Tag Archives: Hints

Don’t Lose Your Treasure By Hesitating

gen groupOver the last several years I have been a part of many online Genealogy groups. They are a great place to meet likeminded people, learn helpful hints, receive encouragement and on occasion receive help. This is also a place for discussing topics concerning the right and wrong ways to research, document and share your family information.

 

Over the past two years I have read several such discussions on the topic of sharing your 2 people arguingfamily trees on line. I am amazed how “heated” they can become. On one side there are those who believe we should all freely share and post all of our family history online. The premise being by putting it all “out there” it would make it easier for those who may be related to find you. On the other side there are those who believe it is best to not have it available to everyone on line because there are those who will “steal” their hard work, photos, etc.

Leola & OrvilleWell I’d like to tell you what happened to me yesterday. I checked my email and I had received a message from a woman who had found me on WikiTrees. She told me that she had been shopping in an antique mall in San Jose, California and found a photo of two young children , a young girl and her younger brother. She said she bought the photo because the two were just too cute! On the back of it was written “Charlie and Jennie Hughes’ children, Leola and Leonard” and the picture was taken circa 1914 in Pettis County, Missouri. She did a search for those names and up came my tree. She was able to not only contact me but she sent me a copy of the photo. To say I was grateful, surprised and amazed is an understatement. My Aunt Leola died at age 32 and there aren’t many photos of her. Because of putting my tree online (I have it several places) I have been given an unbelievable treasure.

I hope this story helps those who hesitate to put your Family History online see there are some potential benefits to it.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Charley Hughes, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Hints, Hughes, Personal Stories, Research, Uncategorized

I Can Use A Little “Wisdom”

wisdomI have been doing Genealogy research for over 20 years. When I first discovered Ancestry.com about 10 years ago I knew that it was a Godsend. I knew it was going to make research so much easier. I transferred all of my written Family Tree to the website and I spent a lot of time finding my Ancestors.

 

Fast forward to present day. On July 1st it was the 153rd Anniversary of the start of the 3 day battle at Robert E. LeeGettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Confederate Army was lead by General Robert E. Lee. When I read this I remembered that I had some Lee’s in my Hughes line and I thought “wouldn’t that be weird if my line and General Lee’s line were related?” I went searching the tree and sure enough Lee was my 4th cousin 7x removed. My 10th Great Grandfather was Lee’s 4th Great Grandfather. I got excited and announced it via Facebook to all of my Hughes/Hayes family. I posted a photo of Lee with just a quick explanation and a promise to post the linage link later.

clickA couple of days ago I started to do just that. Imagine my surprise and great distress to find that when I first joined Ancestry I had entered this online Genealogy world as a “clickophile”! As I was becoming a professional Genealogist I had gone through most of my trees and corrected a tremendous amount mistakes that I had loaded that I had gotten from other peoples trees. So much of what I had originally linked to was undocumented and not researched. I spent a year and a half going through both my maternal and     paternal lines. I thought I had done a complete job…WRONG!

I started with the linage of Robert E. Lee and traced him back to Col. Richard Henry Lee, our common denominator ancestor. Then I started going back down the tree towards me. The problem is I got stuck about half way down to my 6th Great Grandfather John Wisdom. The only documentation I had on him was his marriage information. Everything else was garnered from someone elses’ tree! AND that isn’t the worst of it. John was born in 1738 and I had his daughter being born in 1746…he was only 8 years old. Now I am having to do some intense research trying to put the correct pieces together. Here I had announced to the family this new finding and now I can’t say positively that it is true. I am totally embarrassed that here I am, a professional, yet I had this glaring mistake in my own tree. I realize that as we go farther back we have multiplied the number of “Grandparents” and it can be easy to overlook one or two, but that doesn’t make this less disturbing to me.

