Side Projects

While I am still cleaning up the policies, formatting the forms so that they will all look like they came from the same institution, picking up my copy of The Lone Arranger for inspiration, and signing up for more Digital Archives Specialist classes I still do not think I am doing enough.

So last week after organizing the bookmarks on my computer I found a link to a conference where Utah Valley University professors presented papers based on the occupation of the Channel Island Guernsey during WWII. As I volunteer at the UVU archive I emailed the director to see if we could have the faculty members donate their papers, research, and oral histories conducted with the living survivors. The director asked if I would like to be involved and I of course gave her a resounding yes.

Why my interest in Guernsey you ask? At the age of ten I went with my class for a week longish field trip and the most prominent memory (besides seeing the Queen Mum) was of the German Military Underground Hospital on the island. That moment has stuck with me all these years (reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society didn’t hurt either). While the project has not yet started I am hoping that I will be able to have the opportunity to work on the collection from start to finish.

On to a personal side . . . for a long time I have been dancing around the concept of tackling my Utah pioneer heritage and joining the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP). One of the qualifications to join is to have a direct ancestor who

traveled to or through geographic area (3) covered by State of                    Deseret/Utah Territory between July 1847 and 10 May 1869, such as,

  • Trappers and hunters
  • Freighters
  • Members of wagon companies (Mormon or Non-Mormon)
  • Members of Mormon Battalion who traveled to or through geographic area covered by State of Deseret/Utah Territory before the completion of the railroad, 10 May 1869
  • Members of Johnston’s Army who traveled to or through geographic area covered by Utah Territory between 1857-1858 (Utah War, 1857-1858)
  • Passengers of Ship Brooklyn who settled in San Diego, San Bernardino, or traveled to or through geographic area covered by State of Deseret/Utah Territory
  • Workers on the railroad in geographic area covered by Utah Territory before 10 May 1869 (

My paternal grandmother is a definite yes in this regard, but I have also been interested in my paternal grandfather lately. My grandparents divorced and my grandmother remarried a man who eventually adopted my father and his four siblings. Because he was adopted my father does not really care about his birth father.

Frankly, I had been afraid that it would be hard to find material, but was surprised with very little research that I had found a direct ancestor who was also a Utah (Mormon) Pioneer. In fact without even clicking on a leaf I found out that for a short period of time they actually lived in a fort just down the road!

I can’t wait to work on the histories of my families more. My archival/history researching skills will come in handy when looking for stories of my ancestors settling in Utah. As for the last new pet project . . .

While working on the genealogy today my mother asked me to be the “official” archivist of our business, Knight’s Legend (we sold knights, fairies, dragons, Medieval/Renaissance, Coats of Arms/name histories, etc.). A few years back we had a store in the mall and then our own storefront. However due to the downturn in the economy we were not able to keep our doors open. My mother wants me to document the story of our store and track down various photos for the website she is developing. This too sent my wheels turning as to the story behind the store; behind the logo; and the legend.

So even though I will not be paid for doing these extra side projects they will certainly help hone my skills and hopefully show what I can do as an archivist. Can anyone love their career field too much? Never.

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