Sunday, September 29, 2013

DNA Test Types

We've seen how DNA inheritance works -- now what about the test types. What are they and why use one?

Here's a reminder of a man with his father's Y-DNA in blue Mizuhiki, his mother's mtDNA in purple Mizuhiki and his randomly inherited autosomal DNA in paper.

There are three main tests: autosomal, Y-DNA and mtDNA. I think the FGS2013 speaker sponsored by Ancestry explained the difference best. He told us that an autosomal test is designed to answer the question, "to whom am I related." The Y-DNA and mtDNA test are to answer the question, "am I related to you."

I've been reading a fascinating book of an adoptee's search for his father and how DNA was instrumental in his results. It's a wonderful story that tells how using two types of tests were needed to get the right answer to the mystery. He had to use both autosomal and Y-DNA tests. His book is Finding Family by Richard Hill.

The AncestryDNA test and the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Family Finder are both autosomal tests. A bunch of people take tests and the computers compare my DNA to that of everyone else. The best matches come to the top and it's up to me and my matches to figure out how we're related. The autosomal matching is most useful up to about 6 generations. After that, it quickly loses its usefulness. Autosomal tests seem to have settled at $99 right now.

Y-DNA and mtDNA are passed down fairly intact for many generations, though there are occasional  mutations. Both of these tests can be done at different levels of thoroughness and different prices. The more expensive the option, the more useful they are. However, they are very narrow in terms of what they tell us.

The Y-DNA test is used to compare DNA of men who share a surname to determine relationships and ancestry. Men who are adopted or in doubt of their parentage can use this test to look for the answers. One of the FGS2013 speakers who manages a surname project recommends the 67-marker level, currently priced at $268 at FTDNA.

The mtDNA test is fuzzier in my mind. I've recently upgraded my own from the basic test I took in 2005 to the "full sequence." When I see how it helps, I'll report back. The full sequence at FTDNA is currently $199.

I recently ordered for my father a kit from FTDNA. I paid for both an autosomal test and an mtDNA test. But I didn't order a Y-DNA test. Let me explain why I made the choices.

1. Autosomal. Because autosomal matching is only effective for a few generations, I can add one more generation of effectiveness for a fairly low price point. I will also be able to tell which of my own matches come from which side of my tree.

2. Y-DNA. My father's male line -- father-to-father -- is well documented back into Sweden. By the time we get back a few generations, the surname starts changing due to the use of patronymics. Our current surname is somewhat common in Sweden, but we are not related to many people who have the same name. Because Y-DNA is passed intact down the male line, it will be possible in the future to test my brother or nephews if we ever feel the need. So I chose to avoid this pricey test.

3. mtDNA. This choice is complicated to explain. I don't have a particular reason to test my father's mtDNA. We are fairly sure of his female ancestry, due to my own autosomal matches. However, recall that mtDNA is passed only mother to child and never father to child. My dad carries his mother's mtDNA. There are only four other living people with that same (known) mtDNA: two living uncles, a male cousin and one female cousin, who has no children. At the death of those five people, my paternal grandmother's mtDNA will be lost forever. So I paid for the test just to be sure I've captured it.

Another FGS2013 speaker asked the rhetorical question, why we do DNA testing. The answer that popped into my head (as well as hers) is "because we can."

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Extending the Paper DNA Family

A few posts back I demonstrated DNA inheritance with scrapbook paper. However, I only showed the inheritance of autosomal DNA, the bits and pieces of our chromosomes that we inherit from our parents in random ways. Today I'll expand the concept to show Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA, known as mtDNA.

Let's start with mtDNA. The way I understand it, mitochondria provides energy to our cells. The
mitochondria has it's own DNA. mtDNA is passed from mother to daughter and mother to son.

Here's Miss Rose with her red strand of mtDNA, or a piece of Mizuhiki Cord. She'll pass that mtDNA to all her children.

Her husband, Mr Brown has a wide blue strand of mtDNA that came from his mother, but he can't pass that on to his children.

Mr Brown also has some blue Mizuhiki Cord. That's the Y-DNA he inherited from his father. Miss Rose doesn't have any Y-DNA because that Y chromosome is what makes an individual a man. Mr Brown will pass his Y-DNA to his sons, but not his daughters.