The moral of this story is these few points: 1) If you are new to Ancestry.com or Genealogy do not justmistakes click on those little leaves, blindly trusting that what comes up belongs to your ancestor. 2) If at anytime you were a “clickophile” you should go back and make sure the information you added was not erroneous and if it is fix it and 3) I am ashamed to admit that I should have used better “Wisdom” when I was adding ancestors to my Wisdom line.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Civil War, Corrections, Cousins, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Hughes, John Wisdom, Research, Robert E. Lee, Uncategorized

“Hot Topic” Genealogy

HottopicsIt is always amazing to see how much society has changed in the last few hundred years. What is the “norm” for today was taboo a century ago and what was accepted 200 years ago seems unimaginable today. Throughout history there has always been a “Hot Topic” in each generation. Topics such as the Suffrage Movement, Religious Freedoms, Slavery, Prohibition, Wars etc. Today we are hard pressed to find out how our ancestors felt about these issues or if any of them actively supported or opposed them. Unless our ancestor was “famous” for their stand we may never know.

We can make assumptions on some of their beliefs by how they lived. Take for instance civil war battlesthe Civil War. If your ancestor fought for the North, you can assume they were anti-slavery and if they fought for the South they were pro-slavery. Also if they owned slaves you can assume that they believed in it and if they didn’t they were opposed. Some of the “topics” were not so obvious.

If we are lucky we can find membership information, letters, affiliations or other documents that can provide a glimpse into our ancestors’ stance on the issues of their day. However, most of us will never find these gems. We are left wondering if they had any opinion at all. This brings us to our own time in the genealogical timeline.  We have so many “Hot Topics” today that in a hundred years our future generations will wonder where we stood and why.

New scans15I am of the belief that I want to leave as much information for our future generations as possible. Not only about our ancestral line but also of the times in which we live. I have started writing about some of my beliefs, my stands on social issues and any participation’s I have had for or against those issues. To be quite honest I have picketed for one issue and I have picketed against another. I have participated in rallies and marches. I have appeared on local and National television, radio programs, been a Conference Speaker and featured in magazines and newspapers as an expert on one issue. I want my Great Grand-kids to know their Great Grandma held strong opinions on certain subjects and she wasn’t afraid to let others know how she felt. I am trying to be fair and explain both sides of the issues and express why I chose the side I did.

 

What “Hot Topics” do you have an opinion or belief on? Have you gotten involved fighting for or against that Topic? Think about leaving your experiences behind for those coming after you.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Civil War, Family History, Family Search, Famous, Genealogy, Hints, History, Hot Topic, How-to, Memories, Next Generation, Personal Stories, Story telling, Uncategorized, Write Your Story

Putting It All Together

FamilyI have been reading about the “Genealogy Do Over” that is currently in process. I think for a lot of people this is a great idea. Especially for those who, as a beginner genealogist, just added anything they found on Ancestry about their Ancestors without verifying the information or obtaining documentation.  About five years ago I did a “Do Over” only in a slightly different way.

I joined Ancestry.com when it first came out in 1997. I trusted that everything I found on there had been researched and documented. My excitement over this new way of finding my Ancestors clouded my judgment on so many of the lines I included in my tree.

In the “Genealogy Do Over” it is suggested that you totally start over by setting aside all of your research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files. Then start over from scratch, not looking at any of your former research. This is actually a great idea for those who, like me, made the mistake of adding undocumented information to my trees.

For those who just can’t bear to discard all their hard work, maybe you would like to do what I did. Ten years ago I decided

Dad and his horse

Dad and his horse

that I needed to clean up the mess I had made in my trees. I spent countless hours deleting files, doing research and making corrections. Then, five years ago I decided to totally start over but I did not disregard all of my files. After deleting anything that was erroneous, I started with my parents and spent the time gathering everything I knew about them, all the documents, research, stories etc. Then I verified it all. After this I wrote the story of their lives. Using all the information I had gathered I was able to put together a very accurate and interesting story.

