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.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Tis the season for holiday sales

The holiday season is upon us and you know what that means. Genealogy bargains.

For me it also means that I need to get moving on unpacking and arranging that last room in my new villa. . . . my office. I am so looking forward to that. After a much too long vacation from genealogy, I have a long list of things I want to tackle and get caught up on. DNA, Jewish heritage, Native American heritage, lineage societies, new lectures, and more blogging.

But right now let's get to the first bargain of the season -- 
Ancestry gift memberships are on sale for 20% off until November 11, 2018. 

The U.S. Discovery membership is priced at $79 (6 months) and $124 (12 months). This membership covers American roots.

The World Explorer membership which includes U.S. plus International research is priced at $119 (6 months) and $239 (12 months). 

Ancestry is also having a sale on Ancestry DNA test kits that lasts until November 11, 2018. The kit is on sale for $59 plus tax and shipping.

Happy Holiday Shopping! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What I did on my summer conference vacation!

I always see the FGS Conference as the end of the season. Now I am looking forward to the beginning of the genealogical organization meeting season; followed by the holidays, and then onto a new year of research, networking, and conferences. 

This year's FGS Conference brought a lot of new experiences for me. Of course, the best was my daughter's first conference. Our biggest fear is that our research  will land in the dumpster after our funerals. In order to prevent this we do out best to instill a love of family research in our children. Fortunately my daughter caught the genealogy bug - but not because of my family. Instead her husband's family got her attention. And what an interesting family it  is. But then she became interested in my mother's crazy family. So I think she is here to stay in the world of genealogy.

I learned more about DNA and how to evaluate the results. I wasn't surprised to find out that DNA won't tell you anything if you have not done your homework. I always say that you need to know how to do "old school genealogical research". It is the foundation of all family research. I feel fortunate that I began my genealogy life in the days before the internet. I had no other option and I learned patience. 

I appreciate the internet and DNA but I really think we need to stress the importance of visiting your local library, repositories, and historical societies. There is nothing that compares to seeing the actual record books that were created when your ancestors were born, married, or died.

The other thing that I learned is somewhere along the way I got older. I finally gave in and bought a walker. Oh, how I dreaded being the only person there with one of these things. To my surprise, I was not alone and it is actually rather convenient. You can sit down anywhere you want to. I might even rent a scooter next time! lol