Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary By Moving!

As my readers know, about 6 weeks ago, Patty and I celebrated our 49th Wedding Anniversary. What you don’t know (but do now), is that we spent the day working out the details for the purchase of the old Heritage Quest building in Orting – and its attached 3-bedroom apartment. Since that time, we’ve moved about 1/2 mile into the 3-bedroom apartment that is at the back of the old building. When I say “old,” I mean just that. The front portion was built in 1912 as a church – and served that purpose until about 1986 or so. We bought the building once before and owned it from 1987 through about 1992, when we sold it to AGLL in Bountiful, Utah. They later sold it to my brother, and now Patty and I have it back.

Steve painted the building about 20 years ago, but it’s again in need of a good painting. So we’re scraping, sanding, and spot primering the entire building. See the picture for an idea of the extent we’re going to. We want the paint to last and to protect our old building – so a lot of effort is being put into it.

We have raised garden beds planned for the area just to the side of the building, and we’re covering the patio in back with fiberglass so Patty can continue to raise her plant babies in a greenhouse environment.

We’ve been working here for the last three years. We just didn’t live here. The print ship will continue operations where it is, and we’re redoing the offices, and storage areas.

We’ve Been Away for a While – Here’s what Leland & Patty are up to…

It’s time I get back to blogging. I’ve not done any since early December, and I’m feeling guilty.

To bring my readers up to date on what’s happened during the two months I’ve been away…

First – We finished the FRPC big project of 2016, that being getting a Second Edition of Bill Dollarhide’s Census Substitutes & State Census Records finished and into print. The books really needed an update, as they were last printed in 2008. The new Second Edition boosts the number of instantly available internet database links containing census substitutes or state censuses to 3,391 – most of which weren’t even available in 2008! Also included are another 577 URL’s with a link to a catalog or an online resources page. The set went from 2 volumes to 3, with a lot more pages per volume.

Second – We spent about 10 days in Salt Lake City with our annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Eighty-eight researching attendees and a few spouses joined us and our team to break some brick walls at the Family History Library.

Third – We celebrated a delightful Hanukkah & Christmas with our family here in Orting, Washington.

Fourth – We bought a car. Last October, we were unfortunate enough to get “hit” by a young lady who didn’t seem to see us coming. Thankfully, none of us were hurt. After unsuccessfully attempting to repair it, the lady’s insurance company gave up, totaled our car, and sent us a nice check. On Christmas day, we bought another car – of the same year, make and model as our earlier one. Not a new car, but it only had 32,000 miles on it, so it still looks and feels new! The catcher was that it was located in Pompana Beach, Florida. We live in Washington State. It looked like it was time for a vacation – of sorts. In early January, Patty and I, along with our grandson, Robby (age 8), flew to Fort Lauderdale (the day prior to the airport shooting there), and got our car. After spending the weekend in the Everglades and Monday at the Magic Kingdom, we drove home – putting another 3800 miles on the car. We had a wonderful time – great trip.

Fourth – We’ve been editing, and preparing for publication a new African American Genealogy Research textbook by our good friend, Jeanette Daniels. Jeanette teaches at Heritage Genealogical College in Salt Lake City, and has been working on this new book for years. It’s an amazing text and guidebook, and anyone interested in tracing their African American ancestors will be able to do so after studying its 42 chapters. This is the most in-depth guide on the subject that I’ve ever seen. We plan to have the two-volume work in print this Spring.

Fifth – We finished another project for Dr. Roger Minert – that is the publication of the latest volume of the Germans Immigrants in American Church Records series. Previously printed by Picton Press, Family Roots Publishing took on the publication of the series starting with Volume 19 – which deals with German immigrants found in the church records of Missouri churches. We expect to print a couple books a year for another decade or so – with the series eventually reaching 40 or more volumes. Libraries, individuals and societies wishing a standing order with FRPC for upcoming volumes may do so by contacting me. A 15% discount is available for standing-order patrons.