I then followed my Dad’s line back as far as I could, doing the exact same thing.  Some of the stories were sparse in information, but I feel confident that each Ancestor was well researched, and documented. I included copies of all the documents at the end of the story so others can see where my information came from. I am now working on my Mother’s side.

Doing it this way, one Ancestor at a time, I will be able to take all the stories I have written about both sides of my family and make a book about each to pass on to my Grandchildren.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Research

Leaving Your Lessons Behind

TreeAs Genealogists we fully understand the importance of leaving behind as much information and documentation as possible for the next generations. Most of us have struggled to obtain what we have and may have already made a commitment to make it easier for our descendants. The problem is what SHOULD we leave for those coming behind us?

There are many Blogs out there that give us ideas of the some of the categories we may want to write about. Some are topics like writing about our own childhood, what was popular in our culture, writing about our religion and why we chose it, and much more. So I thought I would just throw one more idea into the mix.

Lessons Learned

As we grow older, hopefully we have learned a few lessons in life. We have had some good and bad experiences as a result of some decisions we have made. I believe that these are some of the things we should also write about. I mean most of us have told our own children about making right decisions and why, so why not share those with future generations? I would love to know why some of my Ancestors made the decision to move from one place to another, why they chose the occupation they had and so much more.

part 4If you have read my series about my Mom and her superstations back in October you would know why that when I got married and had children I decided then that I would NOT be anything like her.  There have been many times in my life when I have been faced with a decision and I have literally thought “What would Mom do?” and then I would do the exact opposite.  I becamequestion mark a widow at the age of 31, being left with 3 children; I learned a lot of lessons. My husband had committed suicide as a result of a pornography addiction so I had to learn how to deal with that. I started a ministry for women whose husbands, boyfriends or fathers had a porn addiction and as a result I have counseled thousands of women. My husband of 28 years, was diagnosed with vascular dementia seven years ago and believe me, I have learned a tremendous amount of lessons from that!

These are the lessons I want to leave for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those who come after me. If I, by leaving behind a written documentation of what I have been through in life can write about the lessons I have learned while going through it all and those lessons can help future generations, then I will feel that it has all been worth it.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Next Generation, Write Your Story

Hints on How to Gather Information at That Holiday Family Get Together!

christmasWe have all experienced it. You arrive at a Holiday dinner only to see Cousin Ray, the braggart, has already arrived. You know that for the next few days you will be hearing him brag about his woodworking and listening to him describe in long detail the process of creating his latest masterpiece. Your first inclination is to turn and run but you know you can’t do that. So you decide that you will make every effort to avoid Cousin Ray.

Holiday get togethers are a time to celebrate family and friends and to share with one another. Happy ThanksgivingHowever when one person monopolizes the conversations it can make the other people want to avoid them altogether. Let’s be honest, most people have skipped a party or dinner because they found out that someone who can only talk about their latest scrapbooking or [insert hobby/cause here] project was going to be there.

No braggingNow for some hard truth, some of us Genealogists are guilty of the same mind numbing talking that we try to avoid. We can get so excited over our recent discoveries that we want to be sure that everyone hears the fantastic news. We also want to take this opportune time to ask questions of those present. Who knows when you many see them again or get a chance to possibly fill in some blanks in our trees? Here are some suggestions that may help you to not become the person everyone wants to avoid.

  • If you know who is going to attend the upcoming party or get-together, write a short letter explaining that you are working on the Family Genealogy and that you would like to ask them some questions. Tell them to help avoid long, possibly boring conversations that they may not be interested in, you would like them to consider these few questions and if they could, they can bring the answers with them. Mail or email this to them a couple of weeks in advance. If you don’t know who will be there or if you don’t have contact information for some of the guests, you can take a few extra letters and ask them to fill it out and mail it to you. You can even include a self addressed stamped envelope to make it easy for them!
  • You can also ask at this time if they have any old photos or documents that they would be willing to share with you. Let them know that you will be either scanning them or taking pictures of them at the get together so they will not have to give them to you.
  • Ask them if they know any stories about their ancestors and see if they would either write them down for you and bring clip-art-interviewing-them along or maybe they would be willing to tell them to you. If possible bring a tape recorder so you can record the tales and then transcribe them later.
  • Do some research and ask specific questions about that side of the family that you need help with. Something like, was Uncle Joe Jones ever married? If so, do you know his wife’s name? Did they have children?
  • Be sure to add somewhere in the correspondence that you have found some exciting information about the Familys’ History and you look forward to adding more to it. Hopefully a little enticement will peak their interest in what you are doing.