Got that? Now let's look at a pictorial tree of the Paper Family. Son Brown marries Miss Vines and Daughter Brown marries Mr Black. Each of those couples has one son and one daughter. What Y-DNA and mtDNA will those grandchildren have?

Notice that Granddaughter Black has Miss Rose's mtDNA while Grandson Brown has Mr Brown's Y-DNA, as does son Brown.

Next time: the DNA testing options.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What Just Happened?

It appears that the blogger website just choked on my posts. Was that a payback because I posted about computer glitches? It ruined my one post a day effort, too.

So just for fun and to get back on track (I hope), how about a heritage layout?

This is my grandmother on a lovely digital page from Scrap Girls. This page is built with components from Vintage Album templates and Vintage Paper by Syndee Nuckles. Flowers from the Reverie kit by Irene V. Alexeeva (now retired).


Disaster Planning for the Paper Collector

An emailed advertisement arrived recently for a $30 webinar on disaster planning for genealogists. Huh? $30? Don't pay it and don't spend your time that way. There are plenty of free ideas for disaster planning. I'll even throw in my 2 cents worth for free. September is disaster preparedness month, so let's think about the unthinkable.

I've been involved in disaster planning and disaster recovery over the course of my career. One of the interesting factoids I saw is that only 3 percent of the events that impact business are actual disasters. 97 percent of business impacts are due to a problem that affects the continuity of the business. I think that's true for us, too.

We need to plan for the 3 percent, but it's the 97 percent that is more likely. I can even think of one event that has a 100 percent chance of occurring to each of us. More on that later.

Start by thinking about your environment. What's more likely, a leaky roof or a tornado? A kitchen fire or a forest fire? A flooded basement or a river carrying your home away? A tree falling on your home or a hurricane? A computer crash or a computer theft?

How do you protect your precious photos, research papers, computer files and scrapbook albums? I'm not advocating trying to protect unused scrapbook paper, but that might even be important to you.

First prepare for the ordinary problems that I listed.

Planning for the 97 Percent

  • Make sure you have fire extinguishers in your kitchen, workshop, garage, near your grill, etc. Check them periodically and replace them as needed. 
  • Smoke detectors. Enough said.
  • Look at the ceiling over your precious possessions. Could a leak drip on those photos? Figure out how to shield them. Mine are all under at least one shelf and many are also in plastic cases.
  • Are those genealogical files stored in the basement? Can you move them to a higher area of your home?
  • Walk around your home periodically. Are your trees healthy? Is one leaning? A friend had a large leaning tree that simply fell down on a clear, windless day. She was lucky that it missed the house and cars. We're not all going to be that lucky. Get rid of those leaning and unhealthy trees near your home.
  • If forest fire is a concern, get the recommended space cleared around your home. I think it's something like 30 feet all around. This is a big and potentially costly effort, but it can save your home and your life.
  • Is your computer backed up? Are there backups somewhere else besides your home? This electronic preparedness is what I want to focus on, because it is the best way to fully protect photos and files from any disaster.

Beth's Step One: Scan, Scan, Scan

If you've been a longtime follower, you know my step one for scrapping heritage photos is to scan them. If you're scanning photos, slides and paper files, you're got a great start on disaster preparedness. But once the images are on your computer, they need to be backed up somewhere else besides just your computer. And you need a backup that is away from your home.

Off-site Backups

If you are uploading images to web sites, you've got those images backed up far from your home. There are also free and paid backup websites for backing up part or all of your computer. However, there's a risk. Using websites to store your information works as long as the web site stays in business and lets you leave the stuff there.

My strategy is to make a copy of my files about once a year and give that copy to my brother, who lives nowhere near me. I used to give him a CD, then it became a DVD. The most recent copy was on a USB flash drive.

I also keep a full computer backup in case of a crash. That backup is kept in my home. I've had data loss due to computer and software crashes, but never due to a disaster. For me, computer crashes are near the top of my probable events. But one other thing is number one on my probable events.

Planning for the 100 Percent

One event that businesses plan for, but we prefer not to, is the loss of a key employee. Businesses have succession planning. We need to do succession planning for our very own disability and death.

Who is our successor? How will our work be preserved? Who will have access to our websites and the valuable data and contacts stored there?

