Tag Archives: Family Search. Family History

“They Were Only Farmers” – Take The Challenge

Cotton FieldsToday at Physical Therapy I was talking with a young Hispanic man who is one of the therapy helpers/receptionist. He asked me what I did when I was not submitting to “torture” and I enthusiastically told him about writing my books and about Genealogy. He asked a few questions and I was very excited to answer them for him. Then he said “I really don’t know why anyone would want to find out about their Ancestors.” I was shocked! Did he really just say that? So I asked him “Why wouldn’t they?”

He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would want to know about my family because they were all just farmers.”  I guess the look on face said it all because before I could reply he said, “I guess if your family was famous or rich then it would be interesting.” Again, I am sure my face gave me away.

I then posed a question to him, “How would you feel if your Great Grandchildren said I don’t want to know about myFarmers Great Grandfather because he was just a receptionist?” The look on his face was priceless.  I went on to tell him that his family were farmers by profession, they themselves were something else altogether. They could have been musicians, dancers. weavers, city leaders or a number of other things. They were definitely Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts or Uncles. Who they were was not defined by what job they performed or how they made their living but by their character and interests.

I offered to help him find some information about his family, so on my next visit he will bring me names, dates, and locations of his Grandparents. I told him to ask his parents about the Family Stories and he might be surprised at what he may find.

I am hoping that I can help this young man find a passion for his Family History. It broke my heart to think that so many of our younger generation probably feel the exact same way. How can we help?

CHALLENGE:   What if each one of us offered to help one young person find their Ancestors and their stories?  My challenge is for each one of you to find a younger person and introduce them to the wonderful world of Genealogy. Yes it will take some time away from your own research or job or leisure time, but think of the reward of seeing a young person develop a love for their Family History.

If you do take the challenge please leave a comment and let me know how it went. I would love to hear about it.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.



Filed under Ancestry, Facebook, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, Next Generation

Finding “Common Word” named Ancestors


                                    Mathew Arvin Register 1833-1913

Sometimes I wish that some of my Ancestors had easily re-searchable names.  Unfortunately I have names such as Register, Bond, Wisdom, Loving and Graves in my family. I find myself hitting my head against a wall (figuratively) when I m trying to do any kind of research on them. It doesn’t matter if it is a close relative or one who lived 200 years ago, the problem is still the same.

When I try to research the name Register I get a list of Parish Registers, City Registers, death and birth registers, and marriage registers. Even if I make a specific request giving complete name, birth, death and where they lived, I end up with page after page of non-related information. Yes, I put “quotation marks” around the name and I put + between the name and the other information, but nothing helps. The last name Bond is just as bad. Marriage Bonds, payment bonds, estate administration bond, and the list goes on. Don’t even get me started on the last name Loving. If anyone, anywhere wrote an obituary calling their deceased relative a “loving father” or a “loving sister” then these will be the information that I find.

I guess I just have to learn to look at it from a different perspective. When I do happen to find documents or information on one of these Ancestors I am ecstatic. The find means more to me then some of the more easily gotten ones do. I also know I will always have someone to research. In searching for these “impossible” relatives I have learned new and effective search techniques. So I guess it’s not all bad when you find a common word Ancestor in your tree.

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