poster

  • I helped a friend do all of the above before a family event and they all worked very well. She gathered a lot of new information, stories and even a few photos. One thing I helped her with was a poster board display. I had her print out the family tree associated with those who were attending. I had her post a few interesting documents and photos on it and one of the amazing stories that she had found about a Great Grandfather. She included her name at the bottom of the poster so people would know who to talk to. When she arrived at the event she placed it in a place where people could easily view it. Because she wasn’t intrusive she actually had several relatives come up to her wanting to know more and telling her stories. Some even promised to email some photos and documents to her. She was ecstatic as one bit of information she received broke down one of her brick walls!

To those of us who love Genealogy it is so easy to talk about it and we want to share our enthusiasm with others. Sometimes this becomes a hindrance instead of a help. By coming up with alternative ways to engage someone in our passion we can “hook” them without making their eyes glaze over in boredom.

I am positive that if you think about it, you can come up with plenty of ways to gather information this Holiday season without alienating your family. Good luck!

If you think of any other ways to do this please let me know, I would love to hear your ideas!

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Christmas, Family Gatherings, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Holidays, Thanksgiving

What Does That Mean?

Question markWhile doing some research for a client I came across an occupation that I had never heard of. The man was listed as being a “burler”. A what? I am sure I could have come up with a few definitions of what I thought this occupation was but I would have been very wrong with all of them. So after a quick search on the internet I discovered that a “burler” was 1: one that removes loose threads, knots, and other imperfections from cloth 2: one that inspects rugs before the finishing process and mends minor imperfections in rugs. Honestly, I never would have guessed that!

It got me to thinking about some of the other odd names or expressions that we Genealogists come across during our research.  Some of them are actually quite funny. Why not have some fun with this? I will list 10 words we may come across that are not commonly known and you can choose one of the multi choice definitions. At the end you will find the correct answers and you can then tally up your score. Good luck!

1. “Jackalent”

a. A coat of mail

b. A foolish fellow

c. A figure outside old clocks on public buildings and strikes the clocks bell

2. “Twindles”

a. Twins

b. A tool used by a Wheelwright

c. A “sure cure” for constipation

3. “Grondy”

a. An African Storyteller

b. An English coin

c. A Grandmother

4. “Cowdy”

a. Someone who is afraid of something

b. A Cowboy who only herds cows

c. A small cow

5. “Busker”

a. Someone who husks corn

b. An entertainer who danced, sang or recited on streets or public places

c. A tool used by a tanner

6. “Stockinger”

a. A person who knits or weaves stockings

b. A tool used by a boot maker

c. A measure of weight

7. “Dilling”

a. A person who digs ditches

b. A baby born to older parents

c. A sailor

8. “Codman”

a. A dealer in Codfish

b. A chest maker

c. A lamplighter

9. “Acater”

a. An agreement to the terms named

b. A falconer

c. A caterer; a purveyor of goods

10. “Sheepbiter”

a. A petty thief

b. A person who enjoys mutton meat

c. A womanizer

Since this is for fun there is no grading system. I hope you enjoyed this and maybe even had a laugh or two. I think in a hundred years our Descendants will be having to look up some of our commonly used words and will probably get a kick out of the definitions also!

Answers: 1) b   2) a   3)c   4)c   5)b   6)a   7)b   8)a   9) c   10)a,b,c

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Quiz