Take a moment to check out a sample genealogical codicil to your will. Family Tree DNA offers the ability to set up a succession plan for use of your data stored at their website. I hope we'll see more websites offering that in the near future.

I keep a list of important websites and my logons to each one. I update it periodically. It's sealed and stored in a private place. It is to go to my brother or daughter at my death (or total disability).

Think about how you want your valued possessions preserved at your death. Don't put it off, though I know just how hard it is to face our own mortality.

I'll leave you with a cautionary story about putting off thinking about death.

My beloved grandmother was dying of terminal cancer. Along with her and my mother, I wrote her obituary. Both of them were writers, so it was a bittersweet time of remembrance and yet a fun time of getting three creative minds into agreement. When we finished, we expressed to the gathered family that we each need to write our own obituary while we're alive.

About 18 hours after that, my mother had a debilitating stroke. She no longer had the ability to express her thoughts. She died 10 days after that stroke took her verbal capabilities. As a published writer, you know she would have wanted to write her own obituary. Instead I had to do it, working along with my grandmother and father.

So please join me in planning now for the one sure event we all have to face.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Courthouse Visits -- the Good, the Bad and the Amazing

Having had a couple of bad courthouse experiences over the years, I've been pondering about what can make a courthouse visit good or bad. So here's what's running around in my head.


  • Lack of a website
  • Poorly communicated rules
  • Poorly communicated list of off-site records
  • Only one person can access certain records
  • Rude employees
  • Poor copying capability
  • Tight workspace
  • Jumbled records
Good courthouse in Pickaway County, Ohio


  • Friendly employees
  • Informative website
  • Organized records
  • Knowledgeable employees
  • Adequate space to stand and open a ledger
  • Good copier and employees being available to make copies


  • Open access to vault(s)
  • A work table and chair
  • Helpful employees
  • Making your own copies on an easy to use copier

Rarely does any courthouse meet every point on the good or amazing list. Working in tight quarters with employees and other researchers is probably the most common issue. As long as everyone is friendly, that challenge can be tolerated.

I've differentiated the employee traits for a reason. Friendliness is a must. Knowledgeable employees would be those who know where things are and how to interpret abbreviations. Helpful employees are those who suggest record sets about which I may not know.

One of the most helpful employees that I've encountered even went out of her way to assist me last year in the amazing courthouse in Surry County, North Carolina. I'd found a deed that referenced a water course and I wanted to find that creek on a map. I went from the spacious (amazing) table where I was working to the front counter to ask the question. The person with whom I talked didn't know the answer and I wasn't really surprised. They can't know every creek. I went back to the deed books to continue researching.

About 30 minutes later one of the clerks walked over to me with a small map in her hand. She'd been unable to break away from her work earlier, but she knew exactly where the creek was and showed me on the map. I was able to copy that little map on the (amazing) copier where I was running a tab (amazing). It was definitely an amazing visit.

Don't let bad courthouse experiences discourage you. The amazing courthouse may be the next one you visit.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Binary Search

Have you ever done a binary search? Yes, it's a computer term, but I bet you've done it without knowing what it is. I did one during FGS 2013 at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) and thought I'd share the concept.

One of my ancestors was injured in a work accident in the Chicago area and I'd like to learn more about it. I've heard two different versions in family legends. Searching newspaper archives by name and location has not turned up an article.

In the 1900 census, Walter McFarlane was a "motorman", most likely on the streetcars. In 1910, he was a night watchman at a cemetery. His injury had left him brain-damaged and able to do only menial work. The period from 1900 to 1910 is a huge time span for searching Chicago newspapers.

The ACPL has Chicago city directories on microfilm. If they had been books, I would have looked at each one in order to see Walter's job. But it takes a lot longer to load film and then find the right page.

A binary search says to go to the middle of the span being searched. So I first checked 1905, which said watchman. I just eliminated half the years.

Split the difference between 1900 and 1905, I chose 1902. Motorman.
Split the difference between 1902 and 1905. I chose 1904. Motorman.

City directory information is gathered some time before publication. But I now know that the injury occurred sometime during or after the compilation of the 1904 directory and before the compilation of the 1905 directory.

I found that by looking at only three microfilms. Going in order through each one, I would have looked at five.