Sixth – I have been working for several years with Bill Dollarhide on a series of state-oriented volumes covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The series is “Census & Substitute Names Lists.” We started the project in 2013 with Alabama. After completion of his Second Edition of Census Substitutes & State Census Records set of three volumes in December, Bill was able to quickly finish out the series of “Name List” books, as much of the information in the state books was already researched for the Second Edition of Census Substitutes & State Census Records. These latest volumes, running alphabetically from Minnesota through Wyoming, plus a new Second Edition of the Indiana volume are now at the bindery. Bill is now writing a guide in the same vein on the U.S. Territories & Possessions.

Seventh – FRPC is about to publish a new book entitled German Genealogy Research in Pomerania. Written by Donna Schilling, this book deals with many aspects of Pomeranian research, and I believe will be a great asset to anyone wishing to trace their Pomerania ancestors. Donna’s people come from Kreis Schlawe, and most of her research examples are from that area.

Eighth – Kevan Hansen continues his research and compilation of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series. He has just submitted Volume 57 to us for editing. This is another “big city” volume, this time covering Bremen, Lübeck, and Kiel. It should be in print sometime this month.

Ninth – Speaking of Kevan Hansen, he is now contracted with FRPC to write a Swiss Map Guide series. Patty is currently editing the first two volumes – the two fully covering the Canton of Bern. Watch this blog and the Genealogy Newsline for further information on the new series. We started with Bern, because it’s huge – and had a lot of emigration to America. Most of the twenty-six Cantons are smaller, so we’re pretty sure we can publish the series in about 20 volumes.

Tenth – We are now editing a series entitled Guide to the Genealogical Resources of Italy. We started this project many years ago, and just got one book out – that was for Sicily. Then The author, George Ott, got busy with other things, and so did Patty and I. Of course, that initial book has been out-of-print for years. A while back, George approached me with the idea of taking up the project again. His wife, Sandy, had retired from teaching, and is now available to help with the research. So – we’re back at it. The first volume is a Second Edition on Sicily. We’re editing it now. The second covers Reggio Calabria, which is just about ready to edit also.

Eleventh – We’re about to publish a Second Edition of John Hudick’s Finding Your Ancestral Village in Slovakia, Czecky, Ukraine, Galacia and Hungary. Our friend, Lisa Alzo, is currently bringing the book up-to-date with many additions and corrections (reflecting ongoing changes). This is exciting, as we’ve had the rights to the volume for over a year – with too many things going on to get it back into print. We will be supporting the book, and Slavic research in general on the website slavicroots.com. The site, as well as the book will be available in the Spring.

Twelfth – FRPC is about to publish a book entitled MÜLLER/MUELLER Heraldry and Genealogy: A Geographical Perspective. Written by Frederick Siler, the full-color book brings together German heraldry and genealogy – dealing specifically with the Müller surname. Unlike British heraldry, which requires that coats-of-arms be passed down from eldest son to eldest son, Germanic heraldry is geographic in nature, with far less restriction.

Okay – that covers a few of the things we’ve been doing. There’s been little time for blogging, Facebook, or even Twitter… But I will attempt to do what I can in the coming days.

It’s Time to Repaint & Refresh!

This is partly personal – and is meant to explain why you may not hear a lot from Patty and I for a few days.

Update 9:30 a.m. PDT Aug 18: The two back bedrooms are repainted, as well as the main bath and the hallway. Now to unmask, put closet shelves and such back in place – and move on to the living room painting.

We’ve decided that since new carpet will be laid throughout our entire house in September, that we’d get right after it and repaint the interior of our house besides. We moved furniture and did a lot of masking on Sunday – with much more left to do. I have an idea that the project will most likely take a week to 10 days.

If you need to reach me immediately, you may call me on my cell phone at 801-949-7259. Calling the business phone will most likely just go to voice mail – so don’t plan to do that!

