of birth of all your children, living or dead. Answer: Margaret Gamble Margaret Thompson
were married March 31 1887 in Etna Pa by Rev S McGuire

Samuel E Gamble born August 18 1866 living
Margaret C Gamble born October 30 1867 dead
Barbara E Gamble born February 14 1869 living
William B Gamble born August 18 1872 living
Ruth E Gamble born December 14 1875 dead
children of first wife

Date 6-14-1915
John L Gamble

Tombstone Tuesday – Pahoa Cemetery Update

Last week, I wrote a blog post about how the lava flow has covered the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery (you can read that here) in Hawaii County, Hawaii.  Today, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about how one family’s tombstone was spared.

There is a wonderful photo of the Sato family headstone surrounded by black lava.  Aiko Sato visited the family plot before the lava arrived thinking it would be her last chance.  The family was surprised and grateful for a scientist who photographed the surviving headstone and contacted them.  There is a possibility of the headstone being taken by continued lava flows but for now it remains.

Check out the San Francisco Chronicle article here.

A Saturday Spent Listening

“I like to listen.  I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”  Ernest Hemingway

I am a true believer in continuing education.  It comes in all forms.  I want to learn more about data sets I have not tried using and how to be a more proficient researcher.  To accomplish this, I have spent two full days this Fall dedicated to learning more about genealogy research.  This past Saturday, I spent the day listening to Judy Russell and learning a lot!

Judy Russell presenting at the San Mateo Genealogical Society Fall Seminar

Judy Russell presenting at the San Mateo Genealogical Society Fall Seminar


Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, was the featured speaker at the San Mateo Genealogical Society‘s Fall Seminar.  She presented four topics during the day.  The first one was Where There Is Or Isn’t A Will.  I have many trips to the courthouse looking at probate records under my belt.  I still walked away from this presentation with ideas about how to look for female death dates from the husband’s estate being reopened after her death.

The second lecture, The Fair Court – Records of Chancery Courts, opened my eyes to a whole new data set.  During the lunch hour I jumped onto my tablet and used a link for Virginia records that Judy Russell had recommended. I identified 198 hits for Chancery Court records for the surname Strickler in Page County, Virginia.  I was so excited I introduced myself to Judy to tell her how thrilled I was and thank her for teaching me about these records.  A closer look shows that one of the cases was the executors of my 4th great-grandfather’s estate suing the estate of his brother, my 4th great-uncle.  The fight lasted 13 years in court.  Then the daughters of my 4th great-grandfather sued their brother, who was one of the co-executors and my 3rd great grandfather, for not paying them part of their inheritance after the first case was settled.  I will write more about these cases in the future.

The afternoon sessions included Polls, Personalty, and Property – Making Sense of Tax Lists.  This is a dataset that I have only dipped my toes into.  After listening to Judy speak, I am ready to dive into the deep end and immerse myself in tax lists for as many ancestors as I can.

The last session was From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large – How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists.  My biggest take away was to understand the law WHEN and WHERE the record was created.  During the session, I was scribbling down ideas about how to use this in relation to my ancestors.  There are several places in my research I need to take a close look at the law to clarify what is the truth.

If you have the chance to see Judy Russell present in person, I highly recommend it.  Her excitement for all things genealogy and law is contagious.  There is also a very good chance you will walk away learning something new.

I also recommend, if you live in the Bay Area, to attend the Spring and Fall Seminars hosted by the San Mateo Genealogical Society.  They do a great job of bringing in quality speakers and run a well-organized, fun day.


Tombstone Tuesday – Hawaii Loses Cemetery To Lava Flow

Yesterday the Kilauea lava flow claimed another victim.  The Pahoa Japanese Cemetery was overrun by lava.  An article ran yesterday in the West Hawaii Today newspaper about the cemetery.  It can be read here.  There is a video attached to the news article showing the headstones engulfed by the lava.

Another great article about the cemetery appeared on Hawaii Public Radio at the end of September.  Click here to read about the history of the cemetery and see great photos of the cemetery before the lava flow reached it.  There are over 250 graves in the cemetery.  I was so happy to read that there is a map detailing all of the burials and their locations.

Hopefully, this information will be added to Find A Grave and/or Billion Graves to preserve for future generations who are researching their families.

This lava flows proves once again that you never know when or why genealogical records may disappear.  Have the cemeteries in your area been documented on Find A Grave or Billion Graves?