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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Genealogy Societies

A one stop list of genealogical societies

This post will be a work in progress.  I'll be adding links to the State genealogy societies, Historical societies as well as the societies that are not tied to any particular state.

If you want me to add one not listed, send me an email or message on Face book.

State Genealogy Societies 


State Historical Societies

AlabamaIllinoisMontanaRhode Island
AlaskaIndianaNebraskaSouth Carolina
ArizonaIowaNevadaSouth Dakota
ArkansasKansasNew HampshireTexas
CaliforniaKentuckyNew JerseyTennessee
ColoradoLouisianaNew MexicoUtah
ConnecticutMaineNew YorkVermont
DelawareMarylandNorth CarolinaVirginia
DCMassachusettsNorth DakotaWashington
FloridaMichiganOhioWest Virginia

Training / Certification

Other Societies

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Smells from the Past


Back in December, I decided to go to the 2017 NGS Conference in Raleigh NC.  So I started my check list:
check mark image
  • Get time off work (check)
  • Research and book a hotel (check)
  • Check out the area to see what's available. (check)

I've lived in Charlotte for 20 years, and I may have been to downtown Raleigh ONCE, and that was via the train over 16  years ago.  It really is sad, that I've not visited the capitol city more often. However, after my recent trip I can say I will be back with out a doubt.

So fast forward to the last two weeks of registration for the conference.  I'm sitting on my couch, and I smell the distinct odor of cigarette smoke.  Stinky and nasty, and even a bit nauseating. But then I do hve a very sensitive nose, and have never been able to endure the smell of cigarette smoke.

I look out my window, to see if someone is smoking outside. Nope, no one is there. This continues two or three times every day, at random times, throughout my home. I can't figure out where it is coming from, but I wish it would go away.

With two or three days left before registration closes, I go looking for my hotel reservation.  I can't find it.  I look in the email folders, I run a key word search for reservation, hotel, Raleigh...nothing.  I check my other email accounts, nada, zip, zero, and zilch..  I even go so far as to start calling hotels looking for my reservation.  See in my old age, I couldn't remember which hotel I booked!   So I called the ones I usually book, Red roof, nope no reservation. Comfort Inn (3 locations) no reservation. 

Of course this close to the event, and with graduations happening,  all hotels are booked, unless I want to stay in Durham and drive in every day.  So I make a post on a few Face book groups, hoping some one might be looking for a room mate to cut some costs. Or maybe I just won't go... and the smell comes back, and it seems to be stronger.

All my life my family has had weird and unexplained things happen, many I will eventually blog about, as time I start racking my brain of who would be "visiting" me with that smell.  I run through the list of names of family that has past, and no one "jumps out" as a good candidate.

So I talk to the smell when it appears again.   I don't know who you are, and I'd love to help you, but you need to let me know what it is you want me to do, so I can help you, because you are killing me with the smoke smell.

That night I get a reply to my request for a room mate, (registration is closing the next day) and as we are discussing options, I find a cute one bedroom apartment for less than the hotel room, within walking distance of the convention center.  My future roommate agrees to go in half with me on the apartment, but keep her hotel room as a back up. So I register for the conference, my first one.  I'm so excited, and I get the apartment booked.

The cigarette smell comes back, and some days it just doesn't seem to go away.  I'm beginning to think I'll never be rid of it, but I continue to prepare for my trip to Raleigh, including printing off a few look ups for find a grave.  See, when I travel, I always check out local cemeteries, and take photos for Find a grave.  I enjoy walking the cemeteries, looking at the old stones, and honoring the memories of those who have past.

I found 2 cemeteries, one in Raleigh proper, and one right down the road from where I was going to be staying.  My plan was to go there on Tuesday before I met and picked up my roommate at the airport, but sleep prevailed, and I didn't make it to the cemetery Tuesday morning.  I was hoping to get there after picking up my registration packet, Tuesday afternoon, but dinner plans delayed our return to the apartment and then it was too late to go.  Wednesday and Thursday also proved to be bad days as other events took top priority.

Lennies Jeffreys tombstone
Lennies Jeffreys tombstone
I decided Friday would be the day.  My roommate was going to the banquet, and I'd be able to get to the cemetery and take some photos. Friday afternoon, it is chilly out, but I get to the cemetery.  I drive to a section in the back of the cemetery and start to wander.  I have the Find a grave app on my phone, and it helped me to get my bearings.  I found a grave (finally) and took a few photos.  I got in my car, and started driving along the back side of the cemetery.

This particular cemetery had 37 requests so I started scanning and calling out the names I saw on the stones.  Smith, Jones, Hayward, Jeffreys...Hayward???  That was on the list.  I go up a ways and turn around, and come back to the spot where Hayward was at...Go to the stone and take a few photos.  The Jeffreys on the stone is spelt different that the request Jefferies, so I'm thinking this isn't the same person...WRONG..... it is him, Lennies Jeffreys...I took a couple of photos.

I found another Jefferies request, but this one was plot 44 and Lennies was in plot 958, and it was getting colder, so I spoke to the "other Jefferies" and said "Sorry dude, you're going to have to wait for another day." As I drove out of the cemetery I kept looking at the stones, and thinking, just one more, I need to photograph just one more...

Here is a map to show the general locations of the 2 plots. LJ was in the upper flats area, (top of the map) an WJ was in the pipeline area. on the left of the map.

After Saturday's sessions ended, I went back to the cemetery, and went to a totally different section of the cemetery, on the left side of the map.  I took several photos, and while "mowing the rows", who should I find???  the other Jefferies that I was looking for on Friday, on the back side of the cemetery.  What are the chances???  This cemetery is HUGE, how is it that I find one tombstone on Friday, and then in a totally different section of the cemetery I find the other tombstone of the same surname?  Spooky!!!!! 

William Ashley Jefferies tombstone
So I talked to him.  Yes I do that a lot, but I believe our love ones who have past are still with us.  I said, "Well hello Mr. Jefferies, looks like I found you.  Thank you for helping me find your final resting place."
 I took a photo, and then, as i turned to go to the next plot, I smelled the same cigarette smoke I had been smelling for the past few weeks in my home in Charlotte.

Ive been home for 4 days....and I haven't smelled the cigarette smoke since that day in the cemetery.

I'd love to find out if Mr. Jefferies smoked while he was on this earth, as I believe he was the one visiting me, and leading me to find him, and photograph him for his family.