Orders placed online for Family Roots Publishing products will continue to be filled by staff, so we don’t expect any slow-up in filling orders, which is currently taking about 48 to 72 hours, dependent on what time of day the orders come in.

Thanks for you patience and understanding.

The Wages of Being in the Genealogy Book Business for 3 Decades is an Upcoming Surgery

Well – being in the book business for over 30 years finally caught up with me. I am being scheduled for surgery immediately after the Salt Lake Christmas Tour in early December. At least I’ll be able to move my arm during that week!

My doctor will reattach muscles and reshape my joint somewhat. It is an outpatient procedure, and I’ll be going home the same day! Then I’ll have six weeks with nothing but passive (not muscular) movement of the arm. The muscles where the bicep attaches to the shoulder joint are entirely torn loose, and have atrophied over the last year or so. I’ll be doing physical therapy for a few months getting the muscles built back up from early February on. So – my shoulder should be out of the sling in time for RootsTech. That’s good news.

I think that moving many hundreds of heavy boxes during the move to Washington added additional stress – and doing the heavy work at NGS in St. Charles, Missouri and the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank in May and June last year caused the extreme tearing of already weakened muscles. I’ve been doing physical therapy on the shoulder since summer with no success, so we’ll now go ahead and fix this thing. If I’d had an MRI earlier, I think we may have already moved ahead with the surgery. I just got that done last week. I’m looking forward to getting back to sleep at night. This thing has been a REAL pain – not in the neck, but close by.

Lee Everton is Working with HERO Client Rescue S.A., Located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti


My friend, Lee Everton, is working with HERO Client Rescue S.A., located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This group is the first EMS (First Responders) group ever in Haiti. HERO was founded by Veterans who have served in Haiti and saw the need for this important service. HERO enables Veterans, Paramedics, EMT’s, Firemen and Police volunteer opportunities in Haiti and is raising funds to provide additional tools for these volunteers while serving. Lee has created a gofundme campaign to help raise funds to purchase these tools.


Please take a minute to read more about the accomplishments of HERO and the tools they need on the gofundme page. Also, if you can share this with your friends and coworkers, it would be a great benefit to HERO. The direct link to the campaign for HERO is: http://www.gofundme.com/wrvf8z8z I personally dropped $20 on the project to get it started. Small donations can all add up!

By the way, I spoke with Lee again a few hours ago, and he’s so excited about what HERO is doing that he’s leaving Utah for a while and will be personally working with these folks in Haiti.

Hazel Juhl Mills – R.I.P.

Hazel Juhl Mills  - December 1987
Hazel Juhl Mills – December 1987

While I was attending the NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, I received the news that my long-term executive secretary, Hazel Mills, had passed away that day, May 15, 2015, in Puyallup, Washington. Many of my readers will remember Hazel as the lady who set up and coordinated my speaking engagements from 1987 through 2005 – doing all this after she had already reached retirement age. Hazel was an amazing woman, and became an “adopted” member of the Meitzler family.

Sometime in 1986 I placed an ad in our local newspaper stating that I was looking for an executive secretary. I stated in the ad that I wanted someone who could type, take shorthand, and keep me organized. Hours later, Hazel walked through the door of the Heritage Quest operation on Washington Avenue in Orting. She said something like “I’m not young, but I can type 85 words a minute, take shorthand, and have lots of experience keeping my boss on track. Will I do?” I stammered a bit, but quickly told her I thought she’d do just fine. And that began a long relationship with Hazel – she was not only my secretary, but quickly became invaluable to us in that she knew how to work with folks, and the media. And she was our friend, almost like another mother to me. She personally scheduled over 1500 speaking appearances for me. For a while she also set up speaking appointments for Bill Dollarhide and Dewayne Lener.

