Friday, May 29, 2015

Ruth Chauncey Bishop

Ruth Chauncey Bishop

 In honor of Ruth Chauncey Bishop - 16 April 1945 to 28 May 2015

Her Biographical Sketch updated 2007:

Ruth C. Bishop is an avid genealogist, as well as a friend to the community. She graduated from Pacific University with a B.A. in sociology, and has advanced degrees in computer programming and accounting. While in school she worked for the yearbook, and from that experience her hobby of photography escalated into wedding photographer and other activities. She was very active until 1974, when serious back surgery and the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis slowed her only slightly. Ruth has a great sense of humor and is fun to be with. Her upbeat attitude is an inspiration to all who know her. She has even ridden on elephants and in hot-air balloons!

She started her genealogical career in 1975, when she joined the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. In 1995 she was inducted into the GFO Hall of Fame. She served for fourteen years as the editor of the Bulletin - the periodical of the Genealogical Forum. Ruth served as a Federation of Genealogical Societies Delegate for the first fifteen years FGS was in existence, and because she loves to travel, attending national conferences fit into her life perfectly.
While she was editor for the Genealogical Forum, she was also editor of the Portland Photographic Society for twelve years. During that time she served in various other offices such as Print Chair, Slide Chair, and President. During her genealogical travels she took pictures, which she enlarged in her condo apartment and entered into club competition, exhibitions and fairs.

In 1978 she joined the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Ruth was honored in September 1990 when the society's sixth floor reading room in Boston was named for her. She served on their Board of Trustees for six years and is currently on the Board of Counselors.

Ruth joined the National Genealogical Society in 1990 and was the assistant program chair for the 1991 NGS conference in Portland; incidentally she also served as the photographer for the event. Again in 2001, when the NGS conference was in Portland, Ruth served. This time she was co-chair of the conference.

Believe it or not, Ruth also finds time for genealogical research. Every time she goes to Boston, Salt Lake City, or another repository usually close to the national conference site, she comes home with more notes to add to the family file. In her own words, “All of these notes now reside, unsorted and un-filed in boxes. None of them have been entered into the computer. I'm sure many answers to my questions are just lying around waiting for me. Soon I'll be able to get to them.”

Ruth is currently working on a major project. With the purchase of the Richardson Dougall Collection, and duplicate books from NGS  (which hadn’t gone to St. Louis), she is establishing a Library in the Portland, Oregon area named for her parents. It will be the Conner-Bishop Historical Resource Center. For more information about the center please visit the website at:

While Ruth was unable to establish her library and never really got her own genealogy finished, she sure had a lot of fun working toward those goals. Being her friend is a great blessing. Our last two outings, one to a lunch meeting with other local genealogists and then to the Spring Seminar of the GFO, she seemed more like her self. The genealogical community of Portland, Oregon as well as the broad group of friends she made nationally appreciate Ruth for the contributions that she so generously made in the process. Thank you Ruth for being such a kind, warm, generous, and caring individual. 

The service for Ruth Chauncey Bishop will be Friday, June 5, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Riverview Chapel in Portland, Oregon and interment will follow that day in Salem, Oregon. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Celebrating Family

It has been a month since I last wrote a new post and finally the time has come to share in celebrating family and all that it means to me. But first, I must share that an article of mine has been published in the APGQ (Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly) in the March 2015 issue. It took two years of waiting for just the right moment to send it to Christy Fillerup, who assumed the role of editor of the APGQ sometime last year. She was also in charge of SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) as director for several years. After returning home from SLIG in January and waiting to give her some time to get back on track, the article was sent and I waited to hear from her. 

It was a great moment when she wrote back that she wanted to publish it in the March 2015 issue. Then the wait was on and finally on May 10, 2015 the email came with access to the March 2015 issue. What a joy to download the issue and find my name in writing with a wonderful layout for the article. Finally it was time to share with the people who helped me in the process of putting together the article. The article is, "Milton Rubincam, Preserving a Legacy." Milton's son David was very instrumental in moving the article forward. In a way we are celebrating David's family, and especially his father. Oh, how we love our parents. My mother always exhibited such joy in the genealogy work that keeps me busy. So, to families everywhere, please celebrate who you are and preserve the history of your families. 