If you've done a binary search, you now know the name for it. If not, I hope you have a new idea that might apply to one of your research opportunities.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Courthouses Gone Bad

Did you know that I live and work in the baddest county in North Carolina? That's our reputation, whether deserved or not. But apparently the residents of Central Illinois are far worse, to the point of being uncontrollable. I would expect that in Chicago or New York, but certainly not in Central Illinois.

I had done all my preparation work to visit courthouses in Illinois. I'd read through courthouse websites and verified hours and locations. Something I did not find for any of the five courthouses was a list of prohibited items. We all know that weapons are not allowed in any courthouse. I'm fine with that, but apparently new rules are popping up.

Arriving at the door of the Morgan County courthouse, I found a sign stating no cellphones were allowed. This was new since my last visit. I talked with the deputy on duty, then slipped out and surreptitiously left my phone in the car. This didn't please me, as I am responsible 24/7/365 to my own county of employment if something goes wrong with key computer systems (including the jury system, ironically). But if I wanted to read those probate files, I had to abide by the rules.

The next morning I checked out of my hotel in Decatur, Illinois, and proceeded to the Macon County courthouse. I anticipated the cell phone ban and had locked that in the car. But at security I was confronted with an unbelievable, unprinted, unposted, undocumented ban. The deputy told me verbally that the Macon County courthouse does not allow computers or other electronic equipment to be brought in by the public. I was stunned and flabbergasted. This was not on the courthouse web site. This was not even posted at the door.

This ban destroyed my well-laid plans for that morning. I was not about to lock hundreds of dollars of computer equipment in my car in full view of the courthouse. Nor did I have paper notes prepared. Thus I was not able to look at those old guardianship records and naturalization records. Having paid once to visit the town, I'll now have to pay again for a local researcher to go do that research for me.

This definitely left me with a very unfavorable view of Macon County, Illinois. It is now number one on my disliked county courthouse list (Ross County, Ohio, moves to number two).

When I returned to my home county in North Carolina, I sat down with one of the experts on our own jury system. I asked what rules our courthouse has for the public. I work in the administration building and have never had to go to the courthouse (did I hear a jury notice just hit my mailbox -- I'm certainly tempting fate).

A citizen in the baddest county in North Carolina is welcome to bring their laptop, tablet and/or phone into the courthouse. The jury waiting room has public wi-fi for the use of the jurors. When a citizen enters a courtroom, the phones and computers must be turned off.

Apparently we in a Southern city are more polite and respectful than the farmers in Central Illinois.

The moral of this story is that courthouse rules are ever changing. Had I called ahead, I could have delayed my hotel checkout, left the electronics there and done the 90 minutes of research per my plan.

So be sure to call ahead to find out what's banned before visiting a courthouse.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DNA Inheritance in Pictures

One of the speakers at FGS 2013 caught my attention through a very elaborate series of drawings demonstrating DNA inheritance. Debbie Parker Wayne has an interesting blog where she discusses DNA, along with other genealogical topics.

I recently shared Debbie's concept with a friend, but I used scrapbook paper, since we were cropping together that day. She gave me these POPS to use from the Club Scrap Simply Beautiful kit (and remix).

Let me introduce you to a lovely couple: Mr Brown and Miss Rose.

They passed bits and pieces of their DNA to their child.

Here's another couple: Mr Green and Miss Vines.

And here's their child.

The two children in turn, marry and have a child of their own. The child inherits bits of DNA from each parent (and grandparent). It's not an exact 25 percent from each grandparent, but rather, random inheritance.

In fact even full siblings will inherit different DNA from each other, which leads to the differences we see within families.

Of course, using these random strips of paper DNA, we find we have a Simply Beautiful grandchild -- I mean card front -- like none other in the world.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Digging for Courthouse Treasure

Ever since I learned, though this newspaper clipping, that our Maddox family legend about a murder was true, I wanted to find out the story behind the legend. As I researched the story, I decided that I wanted to write a fictionalized account as a book.

Unfortunately, there's a gaping hole in the court records. The murder case dragged on for years, with each session of the circuit court continuing the case until the next session. Suddenly, at the end of 1874, the case file just stops without telling what happened.

One of the men had left the state. But were either of the two remaining men convicted of murder? Were they acquitted? Did the state drop the charges? Inquiring minds want to know.