As seems to be almost normal in my life, I was again away on business when someone important in my life was in the process of leaving us. However, I’m pleased that my niece, Christina Meitzler, was there to hold Hazel’s hand, sing to her and help her make the transition. R.I.P. Hazel Juhl Mills – my dear friend.

On the Way Home from the NGS Conference

Bill Dollarhide and I are currently on the road heading back to Orting, Washington, having spent much of last week at the NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri.

On Sunday we drove from St. Charles to Fort Collins, Colorado. This morning we are meeting with my neice and cousin, then going to see my sister, Erma Lamb. Looking forward to seeing them all! Then on to Salt Lake City, where we will stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel tonight.

We plan to see my son, Lee and his family, pick up books at Schaffer Bindery and go on home. Should arrive there mid-day on Wednesday.

Bill Belichick & Pete Carroll Both Have Croatian Roots


A few million of us are awaiting this weekend’s Superbowl with anticipation – myself included. Being a die-hard Seahawks fan for several decades has been hard at times. Life has been good lately. I ran across an interesting tidbit about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

It seems that Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s grandparents, Marija and Ivan, immigrated from Croatia to the United States in 1897. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has Croatian ancestry on his maternal side.

To learn more, click here and read an interesting article posted at thepostgame.com.

I’m Really Sick of Being Sick – and I’m finally well again…

Update January 25, 2014 – I’m finally feeling 100% myself again. Last Tuesday morning I awoke and realized that my chest didn’t hurt anymore. The pain had gone away and then come back with a vengeance. I hope I never have to go through all that again!

Update January 9, 2015 – I’m better – back at work – but still fighting the mucus in my lungs…

For those of you who may wonder why I haven’t been blogging, there’s a simple answer… On December 14, the day folks were flying out from our annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour, I came down very with a virus, making me very ill. I traveled the 900 miles home by car, sick all the way, and then pretty much collapsed once I got here. Not being a miser with my miseries, I gave portions of the virus to my entire family – thus ensuring we all had a rather miserable Christmas. Oh, well – better luck next year.

I am starting to feel better, although I’m still feeling the effects of this thing. I have to do a road trip this week, so I’m hoping to be feeling MUCH better real soon now.

Back in the Great State of Washington

After an absence of about 23 years, Patty and I are again living in Orting, Washington. We lived about 5 miles outside of Orting, in Pierce County, up until 1991. We then moved to the tiny community of Elbe (just outside Mt. Rainier National Park) for several years. After spending 6 years on the road, and settling in Utah for well over a decade, we’ve come full circle, and moved back to Orting. This time we live within the city limits, with a wonderful view of Mount Rainier from our front porch. Don’t misunderstand me here – we have that great view if it’s not raining – which it’s doing today.

We started making our move from Utah last May, and have made several trips to Utah in the meantime. One of those trips took seven weeks as we were getting our house ready to place on the real estate market. Although we will be back in Utah again several times this fall and winter, we are now getting settled into our home in Orting, as well as working normal business hours at Family Roots Publishing. We moved the company from Utah, back into the old Heritage Quest Press building that my brother and I initially purchased about 1987. Steve has been running a printing business here for about 20 years while I’ve been away. Now both businesses are operating under the same roof. Our son, Dale, and his family came back to Washington with us. Many of you know Dale and Tara, having met them as they displayed product for Family Roots Publishing at conferences all over the U.S.A.

We really love Western Washington, even enjoying the rain. Patty and I both have family here and we are glad to be home again.

Read an earlier blog of August 19 dealing with the move.

Family Roots Publishing & Meitzler Family Move Update

Mt. Rainier photo taken from the Footshills Trail. The Trail runs just a few hundred yards from our home in Orting.
Mt. Rainier photo taken from the Footshills Trail. The Trail runs just a few hundred yards from our home in Orting.

Last spring we (the Meitzlers) made the decision to move home to Orting, Washington. As of July, we had been gone for 20 years, as it was in July of 1994 that we left Washington State and went on the road in our 36 ft. Safari motorcoach. We didn’t come off the road until 2000, although we did take the motorhome out to conferences up through 2005. When we did settle down, it was in Bountiful, Utah, where we have lived until now.