After completing my mother's probate (two years in doing so), my husband's mother passed away on April 26, 2015. Our children now have no living grandparents, and only a few great aunts and uncles. We miss those who have gone on before us and want so to preserve the history of their lives. Just how to do that is a very reasonable debate. One way for me to do so is writing this blog. While a month lapse in writing is unusual for me, when the pressure is on something has to give. The last two weeks were very intense as our youngest daughter and her family came to spend time and celebrate their grandparents. Truly our children know very little about their grandparents, so now it falls to me to share the bits and pieces that are captured in my memories. Gratefully, both my mother and mother-in-law wrote in "Grandmother's Memory Books", which they were given by me several years ago. Even though my in-laws were divorced my mother-in-law was very balanced in the things that she shared. There is such a book sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for me to fill in the blanks. 

Blog posts are a wonderful way to share our memories. After writing a blog post, it is saved on my computer and a paper copy is printed to be filed by topics. The families covered who are related to us will be placed in a special notebook. There is a notebook that holds all of our family Christmas letters, which capture many events that occurred in that year. Then there are all of the picture albums and pictures not yet put into albums. During the last two weeks many pictures were taken and some shared on Facebook. It makes me feel very tired to think of the work involved in preserving at least some of the pictures for the future generations. What will interest them about our lives and how we lived?

During the last two weeks we had many wonderful experiences. The first Wednesday we went to an indoor jumping facility for children called "J J Jump," in Clackamas, Oregon. For almost three hours the grandchildren: girls ages 7 and 4, boys ages 6, 4, and 2, jumped, ran, climbed, swung through the air, and jumped some more. There was even a play room for the two year old. Then the next day on Thursday we went to the Portland Zoo, six adults and five children, to have a great time looking at the animals, petting some, eating elephant ears, and me riding around on a scooter. Yes, I finally broke down and used a scooter, as the neuropathy in my feet no longer allows me to walk that far. It was great to be included in this adventure. The weather was perfect, it was not crowded and we had nothing to hurry home for. We did have a very nice dinner that night with most of the family coming to our home. 

By the time we got home some of the children were feeling sickly and as time went on almost everyone got this nasty bug, flu and cold like symptoms with an awful cough. For some reason so far it has passed me by. We went on with some days at home just letting the children play with grandma's collection of toys or the Wii downstairs. The cousins were very happy to play together and at times did their school work together. Grandpa went to work on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. On Sunday our oldest daughter and her boyfriend had the visiting daughter and her family over for dinner. On Sunday I worked at the Family History Center for three hours and on Tuesday I taught my class for the Community School. In between we did some shopping for food supplies, it is amazing how much food a crowd can go through. 

Then came the big day on Wednesday, when we headed for the Oregon Coast and a house at Nedonna Beach. Over the years we have spent many vacations at the beach in rental houses. We were even able to use an early entry offer and accessed the house in early-afternoon. This house was perfect for our large group of sixteen. We had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a loft, two living areas, a nice kitchen and a deck outdoors with a grill and picnic tables. For the first three days it was just my husband, myself, and the two families with the five grandchildren. The weather was fantastic, just right for playing on the beach, building sand castles, and flying kites. We were amused that the cheap $2 kites flew perfectly for even the youngest grandchildren. Then they were able to access the tide pools and get close to the sea lions. Playing in the surf has always been a favorite of our children. 

Our oldest daughter and her boyfriend showed up for a few minutes on Friday, but were having their own getaway at a near-by hotel. The oldest son and younger son with his girlfriend came later in the evening. Saturday was probably the most active day, even for those who were sick. Some went crabbing, and even though they did not catch a crab, they met a nice friend who shared one she had caught. For the meal that evening they had clams, crab, mussels, and oysters. That is not my kind of food, but the rest of the meal was fantastic - filet mignon, linguini with alfredo sauce, fried asparagus, bread and drinks. Later we had root beer floats. 

