Sunday, March 17, 2019

Celebrate St Patrick's Day!

Did you hit the pubs last night for green beer and a jigs dinner and now you just want to spend a quiet evening at home? However, you still know that today is actually St. Patrick's Day. Never fear, there is a solution.

First, of course, you could spend a few hours remembering your Irish ancestors  with some research. Possibly you think you might have some Irish somewhere in your tree. This would be a good day or evening to hunt for them. With a little luck of the Irish there just might be a leprechaun hiding behind your laptop.

Amazon Prime and Netflix have lots of movies and documentaries to offer. We can always use local history in our research to improve our genealogical skills. Or maybe you just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. Extra pieces of gold for a Maureen O'Hara movie.

And don't forget to check out Finding Your Roots or Who Do You Think You Are for celebrities with Irish roots.

Last, but certainly not least, ask Alexa to play some Celtic music or an Irish Jig.


Thursday, January 31, 2019


I don't know about you but here in Northwest Ohio, this weather has been a test for all of us. How to stay warm. How to keep pipes from freezing. Keep the cars running so we can pick up our cabin fever click list from Kroger. Decide if we need to tip the pizza delivery person a few dollars more because he is standing on our front porch in a -40 wind chill. Should we venture outside of our house to see if there is still an outside of our house. It's been difficult. Stressful. Slightly chilly. And this is the third day school has been cancelled.

It doesn't get much worse.

I was on my way home from a Click List Run today when I started thinking about my ancestors who lived in the Great Black Swamp in northern Ohio. Back in the day! Honestly, I have to admit that the first thought that went thru my mind was -"They must have loved this kind of weather. Everything was frozen. There was no mud and muck to sink into. It was like solid ice.They could go anywhere they wanted to go. In a hurry. Like I-75! At 2mph.

I pictured them in a small cabin with a fireplace blazing with warmth. Comfy and cozy, reading, knitting, mending, quilting. I am sure they made sure that their neighbors were safe and secure on this cold winter night. Their animals were sheltered and safe. Life was good in their world. Tomorrow would be a new day and they would face it with strength and determination. They never expected it to be easy.

Just a thought: During these days of freezing temperatures when you feel like your life is so inconvenient and you just want to hop on a plane and go to the Keys, take time to think of your ancestors who made your life possible and what they went thru to make it happen.

I am sure they did not have an Early American Click List!

Monday, January 14, 2019

My New Whiteboard

I just bought a white board. Why? Because I need to keep track of what I want to do. I used to make a list of Things To Do but those lists got lost in the piles of paper in my office. Now I have a white board on the wall. The best part is I can erase and add. Love it.

I am getting up in years so I have a lot of things I need to do before I log out of my computer for the last time. Goals. I am sure many of my goals are similar to yours. Maybe you have more time than I do to accomplish these goals. On the other hand I might live to be 110.

So let's look at what I want to do and keep in mind that you might want to do the same.

Lineage Societies: Ok, I know I am eligible for many lineage societies. Number one goal for me this year. It's not that difficult and don't listen to anyone who tells you that it is. Most groups are more than willing to help you prove your ancestry. They have data bases you can access. Apply and don't be afraid to ask for help. I need to take my own advise here.

Conferences. Attend at least one conference a year if you can afford it. I know it can be expensive but it is so worth it. Even if you go for just one day, the education factor in today's genealogical world is worth it. Ask for birthday, Christmas, Mothers/Fathers Day presents.  Have a garage sale! We all need to declutter.

Education. (See above.) Workshops. Seminars. Local lectures. This is so important. There is so much out there online. And let's not forget DNA is a tool to be used in family research, but you need to know the limitations of this tool.

Join. Genealogists have always needed to connect with each other. This is how you find family members and share memories of local events and places. It also gives you a chance to give back to your local community by volunteering and serving as an officer of a genealogical or historical society.

Visit. Of course, you know I am going to include this because I always stress the value of "walking the land your ancestors walked". You need to take a road trip to the place your ancestors lived.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What happens in our family . . . . . .