We started packing up both our home, and the business – running books sales to reduce selected inventory in May. We took one truck load of household items to Washington in early June. That load went into storage. On July 2, we left Bountiful with 2 trucks (with trailers) loaded with both books and household goods, as well as an SUV towing a trailer, arriving in Orting the following day. We unloaded the rigs over the holiday weekend, part going into our house, part into the business building, and part to storage. We had the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day in Orting, which is quite a spectacular event! There doesn’t seem to be any ordinances dealing with fireworks in Orting, and if there are, they are totally ignored. I’ll admit to enjoying the evening to the fullest extent, getting to know a lot of my new neighbors in the process. Over the next month, our family has spent some enjoyable walks and bicycle rides on the Foothills Trail, which runs just a few hundred yards from our home. Everyone in the family has bikes, so we can ride the Trail whenever we have the time.

During the month of July we got the FRPC business up and running in the old Heritage Quest Press building in Orting. My brother, Steve, owns the building, and he made space for us to set up our data entry, sales, and stockroom in the same area where we worked from 1988 to 1993.

About a week ago, Patty and I left Orting, leaving Dale and Tara to mind the store, and drove back to Bountiful. Arriving here, we immediately loaded a truck and trailer with both household and business goods for a return to Orting. We then joined our son, Lee, in going to work on getting the house ready to sell. After essentially running a business out of our basement here since 2008, the place needed new carpet, and various other upgrades that we’ve been putting off since we bought the place. Now someone else will get all these wonderful upgrades that we talked about doing since we moved in. Oh well, this seems to be what I do with every home we’ve owned over the years…

Patty and I have also been working on the websites, and the Salt Lake Christmas Tour while here. Patty is currently in the process of preparing the 2014 Christmas tour receipts and invoices, which we will mail by August 25 or 25. As of this moment, we have 74 attendees preregistered for the Christmas Tour, with just a few spaces left for the 2014 Tour. If you’re interested in coming, you might want to sign up asap!

We plan to leave our Utah place in the hands of the real estate folks and head for Orting again on September 3 or 4 – then attempt to return to a “normal” life.

I want to thank our many friends and FRPC customers who have continued to support us with your thoughts and prayers, as well as purchases, during this EXTREMELY stressful period in our lives. We can see the finish line, and just need to cross over. Just a few more days…

We’re Going Home… Back to Orting, Washington

Many times during the last thirty years, while I’ve been involved in genealogy-related businesses, I have made the statement that I could do what I do for a living almost any place, as long as it was within the United States of America.

Why would I say that? Well, most likely because as the old saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” During the last three decades Patty and I have lived and owned property in Washington State, Utah, and South Dakota. For nearly seven years we weren’t sure where we lived, as a motor coach was home and it kept moving every few days. We seriously considered moving to Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Missouri – the first for the history, Tennessee and Missouri for their central United States location and the country music roots (mixing business with pleasure).

Patty and I are moving back home. They say you can never go home again, and sure enough, we can’t get the 50-acre farm back. But we can come close. We are moving back to Orting, Washington. That’s where our roots are. We started Heritage Quest there, and in fact, we are moving Family Roots Publishing back into the Heritage Quest Press building on Bridge Street in Orting. Dale, Tara and the grandchildren are going with us. The first truckload of household goods rolls Tuesday morning and we plan to be fully moved by mid-August – possibly much sooner. We haven’t been residents of Washington State for exactly 20 years, although we did own property there until 2000. We’re really looking forward to getting home, where we still have family and friends today.

