Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring Research Trip--Salt Lake City: Day 1

5:30 am

The California Zephyr got into Salt Lake City about 4:15 am, one hour late. Not bad by Amtrak standards. But then I waited, with a lot of other folks, about forty-five minutes for a cab. Where's the entrepreneurial spirit here? I could see the Plaza Hotel from the train station, but I don't walk more than half a block anymore. I'm going to bed.

11:00 am

Ordered room service and now I'm heading out to the Library. The Library is literally next door to the hotel. Before traveling, I went to the Family History Library's online catalog and made a list of books and microfilm that I might want to look at. 5:30 pm

What a great day! The Library's resources are terrific. The staff and volunteers very friendly and helpful. There's a camaraderie among those researching. The resources are easy to use. You can buy a copy card for a dollar and make copies for five cents [23 cents for microfilm copies]. There are plenty of computers on each floor, too.

I had decided to focus on Milam County, Texas. I went first to the books, which are on the third floor. Within twenty minutes, I had found valuable information to debunk a family myth. It had been said that one of Otis and Bettie Manson's daughters, Mattie, had run off to Georgia to find the family there. In fact, according to Milam County Death Records, young Mattie, whose full name was Julia Mattie Manson, died of tuberculosis at age 12.

Another tidbit gleaned in the first hour: William Sanford, Bettie Manson's father, lived to be 106 years old! He's buried in the Old Rockdale City Cemetery.

I spent a lot of time looking at Rockdale school records. I learned that Otis and Bettie had another daughter named Myrtle, born in 1906. I'll look further into her case tomorrow.

I'm having a good time and I recommend this trip!

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