Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Genealogical glass houses!

Something I heard on television a few weeks ago really got me thinking. 

"People who live in genealogical glass houses shouldn't throw stones." 
(Jennifer Mendelsohn, genealogist. AM Joy MSNBC, January 20, 2018)

First of all, please let me make one thing clear. This is not a political opinion. It  is something that I have gradually learned during my many years of family research. Genealogists see things differently and because of this maybe genealogy should be a required subject in school. See Jane. See Dick. See Jane's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, . . . .well you get the picture. Makes sense to me.

But here is the thing -- we all live in genealogical glass houses. No one can escape that fact. If you're an American, you live in a genealogical glass house. You can ignore it. You can refuse to believe it, but family history is your family story. It is His Story, Her Story, Our Story, Their Story, Your Story. Get it? It exists whether you want it to or not.

                   [Please take a 10 minute pause to meditate on this and please learn from this.]

Yes. We all live in genealogical glass houses. We need to understand why and where our ancestors lived. Did they stay or did they move. Were they immigrants? Did they own slaves? Were they slaves? Were they harassed because of nationality? 

Can you change your family history? No!
Can you learn from it?  Yes!
Can you treat others as you wish your ancestors could have been or were treated? Yes!


And the best way to learn about and understand the future is to research your family's past. 

It's not to late to research your family.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Want to make a donation? Won't cost you a penny - just your vote!

Kroger in Waterville, Ohio, is opening a new marketplace store. (Actually they have added on to our current store.) In honor of the grand opening they are going to donate $10,000 to 3 local organizations. The money will be divided according to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. $5000, $3,000 and $2,000. 

Inline image 1This is your chance to help the Waterville Historical Society with a donation and it won't cost you a dime. Just log onto the the Kroger website below and vote for Waterville Historical Society. You can cast your vote everyday til the contest ends at midnight on January 29. You can help us by sharing this info with all your friends, even your friends on Facebook! And don't forget your relatives. And maybe your ancestors can help with a little bit of serendipity.

WHS provides events and educational programs and tours for local residents and visitors. We have two homes and a building that we maintain in order to preserve a view of the past. One of the homes is in need of costly repairs. This donation from Kroger would provide much needed funds toward this goal. 

Please consider a donation:

Thank you so much. Your votes are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Quick Note -- More holiday bargains!

Fold 3: This site is devoted to military genealogy records. They are offering an annual membership for $47.95. Normally the regular price for a single membership is $79.95. This sale ends on December 3. fold3.com


Friday, November 24, 2017

More Holiday Christmas bargains

When my parents moved to Florida I "inherited" a lot of classic Christmas ornaments and decorations. I guess my mother thought that I would preserve them. I tried but I couldn't resist the urge to continue to put them on the tree. Big mistake. I seriously don't know how they survived my childhood, but I do know they didn't fare so well in my young adulthood, parenthood, and grandparenthood. I do believe that there are still a few of them left in my 20 boxes of decorations. Yes, 20 - and I did downsize. Somewhat!

A few days ago I saw an email from Family Tree Shop about a special deal on an Ornament Preservation Kit. For most of my life it never crossed my mind to retire those heirlooms to a box of keepsakes because they were so much a part of decorating the tree. I figure I will use them and pass them on, along with my ornaments which will eventually be broken, cried over and swept up. However, if you think this is something that would work for you, please check it out. The kit contains an archival box and preservation supplies. https://www.familytreemagazine.com/store/ornament-preservation-kit?k=nogGVVi%2F%2FRay6t5pi88eRlNq3nyWo1CCXYMRQDsMQkk%3D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=emedia_blast&utm_campaign=ftu-lmn-hs-171121-ornament

Roots Magic Holiday Offer:
Present owners of this program are eligible for a $25 offer on a software bundle from this company. This is regularly priced at $90. The bargain ends on November 30 and there is no limit to the number of purchases. To take advantage of this you will need to order online or call 800-766-8762. This is an excellent way to introduce your friends and relatives to the wonderful world of genealogy.

Monday, November 20, 2017

More Holiday Bargains for Genealogists

More Genealogy Bargains for 2017 Holiday.

23 and me DNA Thanksgiving Offer: This offer runs through November 23 (Thanksgiving). The kits are $49 each if you buy two. If you only want to purchase one kit the price is $69 which is still a bargain since the kits are regularly $99 each. www.23andme.com

Family Tree DNA Holiday Offer: This offer ends on December 31, 2017 which is good because there are several options and you must read the information for each kit to determine if it will work for yourself or family member. Cost of the kits range from $59 to $299 (five kits). You may also purchase bundles which range from $178 to $442. Each bundle is good for one person only, you may not split them up. One thing that appeals to many is the fact that these kits do not require you to spit into a tube. Instead you simply swab the inside of the cheek, which makes them better for young children. www.familytreedna.com

My Heritage DNA Thanksgiving Sale: This offer also runs through November 23 (Thanksgiving). The kit which requires only a cheek swab are on sale for $59 each. They are regularly $99 each. www.myheritage.com/dna

*Please remember that these DNA results may reveal information that could be upsetting. Families have secrets and skeletons in their closets occasionally!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

$$$$ Happy Holidays $$$$

It that most wonderful time of the year when genealogy bargains begin to appear. The first one I have seen is Ancestry.com - both subscriptions and DNA Kits.