In August, I returned for my third visit to the scene of the trial in Scott County, Illinois. The opportunity to do so was a big part of rescheduling my Illinois research trip to add three days. Priority number one was to find the missing puzzle piece in the courthouse.

Many of the old records are housed in a special vault. It's lined with brick, protected by a double metal door and is dark and musty. Disturbing the old books raised dust and mold, which made me sneeze and sent one allergic worker to an early lunch.

On previous visits, I thought that my cousin Lorna and I had covered everything of interest, but there just had to be more. I dug more deeply into the deed books and, when I was done, had found no new information pertinent to the murder. I had collected some other notes about family members, so it had been time well spent.

I walked the narrow aisles of the small vault, just looking at the record sets. What about mortgages? I knew I hadn't looked at them. I found where the family had signed multiple promissory notes to their lawyers, using the farm as collateral. I knew the lawyers had forced foreclosure, but now I saw the details of how the finances worked for the trial: who was owed how much and why.

But what else? I still needed to know the verdict or verdicts. I was tired and hungry, but I knew the answer had to be somewhere in this courthouse. There were some very narrow books at floor level near the back of the vault. What were they? In desperation I pulled my small flashlight from my purse and shone it on the spines.


The books were Court Dockets, labelled by year. I looked for 1874 and 1875, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. Some books were even blocked by other shelves. But I did find a couple of books for the right time frame. I'm sorry to say that in my excitement, I don't recall exactly which book showed what, but I do believe the 1874 answer was written in a book labelled as either 1873 or 1875.

I've shown you a court docket entry before, so I won't show you this one. I do have to keep a little bit of mystery about the end of the story. But the point of this post is that obscure record sets can flesh out the stories of our ancestors. You have to be willing to dig deep and not just look online and in the library.

Court dockets aren't exciting or sexy. It's just names of plaintiffs and defendants, dates, case dispositions, court costs, etc. This docket gave me three lines: the date the jury was seated to try the main defendant, the date the jury returned and their verdict, and the disposition of the case against the remaining co-defendant.

Someday dockets might be digitized and indexed, but don't hold your breath. I think they'll be near the bottom of the priority list. I'm sure that the Scott County record keepers thought they were useless, thus placing some in such a way as to be inaccessible. However, this is the third time I've found dockets to be informative: once for a divorce and twice for criminal cases.

What Next?

So now that I have the final piece of the murder mystery, I can write the book. But should I? As books disappear from shelves and stores, it seems I wouldn't want to publish in paper form. And I'm not much good at writing fiction. It's probably more challenge than I want to tackle.

My thinking now is to write a series of biographical sketches on the key players and their extended families. I can "publish" the sketches via Ancestry and/or Family Search and can compile them as a PDF book to share with family. This approach is more in keeping with the way we share and research today and yet can be the sort of research book that has helped me along my own journey to find the story behind the family legend.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

DNA Fan Chart

One of the challenges with our DNA match tracking is how to visualize the results. At FGS 2013, a speaker representing AncestryDNA demonstrated an interesting way to see those matches on a fan chart.

I've adopted his approach and placed a dot at the common ancestor(s) for each confirmed match. There aren't enough generations on this lovely fan chart from ClubScrap's Generations digital kit, so the furthest matches show the line associated to the match.

Why are there clusters of distant matches? In each and every case, tenacious researchers have written and published a book about a family group in America in the 1700s. Those books then have been used by genealogists like myself to connect with earlier generations. DNA matching now lets us connect to those distant cousins.

With the move to online trees, I fear this type of book will no longer be written, leaving us to search through dozens of unsourced trees to find the occasional nugget. We won't see the interrelationship with other families in the community cluster -- the relationships that often lead to solutions for tough genealogy problems. DNA may become ever more important to our search.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A World Without Books

"Browse the stacks", suggested a librarian, speaking at FGS 2013. The thought that popped into my head was "while you still can." It's amazing how far we've come in the past few years with online records and books.

Did you see the news clip about the library that recently opened in San Antonio? It's a library without any books. It's all about computers and e-books and tablets and e-readers. Someday that will be normal, rather than newsworthy.

As genealogists, we're moving our own records out of folders and binders into computers and online trees. We're part of the digital movement, too. We research from the comfort of our homes at any hour of the day or night.

