Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Sometimes life gets in the way of what I really enjoy. Genealogy is one of those things that often has to take a back burner to life. What things in life have caused this?
Pregnancy - not an easy one
Crashed Outlook - I lost everything in outlook months ago. It kept me away from my computer for a few months
Work - that job thing that pays so I can have a computer and internet
Pregnancy - did I mention that I am tired and it hasn't been easy?

Over the past few months if you have tried to contact me, please try again. I am back up and running! At least when it comes to outlook.
Isn't this what we are all about? Family!

I have a new appreciation for those who lived before the meds we have. I also think those who procreated while in their 20's rather than 30's might actually know something.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reaching Out and Personal Histories

I have said it over and over again - REACH OUT and talk with your family members. You never know what you will find.
My great grandpa and great great grandpa were these unknowns to me. (I did have great photos of the grandmas.) I couldn't find anyone on the web related to them and I finally had to break down and contact a living family member who I had no idea if she would know who I was. She did though and has sent me SO much information that is priceless. When I opened the package from her, I sat and cried. It was the first time I had seen a photo of my great grandpa and one that I could really tell facial features of my great great grandpa.
Not only did she have lots of photos for me, some including me too, she sent personal histories. Here's the thing, not a single one is written by my direct ancestors. They are all written by my grandpa's cousins. Apparently my grandpa and his siblings didn't take the time to write down anything. I have decided that I can't let this happen. I have challenged my mom and aunt to write about their grandparents and parents. I too have taken up this challenge to write about my grandparents and parents.
Something that is priceless in these writings is putting in FULL NAMES and DATES. It is so frustrating to read a history that only uses a person's nick name. Just write out the full name once. Ages are good but only if you have their birth date as a starting point.
So my new challenge is to work on my personal history - which I may be posting here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have a hard time coming up with posts for this blog. I try to think of things that will help or inspire others in their searches. When I stop working on my own Family History, which is what I have done for several months now, I have NO ideas. Today I have one though...probably because I have been working on my family history this past week.
This time of year we spend lots of time with family. I probably could have posted a blog about asking your family during the holiday gatherings for information about family members that are no longer with us. I have learned that is easier said that done. One time we were able to get my grandpa to talk about WWII. The one and only time. When it comes to my husband's family it is much harder. Those I want to gain information from don't care about Family History and therefore don't want to talk about it because they think it bores others. I have learned though that sometimes I can get them to just tell stories about family members and that gives probably more insight than anything.
BUT that isn't what I am posting about today. I am posting about how there is a connection with people when you find family. I sent a letter to my great aunt a few months ago. She called and we talked for about an hour. She gave me information that no one else would ever be able to provide me with. It was completely priceless. Since then we have exchanged very touching Christmas cards.
This week I was contacted by a completely random stranger, who is also a relative. Suddenly I want to email and share information. That connection knowing that you are family...even if so distant as to be 5th cousins, adds such a warm feeling to my heart. I want to get to know these people whom I reach out to or they reach out to me. We have a connection! One of you might have a personal history of an ancestor that is very interesting and valuable to both of you. It might have helped create who you are.
I know that is how it should be with everyone since in the end we are all children of our Heavenly Father but being able to track where our blood matches up is a powerful thing.
I recommend going out and connecting or reconnecting with your family members.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I have been reading a series of books in which they have journals from several of their ancestors. It has caused me to think a lot about journal writing. I am not very good at it personally. I have come across a few documents from ancestors of mine that I treasure. I was able to share one of these with a relative on a different continent and he expressed his deep gratitude as well to having these writings.
I have been trying to become motivated to write more in my journal. I realize that my blog is a journal of sorts and I plan to print it off and file away in case some day someone wants to read about my crazy life.
I recommend for myself and others to try and write in a journal. It doesn't need to be every day or even every week but I know that anything is better than nothing for us to leave behind for others.
Click here for some journal writing tips

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Out of Nowhere

I realize it has been a long time since I blogged on here. I admit I haven't being doing much family ancestry over the summer. Several weeks ago I started reading a book and it took several weeks to get into it. I am 2/3 done now and it sparked the light in me again. The book is "The Price We Paid" about the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies.
For those that don't know, these were completely separate companies. They were only in the same location once for about 3 days.
There is so much to say but I don't want to get bogged down with too many words. A good resource for those that want a good overview is the movie The Sweetwater Rescue.
The reason I am so excited is that I have learned something about my ancestors this week. My mom's paternal great great grandparents (below is my great great great grandfather) were in the Willie Handcart party and my mom's great great grandmother was in the Hunt Wagon party which traveled just behind the Martin Handcart party. That's 3 great great great grandparents for me. I decided it was time to track down relatives from the paternal side and I found one! I found a descendant the same generation as I am but from a different child. He in turn helped me to know that the name I have always known was not the name she went by while in Scotland (or that is how it seems). This opened up all sorts of information for me. Catron (formerly Catharine) is no longer a dead end! I now have a photo of her father (photo below is my great great great great grandfather)and hope to find one of her.
When I started this book, I just planned to learn more history about the groups. I did know my ancestors were involved but they usually aren't mentioned in books. Which in fact reminds me, The grandmother in the Hunt party married one of the men who was involved in the organization of the handcart parties. I didn't realize prior to reading this book that he was so involved. I mentioned it to my mom and she knew but it goes to show, if you don't talk about things, no one will know.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

As we prepare for celebrating the Independence of America it reminded me of a project I started some time ago. I have obviously not been working on it but one of things I have done is research on family members of mine who lived in America during the Revolutionary War. There are quite of few of them.One of those who fought in the Revolutionary War is James Theophilus Lewis. Not only did he fight on the side of America, he was an immigrant. He knew how important it was to help this new country be born.James is my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather. Yes 7 greats! Here is a little information I found about him - because there is only a little bit.He was born August 9, 1736 in Wales England. He fought in the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. He had one wife he married before 1771 and after her death he remarried. He moved his family to Kentucky in 1810.There are thousands who fought for our freedom during this war who we know nothing about and most of them don't even have headstones. I hope this blog will help you think about average "James" who fought against his homeland to bring about Freedom for all of us.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Clean Out

I spent a few hours this evening going through brochures and other information I have collected over the past year. Most of it I hadn't looked at since picking it up. I decided to throw out 75% of what I had and to actually file the stuff I am keeping.
It is good to go through and clean up what we have from time to time. This applies to genealogy files - but usually we don't throw those away. We still need to do some clean up and organize. I have random census files and certificates here and there on my hard drive. I need to put them in the correct files so when someone asks me for my documentation, I can find it.
As you collect information, make sure you label it so you know what it is quickly. If you don't put it where it belongs, you will have a label on it so when you do need it, you can use the search function on your computer to find it. You can have long file names: 1841 British Census Joseph and Sarah Waterfield and daughters

The documents and information you have is only good if you are able to find it when you need it.