Ancestry Gift Subscriptions
This offer is good until November 23, 2017. The U.S. Discovery subscription is $149 (regularly $189) for 12 months. The 6 month subscription is $79. For the World Explorer subscription, 12 months is $239 (regularly $299) and the 6 month rate is $119. This is a one time subscription and will not be automatically renewed next year. 

Ancestry DNA Test Kits
A special price of $79 for one kit is a great bargain. Additional kits may to added to your order of $69. Shipping charges are additional.

**Don't forget to ask Santa for a conference registration fee, gas gift cards for travel expenses, Visa and MasterCard gift cards for other conference expenses. And of course Office Max gift cards for computer expenses. 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our First Ever Family Reunion

My family thru caution to the wind a week ago and held the first ever (as far as we know) Rochte family reunion. We all survived! No one was shunned; no one was estranged; and, best of all, no one was harmed in the making of this reunion. The word on the street is the Rochte family cannot have a reunion because my mom's family is known for its dastardly deeds. Apparently we  have mellowed a bit thru the years.

The event was sort of thrown together in a short period of time and I would certainly not recommend that anyone else do that. I have always heard that you should start at least one year out from the actual date of the reunion. That is probably not a bad idea but because we did ours so fast, it was easy to see the rabbit holes you can fall into during the process. So, I have decided to share these with you. 

1). This is not a wedding reception. I know that sounds crazy. Of course you know that, but your subconscious does not. If you are my age you have planned or been involved in many weddings. That is how families are formed. The difference? With a reunion there is no happy couple. Just a bunch of kids with parents and grandparents. What does this mean? Don't think, "We are having a reunion for 100 people so we need a venue that accommodates that many." That is backwards. Instead, find out how many people plan on being there and subtract 10 (kids get sick, old people fall down, those in between stress out). Plan according to the final number!  And, please note, nobody brings a gift and expects to get wined and dined. (In other words, no free meal.) Instead they bring a dish and a bottle of Merlot. Good! Now you see the difference. Get a head count first; then reserve a venue.

2). Pictures and Memories are what make a reunion special. Fortunately I remembered that over ten years ago I made a special Christmas present for my kids. It was a cookbook, but just not any cookbook. It had recipes plus pictures of family members and stories I remembered from my childhood. I had forgotten about it and I had to rescue it from an ancient computer, but I was able to restore it . And, I also made a 2nd edition which almost doubled the size of the original. It would be nice to have one of these for every branch of the family. If you start planning right now that could be possible. Something like that cook book will spark other memories from other family members. And don't think that your cousins, nieces, and nephews have seen all the old pics of their parents. You probably have some from high school that need to be revealed. And no one reveals better than a cousin you ran around with in high school and college.
Our 20+ foot pedigree chart!!
3). Make sure everyone can picture themselves in the family tree. With no printed family pedigree chart at our fingertips we set out to make one in less than a month. When it was printed it was 20 some feet long. What a surprise! 2 - 8' tables and a 6' table later we had it displayed. Whew!! Last minute surprise. Everyone loved "finding themselves". I guess I didn't expect that because I have always mentally placed myself in the tree and I never realized there were many who never even thought about it. Lots of genealogy bugs were planted that day. How did we create this chart in such a short period of time? Messages sent at 3-4am. Gallons of midnight oil. When we put the tree out, we provided post it notes for corrections and additions. You can see the added notes in the picture of the tree. Great idea, just allow more time!

4). Make sure you honor those who are not with you for whatever reason. And make sure you get everyone there no matter the circumstance or age. We did this right. It was so worth it, not only for them but for all of us too. Enough said. 

I could go on and on with lots of trivia, but I think this is enough to get anyone started on the right path. 

Will we have another? Of course, and it will get better with each year until we reach a point where the teenagers of the family might actually want to be there. By the way, you might want to set up an area where teens and their cell phones can go and text each other. . . . . so they can get acquainted!

And thinking of cell phones. This was the first thing I have been to in a long, long, time where everyone didn't have their cell phones in their hands. We were too busy catching up with what's been going on. Well, except for the teenagers. I suppose there is a post somewhere about what to do with teenagers at a reunion. Or should they even be invited. They'll get the idea some day.