But there are benefits to books. I love to walk into a library to research a county and just look in the stacks to see what the holdings are for that county. I can prioritize which books for that county should be looked at first. I can pull out a book to see if it's indexed. I can look at drawings or photos that would elude me in an online database of the same book.

The speaker went on to suggest working in one record set at a time when doing online research. That makes sense. It would be like looking at one book at a time. The additional thought that came to my mind is to look at the front matter and the index if the record set is a published book. A few minutes in the index could turn up unknown relatives or an unexpected fact.

That was reinforced to me while researching in Macon County, Illinois last month. You may recall that I'm looking for information about a woman whose marriage record was spelled Breitwacher. I had decided that the spelling was likely Breitwieser. In the historical society, I was looking at an index to transcribed Militia Rolls and couldn't find my ancestor. I went to the letters "Br" and there found William Bradspreacher. That's spelled Breitsprecher in other military records. I think this is the right name. But I would never have found this information while searching by name.

I've embraced the digital age and I need to remember to analyze online books more like the paper version. But I still want to explore real books. Before my area libraries get rid of all their books, I need to browse some stacks. All those lovely Pennsylvania books sitting an hour away in Raleigh come to mind. Who'd think I could research Pennsylvania in North Carolina!

I challenge you to find out what useful resources are in a library near you. Do you have some stacks to browse?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Love Your Society

During my recent research trip, I visited the libraries of three local genealogical societies. The volunteers who manage and run these facilities are such a blessing to the genealogical community.

One of the most valuable services that most societies provide is the obituary collection. They clip or copy the obituaries from local papers, index them and file them. I was amazed to find an obituary for a female ancestor who died in 1879. I never would have looked at microfilm for it, but it was in the index of the local society. What a special find!

From each society, I walked away with copies of obituaries for previously unknown cousins. Two of the societies had information that taught me about churches that my ancestors might have attended. At two of them, I was able to find new information in their microfilm collections.

At the society in tiny Versailles, Illinois, I was browsing the surname books on the shelves. I hesitated at Icenogle and started to pull it out, then slid it back in. The gentleman who runs the library asked why I was interested.

A dear friend is an Icenogle descendant, and I had done some research for her on another line. But I didn't want to get distracted from my mission. The man told me he was also an Icenogle descendant and had written the book on the shelf. We looked, and my friend's branch isn't in his book. I gave him some information that I had and took his card to share with my friend. What an amazing coincidence!

Something all local societies need is money. Many ask for a donation when you use their library. I try to give more than they ask. See if they are selling a book, newsletter or merchandise that would be useful to you. Buy something, become a member or donate generously. I did something to support each of the three, because I love these local societies and want them to survive.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What's a Traveler to Do?

I'm home from my genealogy trip to Illinois and Indiana and finally getting back to normal. I had to replace a broken phone and a weary car in the past week, too. Four days of research followed by three days of conference left me overwhelmed with papers and information. Where to start? Day one, I suppose.

A last-minute itinerary change added three research days to the start of the trip, but the first one was Sunday. That got me thinking about how to benefit from field research on a Sunday during a genealogy trip. The courthouse is closed. Many libraries, archives and genealogy societies are also closed on Sunday.

So here are some other ideas:
  • Find an ancestral home or farm
  • Find an ancestral neighborhood
  • Visit a church your ancestors attended
  • Eat where the locals eat and start a conversation
  • Buy and read the local newspaper
  • Visit ancestral cemeteries
  • Look in the phone book for relatives and call them
  • Check nearby cities for open libraries

Some indirect choices:
  • Make Sunday a travel day
  • Take care of yourself -- massage, laundry, extra sleep, exercise
  • Review and organize files, whether paper or on the computer
  • Research on the internet, focusing on the local area
  • Be a genealogy angel and take cemetery photos for websites such as FindAGrave

My Sunday turned into a lucky day. I discovered that the St. Louis County Library genealogy department houses the book collection of the National Genealogical Society. Since my new itinerary had me flying into that city on Saturday evening, I delayed my travel to Illinois and spent four hours Sunday afternoon in the library, doing Kentucky research. After closing time, a two-hour drive took me to the next stop in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Oh, yes, I also slept in, went shopping, had Starbucks, organized thoughts, and even did a little laundry. It was a pleasant Sunday, indeed.