I am now the oldest member of my generation of my mother's family. My cousin who has been a part of my life for 78 years 3 months and 1 day was laid to rest today. I have said good bye and paid my last respects to many members of my family, including my husband and a grandchild but this was different. 

Yes there was grief and many tears. There were days when I didn't think my life would ever return to normal. Then I started to realize that she had been a part of my life longer than anyone I have ever known. When I was at the funeral home watching the old pictures streaming on a tv screen,  my cousin's daughter said to me "you remember these pictures because you knew her before we did". That's true!

All of a sudden I became the one knew everything about my family. Not because I am a genealogist and knows our family history. No, not at all. I became the person who knew what everyone was like. What they were really like. The people I grew up with. A cousin wanted to know what her grandparents were like; she hardly knew them. I grew up with them. What was her dad like when he was a little kid. Who was the oldest. Did they go to church. Did my Aunt ever smile? And I could say absolutely - she smiled after we went to the ice cream store.

I was bombarded with questions. How many times have I told a group of beginning genealogists that they need to interview their older relatives so old memories and folklore can be preserved? I never had to do that because my aunts "interviewed themselves" around the dining room table after dinner when I was growing up. 

As I drove out of that American Legion Hall I realized I am the person who now needs to be interviewed. Not about my ancestors, but about the persons I grew up with. For me that is still today. But for the younger members of my family it is yesterday.

On my way home there was a huge bolt of lightning and then a small amount of thunder. It scared the living daylights out of me. I am pretty sure it was my aunts' way of saying what happens in our family, stays in our family.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Last Call for My Heritage, Ancestry and 23 and Me bargains

My Heritage: Last day to order a DNA kit in order to receive it by Christmas. Special price of $59 (reg. $79). Free shipping on orders of 2 or more kits. Order by tomorrow in order to receive your kit by Christmas. Special price of $59 (reg. $99).

23 & Me: Order by December 17, 2018 in order to receive your kit by Christmas. More than one kit on sale. 

 **Taxes and shipping may apply to above orders. 

 ** Grandparent alert: You may not test your grandchildren without the permission of their parents! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

It takes a village to find an ancestor!

If you are researching your ancestors where do you go to find them?
Birth certificate, marriage records, death certificate and funeral records.
Census records, city directories, same old, same old.
All of the above, but then there is something else.......... 

Where they lived. Yes it does take that village to recreate your ancestor's life.

Of course that village could have been New York City where they passed the Statue of Liberty on their voyage to America. It might have been a seashore where they first stepped on the land that would one day become the United States of America in the 1600s or 1700s.

And what about the village that they left behind when the decision was made to leave behind family, friends, and country to travel to a new land. 

Decisions, decisions!!

In other words you need to walk the land your ancestors walked. It will help you understand the different paths your ancestors took. What was the village like that they left? What were they looking for in the new village they were headed for?

First to get a handle on this, look at your own life. Take a few minutes to think about it. What are the uncontrollable events that have influenced your own life. I am not going to give you examples; you know what they are. (Pause)

Now compare those memories of your own life to your ancestor's lives in a different time and place. Consider your emotions. Think about what made you take the path you chose. 

In other words walk a mile in your ancestors' well worn shoes

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More DNA Kit specials for the holidays. . . .

Image result for free thanksgiving clip art 
Looking for a new centerpiece for the table on Thanksgiving. How about a cornucopia full of DNA tests? 23 and me has a Thanksgiving Family Offer that will help you fill that centerpiece. They are offering DNA tests for $49 each if you buy 2 or more. ( The tests are normally $99 each.) This is a great bargain and will be available until November 22. If you just want one test the discounted price is $69.

For a bit of fun go to 

My Heritage also has an Early Thanksgiving DNA special for the month of November.  Their tests are on sale for $49 and if you order 3 or more tests you will receive free shipping. This test is a cheek swab and the results are available in 3-4 weeks after the lab receives your test. This offer ends November 12.