Our younger daughter's family prepared to return to Wyoming via Portland. We said some sad goodbyes, even the children were sad to part. Hopefully our next trip is to visit them in Wyoming. We used the extended stay option and did not leave for home until mid-afternoon on Sunday. What a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day, especially when our mothers and grandmothers are no longer here with us. Before leaving we took a few moments to pause and appreciate all that we have been blessed with by having these wonderful women in our lives. 

Celebrating family can be done in many ways. Key to the celebrating is creating a record of our time together and then later having it to recall those memories that are so fleeting. Life is so precious and capturing the highlights is a way of preserving those memories. Serendipity moments are often those that we have forgotten or were not aware of. In providing a written or pictorial collection of those memories help us through the tough moments when we must move forward without those who have passed on before us. May you find joy in your journey and encouragement in the journey of others. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Unraveling Another Family Collection

For the past two weeks my focus has been on unraveling another family collection. The researcher was a woman who had a great love for her family history and also an interest in joining lineage societies. In the process of her work they were able to join DAR through a third great grandfather.  Others joined SAR through the direct line second great grandfather, but later it was proven that there had been an error in identifying him. He was born in 1792 in Ireland and the family came to America in 1793. There was also a Civil War soldier from the family, the brother of a second great grandfather.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Genealogy Reading - Collecting Free Material Part II

In April 2014 was the first posting under this title. It reflected the reading of periodicals that were picked up from free reading materials at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. With the reading of those materials there was a wealth of knowledge about the periodicals themselves and about the contents. Recently my visit there gleaned a few books and a copy of Family Tree Magazine and a copy of New England Ancestors. One book was, "A Guide to County Records in the Illinois Regional Archives" and while it is a bit dated, it will provide a glimpse of the holdings of some great resources. For today though my focus in sharing is on the books received from a dear friend who is disposing of her genealogy books. Her life is moving on into another direction and she very kindly is allowing me to distribute her books to repositories where they will benefit other researchers. Before doing so, this is availing me the opportunity to read some great works by some very well-known genealogy professionals and other writers.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

50,000 Pageviews

The productivity of a blog just amazes me. In less than five years there have been 50,000 pageviews of Gopher Genealogy. When organizing the blog with myyoungest daughter never would it have occurred to me how many people would take the time to read the posts. These posts are random thoughts from my hours of research, interacting with others and exploring the family histories for many people. Here are some of the statistics for this blog.

Monday, February 16, 2015

SLIG 2015 - Part II

Almost three weeks ago my post SLIG 2015 - Part I was posted and since then there have been 132 views as listed on the website. Others may access the post in other venues. Now for Part II, and understanding people. Over the past nineteen months my time has been consumed by the complicated probate estate of my mother who passed away in June 2013. This time period has been emotionally draining and physically exhausting. A major factor in my endurance was the attendance at SLIG 2014 and SLIG 2015. Salt Lake City feels like a second home to me and the Family History Library is one of my favorite places to research. While my plans did not really involve research there, somehow one becomes propelled into a sense of discovery and being lead to serendipity moments in the materials available.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SLIG 2015 - Part I

It's been ten days since we returned from SLIG (Salt Lake Genealogical Institute) 2015. The intense week in Salt Lake City, Utah was a little wearing on me. It was worth the extra effort and challenges faced in being able to attend the track on Diving Deeper Into New England Research. On arrival Saturday we took a cab to the Family History Library and worked all afternoon on research. It was amazing how much information was found within the collection of books, mostly for New England towns. We did one break in the lunch room and then went to dinner at JBs after leaving the library. Then we decided to walk back to the Hilton Hotel where we were staying. Even though it was four blocks (about a mile) it was not a good decision for me. With neuropathy in my feet it was a bit too far.