Sunday, May 1, 2016

Career Certificates for Jerry Eneau Modrell

You hear over and over how you should start your genealogy research by looking through documents and photos in your own home.  I didn’t believe I had any documents, however, while looking through some plastic totes that were packed many years ago, I came across documents I didn’t know I had.  Imagine that, all those “seasoned genealogists” knew what they were talking about.  Who knew?

Jerry Eneau Modrell worked for the United States Post Office from the mid 1950’s until he retired in 1986.  In 1973, he transferred from downtown Kansas City to Topeka, Kansas.  We didn’t like living in Topeka, however, dad finished his career and retired from Topeka.

Dad spoke very highly of his secretary and always said he could not do his job without her.  Her name was Linda (if I remember correctly).  Linda is the reason I wanted to become a secretary.  I always wanted to be as important to my boss as she was to hers.

Dad worked at the postal facility located across from Forbes Field in Topeka at the Postal Supply Warehouse.  He bought and sold mail truck parts across the country.  He would come home from work in the winter and say, “I spoke to so and so in Florida today and it was sunny and 75 degrees”, while we were knee deep in snow and below freezing temperatures.  In the middle of summer he would come home and say, “I spoke to so and so in Florida today and it was sunny and 80 degrees”, while we were suffering from upper 90 degree temperatures with 100% humidity.  I always thought he would move to Florida upon retirement, but chose southern Texas instead.

Dad had to be “on call” sometimes (several of the managers rotated that duty) and I can remember him getting up in the middle of the night to make phone calls.  We only had one phone and it was located in the living room which was next to my bedroom.  He had this square device that he would hold up to the talking end of the phone and push buttons (it had a telephone key pad on it).  Magically, he was connected to the phone at his work where he could then call anywhere in the country and the long distance charges would not be charged to our home phone (yes – people actually paid money to talk long distance).  He would discuss parts needed immediately to repair mail trucks that were not running.  He would leave for the office, get those parts ready to ship and take them to the mail sorting facility in north Topeka where they would be mailed overnight.  Then he would come home and still manage to get up in time to be at work at 7:30am and make it through the day.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen very often.  As I get older, I don’t know how he managed to do it.

I have attached the Certificates he received for classes he attended while working at the Post Office.

© 2016, copyright by Janice Penry.  All rights reserved.

Labor-Management Development
March 22, 1966
Rapid Reading
January 18, 1968

Leadership Development
April 4, 1967
Human Relations, Supervision
January 15, 1970

Pre-Supervisory Development
June 3, 1965

Monday, March 14, 2016


The Topeka Genealogical Society hosts a Genealogy Conference each year that I attend.  Each year they have a different speaker – sometimes it is someone I have heard of, other times it is a new person.  They have all been people that specialize in some area of genealogy and they have all provided information that has provided me with new areas of research.

This year they are hosting one of my favorite genealogy ladies.  Her name is Lisa Louise Cooke and she hosts a website called “Genealogy Gems” – she is just fantastic and a true Genealogy Gem!  She has a blog that I subscribe to and she gives out some great information on such topics as Evernote, Google Earth, Phone Apps for Genealogy research and so much more.  She also has both free and subscription based Genealogy Podcasts and provides research strategies and tips that are 100% useful to anyone.  She has videos (both free and subscription based) that show how to use Evernote, Google Earth and many more topics.  She has also written several books which are wonderful additions to anyone’s personal genealogy library.

She is a very “tech savvy” and “Internet knowledgeable” person when it comes to Genealogy trends and research.  She has moved my research to areas I never would have gone had it not been for her guidance.  She speaks at some of the biggest genealogy conferences (most recently, Roots Tech – a genealogy conference in Salt Lake City that lasts several days) and it was quite a surprise to find out she would be speaking for our local conference which is just a one day event.

I have never been to any conferences where she speaks (they are usually the bigger ones that are out of reach of my pocketbook and are never in this area) so this will be a very special day to finally meet the person that I so admire and have learned so much from!

There is no doubt in my mind that she will help me discover new ideas that will take my research to great heights as I continue Searching For Ancestors!

© 2016, copyright by Janice Penry.  All rights reserved.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

I hope this first post of 2016 finds you well and happy.  I apologize for the long absence of posts, but with any luck at all, I will find myself back on track.

It seems the thing that most people do at the beginning of each New Year is make New Year’s Resolutions.  What is a resolution?  Well, from my own perspective it is a promise that we all make to ourselves and then break at some point during the year, just to make the same resolution at the beginning of the next year.  You know I am right on target!

With that in mind, I am not making any resolutions for 2016, I am just going to keep plugging along in life.  I will continue to go to work each day, I will continue “Searching for Ancestors”, I will continue to post items to my blog (even if I miss some weeks, or even months), I will plan a vacation (if I don’t get to go since for the last three (3) years, work has got in the way), and I will continue the everyday mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping.  I will also continue to transcribe documents for the Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society so they can get more indexes out on their website (this is my way of volunteering a little bit of time to help others).  Doesn’t that sound more like the truth than making a resolution that won’t be kept?

Some things I have planned for this New Year including adding a page to my blog with all the surnames I am researching.  I also want to retake pictures of all tombstones associated with my family, and that will include going new places to get new pictures.  I will also try to locate new documents in new places instead of relying on the Internet, since we all know that all documents are not on the Internet, yet.

I wish you luck in the New Year and hope you stick to your resolutions.  As for me, I will continue “Searching for Ancestors”.