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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Facebook Visits

I probably should have posted this earlier but

Welcome Visitors from Facebook!

I would love to have your comments and ideas. Please email or comment on here. I am always looking for new ideas or things people might want to know.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Follow Your Ancestral Trail

The 2010 NGS Family History Conference will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark your calendars for 28 April–1 May 2010.

Whether your family helped settle the nation, migrated across the country, stayed in the same place, or recently arrived in America, this conference has much to offer. The family history resources in Salt Lake City, Utah, will provide a depth and breadth to your research. The Family History Library has an extensive collection of international records. A major focus of the conference will be increasing research skills in foreign countries.

Conference Highlights

Why Should I Come To This Conference?

  • Extended Hours at the Family History Library. Spend time researching in a premier library collection. The Family History Library will stay open two hours later on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the conference.
  • A Virtual Tour of the Granite Mountain Record Vault. During the opening session, FamilySearch will show a new multimedia tour of the vault where it stores master copies of the microfilm collection.
  • International Workshops. The conference will offer workshops for Eastern Europe, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Hispanic countries. Each workshop will combine lectures and hands-on research planning and problem solving, and will include a prearranged lab time at the Family History Library. Pre-registration is required, but there is no additional fee beyond conference registration. More information will be posted soon.
  • Ask-an-Expert Consultations. Expert researchers will offer advice in areas such as German, British, and Canadian research as well as general research. No additional fee beyond conference registration. Sign up during pre-registration.
  • Beginner Workshops. For persons beginning their research, the conference includes workshops on Tuesday, 27 April and Saturday, 1 May. For a minimal fee, beginners will receive excellent instruction. Conference registration is not required.

What Else Will the Conference Offer?

  • Program Sessions. Fantastic lectures cover a wide variety of topics by national top-notch speakers.
  • Exhibit Hall. Stroll through an exhibit hall filled with vendors offering a wide variety of genealogy products and services.
  • Sponsored Luncheons. Enjoy good food and an engaging speaker while networking with other genealogists.
  • Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund Workshop. A full-day workshop on Tuesday, 27 April 2010.
  • Board for Certification of Genealogists. A complete track of Skillbuilding lectures.
  • Librarians’ Day. Librarians’ Day has become a standard pre-conference event for librarians serving genealogists.
  • A Celebration of Family History Concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be held on Thursday, April 29 at 7pm.
  • Tours of local sights and research facilities. Salt Lake City offers majestic scenery, pioneer history, and additional research facilities.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


How do you preserve your family information?

Is it all on paper in a book?
Is it all in your grandma's head?
Is it in a safety deposit box?
Is it on an external hard drive?
Is it on a flash drive?
Is it in a fire proof safe?
Is it stored online?

There are so many places we have available to us to store our information these days. Obviously, some places are more secure than others. I personally have several different locations and unfortunately not everything in one location. Most everything is on my external hard drive. My husband knows that if there is a fire and I am safe, grab the external, if I haven't done it already. This post is for me as much as everyone else, it is good to have a back up. It is good to have your information in more than one place. You never know when tragedy may strike.
I have been told that my grandfather's military records were in part of of the national archives that were burned years ago. We now have no record of much of what he did.
I have been thinking a lot about the people throughout the world who don't have the ability to store documents as I do. It is my responsibility to save what I have, in a way that should something happen to me, others will be able to find what I have done.
As you think about the possibility of losing not only your hard work on genealogy but everything you own, think of the people of Chile and that your donation can help them build theirs homes and lives. I have a friend sending care packages directly to those in need.
Sorry, tangent, an important one but a tangent nonetheless.
Find ways to store your hard found family information in a way that your descendants won't have to recreate the hours you have spent but will be able to move forward and work on making your family tree branches continue to grow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stories and Reminiscing

Stories are a wonderful way to share family history. I love getting with family members and taking about experience we all had together. It is fun to hear the different view points and perspectives. Especially as you grow older.
There are times when a younger person looks up to someone older, yet the older one remembers the younger as being a tag-a-long or just plain annoying. As you get older you can share stories about the past and let that person know who much they were looked up to many years ago.
There are also the stories that are retold by parents to different family members at different times. Stories often take on a life of their own and morph. There is usually as aspect of truth at the beginning but as time goes on, it becomes a creature of it's own. By talking about these stories, you can usually find the truth to know what was real and what was added with each telling.
When all is said and done, it is beneficial to have someone write down what was learned. A line here or there for a full on essay. Something that can be shared generations from now. This is what makes us real. Knowing that we really lived and experienced life. That was have experiences out of the ordinary along with the day to day living that continues on through the generations.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Labeling Photos

As many of us know, it takes a lot of time to label photos. We also know how frustrating it can be to have photos of family members; yet, have no idea who they are. Today I took a guess at a family photo. I based my names upon the ages. I fortunately still have someone alive who knew all these people so I can check my work, but many times we are not as lucky. And even this person who is alive, may not remember the names of his aunts and uncles. The old age thing can be a killer, no pun intended.
There are many different online services where we can upload our photos and then have them printed. I know that Shutterfly will print on the back of the photo any details you include. I personally think that if you are going to print photos, it is worth taking the time to write in the detail with a service like this. If you are going to keep them in an electronic format, give them a long name! There is nothing wrong with having a detailed name so you will always know who was in the photo. In organizing your photos on your computer, you can create folders for each event in each month in each year, so you have a detail from that side as well.
So go forth and label!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Since I love both family and photography, I like to blend the two from time to time. I have photos gallore of ancestors and headstones. My family teases me that I always have my camera ready to go. A photo adds so much to the story. Whenever possible, when writing about a person, I try to add photos of them and that event if possible. I am on a quest at the moment to find a photo of my great great grandfather and grandmother. Once I have them I will have a completed collection of photos of my ancestors for the 6 generations! Above is my great great grandmother who immigrated from England to Utah. She was part of the Hunt Wagon Company which was directly behind the Willie and Martin Handcart companies. (I have a great great great grandfather and grandmother who were in the Willie Handcart company.)
Another by product is that I think about family trees all the time which in turn causes me to be more aware of trees around me. This morning I was able to take photos of some ice covered trees with a clear blue sky above them.

As you go about your life, remember that a photo can help jog the memory and it also helps a person be just that, a person!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Past Times Genealogy - Finding Your Roots

I am thinking of using this as my "Winter Logo". Any thoughts?
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