Simplify Finding Distances between Locations
Not long ago I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how far my ancestor lived from the cemetery that I believe he is buried in â€œas the crow flies.â€ I could locate both locations on a map, but didnâ€™t know where roads might have been on the frontier. I have since found a free website for joggers and bikers very useful for getting distances. GMaps Pedometer allows you to get straight line distances (manual) between two or more points.
Distances on current roads are available taking into account curves and turns onto other roads (automatic). This will be useful to get an exact driving distance from a landmark to a cemetery or other location. The site is based on Google Maps and has that look and feel to it. Double click to set your start, turn, and end points. I like to zoom in quite a bit and then click and hold to move the map when my route starts to go off the edge. The cyclist route will not let you go down a one-way street the wrong way like the runner route would.Â Â
Gerald M. Graves
Van Meter, Iowa
I purchased a book through Ancestry called Creating Junior Genealogists.
One good project was to have the family buy a plain white table cloth and use this for family gatherings. The idea is to have everyone draw their hand print on the table cloth. Have them use permanent markers that are made for material and have them sign and date each handprint.
Over the years the kids can see how they have grown and see how their handwriting has changed. The tablecloth can be passed down through the family to keep the tradition ongoing.
Saving Family Correspondence
When we moved my parents from Colorado to Nebraska some years ago, my brother started to throw out all the “junk”–greeting cards, old letters, post cards and notes. I said I wanted all of them. He could not believe I would pack all that “junk” back to California. He should have said all that “gold” back to California.
My mother was born in 1895 and died at the age of 96. One letter was from her girlfriend when they were young. They wrote a tiny note under the stamp on their letters like, “I miss you” or “I like BK,” etc., licking only around the very edges of the stamp. They thought they were really being clever — I think so too.
I have names of relatives from some of her cards and letters that I never knew existed. There are so many birth, death, marriages, anniversaries, accidents and illnesses along with other things in the lives of these families. Most of the birth announcements and marriage invitations are in their original envelopes.
There are a few letters where one relative that can’t stand another one and my mother being in between receiving letters from both and being sweet to both in answering them. Another find was over ten years of Christmas photo cards from a family to her. I put them in a row and I could see how their family grew.
I will still go through all the “junk” again later as I know there is probably something I have missed.
June TimmÂ Â Â
If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!
Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the â€œAncestry Weekly Journal,â€ please state so clearly in your message.