So – not only are two full households moving back to Orting, But we are moving the entire Family Roots Publishing operation to western Washington also. It’s about an 850-900 mile move, dependent on which pass we take over the Cascade range. The major hurdle to be overcome in the move is the weight issue of transporting tens of thousands of books. Books are heavy, and there is a limit on how much weight we can move per load. To alleviate some of that weight, starting today, we are running Internet with Credit Card Only sales on books in stock so we won’t have to haul quite as much.

I Missed the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond

As many of you know, I was not at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond. My booth in the exhibit hall was empty. As luck would have it, my grandchildren came down with some kind of flu-like virus the on Friday night, May 2nd. As usual, the kids had come over for the weekend, and we were looking forward to a good time prior to grandpa’s having to fly out to Richmond at 11:58 on Monday night. Whatever the bug was, all three of them came down sick. I thought nothing of it, but helped care for them.

Then Monday morning, I suddenly realized that all was not well with me, and I came down sick – really sick. After spending some time in bed, I got up and again continued to pack for the trip, thinking maybe I could make it. Although dizzy, and weak, I still had hope. Well, hope didn’t do it, and I went down sicker than ever. Needless to say, I missed my flight to Richmond, and was down for several days. It’s the first time I’ve missed an NGS Conference in many years.

I missed seeing many of my friends as planned missing several dinners, and such as well! Bummer…

But looking forward, we now have just a few days until the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, and then the FGS Conference in San Antonio in late August. I plan to see many of you there.

Mostly Personal – and I’m Hoping to See YOU at the NGS Conference in Richmond


I’ve been gone for a few days – sick with a virus that knocked me out of commission for a full week. It all began with a sore throat on Monday, April 21. By Tuesday morning, I was really sick. I stayed in bed and forced fluids, thinking I could beat the thing by washing it out of me. Well, it didn’t work. By Friday, when I had to get upright and take my grandson to his parents’ house a couple miles away, I was even worse off.

Just how bad it was can be explained this way. I had a headache, my nose was running, my eyes itched and had bags under them that made me look like a hound dog of some kind. Oh, how my eyes hurt. When I got to Dale’s house on Friday, he looked me over and asked “what’s with the shoes…?” Looking down, I could see that I had on one black sneaker and one white one (actually a very stained white one, as it was one of my old gardening shoes). I don’t believe I’ve ever done that before. I felt rather silly, but also got a laugh out of the whole thing.

And now it’s Wednesday, May 1. I’m feeling pretty good again, with just a bit of congestion still hanging on. I think I’ll live – and am now trying to catch up for being away from the computer for a week.

And on to more exciting things. As we all know, next week is the annual National Genealogical Society Conference, this year in Richmond, Virginia. I will fly out early Tuesday morning, and should be working in the exhibit hall by noon. I have until 5 pm to get the booth set up. This year I’ve just got one booth, and will be at the conference promoting the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, GenealogyBlog.com, FamilyRootsPublishing.com, the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series, and my Genealogy Newsline newletter. I won’t be hawking books as at the past NGS conferences, but will be sending folks to the Maia’s Books booth to buy my stuff. Come see me in booth 116.

Blogging on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Tablet


A few days ago, I made some changes to my Sprint cell phone service and got a free tablet in the process. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. It has a 7 inch screen, bigger than my iPhone, but still much smaller than any computer I have used before.

Now don’t get me wrong… “Free” also meant that Ì was obligated to a two year data contact about $15 per month. I almost declined getting the free tablet, but decided maybe I could use it for blogging. This blog is being written using the tablet.

I purchased a case and external bluetooth keyboard for about $40, thinking that this might keep the tablet in better shape, as well as allowing me to type a little easier. Thus far, I am finding the slight delay between the keyboard and screen to be a bit disconserting. I find that I have to press the keys a lot more solidly than I am used to. It’s also really easy to accidentally turn on the caps lock key when hitting shift. I imagine that these are things I can get used to. Note that these are all keyboard issues, and have nothing to do with the operations of the tablet itself.

I just imported the photo, and that process seems to work okay. This just might work. Only time will tell.