Monday, September 12, 2016

I guess I am not alone

I am amazed at the number of people who were interested in my post about genealogy being a dangerous hobby. The hits on my blog multiplied before my eyes. It made me think that maybe this is a subject that needs to be examined.

I know that recently I have seen warnings in articles about DNA testing. Basically it says that you must be prepared to see results that you didn't expect or might be upsetting. 

So maybe the world of genealogy isn't as squeaky clean as we would like to think it is. We tend to see our ancestors as the most wonderful, loving people on the face of the earth. After all we are their descendants, and we have inherited all of their wonderful characteristics.  

As genealogists, we come across family folk lore all the time and we treat it as a clue to a documented fact, but maybe the rumor is more accurate than the actual vital record. 

A birth certificate only proves that the mother and child are related. If the mother is married the husband becomes the child's father, whether it is true or not. Once his name is on the birth certificate he becomes the father. 

See not everything is cut and dried. So once again we have the danger of genealogy research, but this time it is not because we have a group of people who don't want to be connected to their ancestors.

Instead we have a family member who might know the truth about a situation in the family and doesn't want to expose those family secrets. And how far will that person go to protect the family?

So do you expose those DNA results or not? 

Sometimes genealogy can be dangerous hobby!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Genealogy can be a dangerous hobby!

Oh Dear! It has happened again. I began researching what I thought would be a interesting topic for a genealogy lecture. The more I read about it the more fascinating it became. A friend of mine was also very interested in the subject matter and she started reading what was available online. And then something rather strange happened. It started to be a bit scary!

So you have to ask yourself "How can genealogy research be scary?" Trust me, I know the answer. There are people out there who do not want to be connected to their ancestors. Most of us find this hard to believe because we love those skeletons in our closets. They add a little something to our family trees. 

The group of people that we were researching were amazing, but extremely private and their descendants do not want anyone delving into their past. It didn't take long for us to get the message. Back off!! It is a shame, but we will respect their wishes. This brings up the question of how far can you go when researching your family?

Every family has problems and eventually you will be faced with them in your research. The skeletons in your family unfortunately leave the most records. Do you expose them or do you just pass over them with basic vital records like they had no "dash"? I guess it depends on whether or not you feel threatened. I know someone who was researching my mother's family who was threatened and dropped her research. 

We don't think of genealogy as a dangerous hobby or profession, but some times it can be. When you are threatened, or when you are asked to leave a cemetery and followed to make sure you do, or when the staff or maintenance workers at a cemetery clam up and refuse to talk about their "guests" it is time to drop that research and move on.

Will that family ever be found? Perhaps. As we move from generation to generation and further away from the problem memories fade. What once was a disgrace no longer seems so bad. Maybe a few years down the road this fascinating group of people will be the subject of may lectures. As for right now, I don't think so.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ohio Tax Holiday Weekend

Just a reminder to all Ohio genealogists looking for "school supplies." September always seems like the beginning of genealogy season to me. Most groups take the summer months off so members can travel to places their ancestors lived, attend conferences, and visit repositories. So now it it time to get back to school (because we are always learning something new in the world of family research).

This weekend in Ohio all items that qualify as something needed for school are tax free. No customer will pay state or county taxes. And don't forget to hunt for coupons before you go.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

To my great grandaughter - The glass ceiling has been broken; the sky is the limit!

On June 24, I became a great-grandmother. I felt so lucky and so blessed that I was able to see the beginning of a new generation in my family. It was a rather strange feeling. It felt like a new beginning in my life and I couldn't stop smiling. As a mother in labor, you pray to see your child born. At that moment when you see your child, you see the next generation but you don't think about that. 

You don't think about generations to come, even if you are a genealogist.

And it takes years before you start to think about the possibility of grandchildren. Some moms don't want that day to come. They will be perceived as old. Some can't wait, regardless of their age. And there are ways to get around the problem of being called grandmother. You can make up a name like nana, mawma, and a hundred other things I have heard. But when the fog of birth disappears you are still grandma.

It is crazy but I don't have any friends who object to being called great-grandmother. It is like a badge of honor. 

A few days after my great-granddaughter was born I was getting ready to meet up with friends at a local Mexican restaurant. I caught my reflection in the mirror. I sure didn't look like a great grandmother. As I drove down Crissy Road on my way to Loma Lindas I thought about my own great grandmothers. Should I look like them? No way! And then I started thinking about all the differences between all of us.

All of my great grandmothers wore long skirts. The had long hair. And they were all different. One was a pioneer in the Great Black Swamp. Another immigrated from Prussia. Yet another was an abolitionist and had three sons who made it home from the Civil War. The last died young and never got to see her young children live to adulthood, let alone see her own grandchildren.

And here I was off to celebrate with the girls (other grandmothers) at the local Mexican Restaurant. No horse and buggy. No restrictions. No one looking down their noses at us. 

If we wanted to we could party like it is 1999. I doubt that Grandma Perkins or Grandma Rochte could have partied like it was 1899. Although from what i have heard Grandma Rochte might have tried. She was a neat lady. 

My great grandmothers did not have the right to vote. But my great granddaughter has the right to be President of the United States of America.

End of discussion.  


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Frugal Tips!

It is Father's Day in a little more than a week. That, of course, means bargains and savings that will benefit the genealogist. - 10% off on DNA kit for Dad. $89.00 

And my favorite - Kroger. 4X fuel points on gift cards. 
  If you are going to a conference this summer or planning a research trip these gift card specials can help your budget in many ways. Purchase the cards you will need for your trip. Save money on gas with the extra fuel points.

And let's not forget - Back to school coupons! are only a couple of months away. Genealogists still use school supplies and this is your chance to stock up. 
Great prices on supplies and coupons in the Sunday inserts. 


Oh dear, where has the time gone. Half way through the year already? So what makes time fly by so quickly? 

Well, my own research, of course. And then there is helping other people break down brick walls. And lets not forget those newbies to genealogy research. They need to be nurtured and encouraged. That is so important. 

And then there is that conversation during dinner. Someone innocently mentions something about a great-grandparent with an "interesting" past and you can't wait to get home and dive into ancestry and family search. 

Or you find an old yearbook while volunteering at the library and it opens up a whole new research opportunity. 

I have come to the conclusion that genealogy never gets old. Even though technically it really is older than dirt. 

Hundreds of years of research. 

Thousands of people to meet.

Millions of memories to discover.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

So many lectures; so little time!

You have received your syllabus for the OGS conference  and you are trying to figure out how to be in two or more places at once. Not a problem. Relax. There are solutions. 

If this is your first conference, you will want to see, hear, attend, and buy everything. Three and a half days of lectures, shopping, banquets, networking. Unless someone came with you to drive you home after the conference you cannot possibly do everything. I literally walked the soles of my shoes off at a conference in Cincinnati. I am sure I left a sole train (sort of like Hansel and Gretel) everywhere I went. I pitched the shoes in a trash bin on I-75 on my way home. I probably should have brought them home and buried them in the back yard as a tribute to my ancestors.

So what do you do? Pace yourself, pick and choose. This is where your syllabus comes in. You will see that there are five lectures scheduled for every time period, and you can only physically attend ONE. Chances are that you will not want to attend all five. Maybe two or three. You want to look in your syllabus for the handout that goes with each lecture. There will always be some that will give you the basic information you need. The process of elimination will take you to the lecture you need to attend.  

As for banquets and events, once again pick and choose. Pace yourself. Remember that a conference can become a four day marathon if you are not careful. There will be other conferences so don't try to attend every lineage society banquet. But, do attend the society luncheon and business meeting. 

As for over-shopping in the Exhibit Hall see the previous post.