Saturday, January 22, 2022

Genealogy - One Reason Why

What could possibly be the draw of researching in old dusty books for names, dates, and places? Yawn! Boring! Right? I thought this when I was in high school and even in college, learning the history of the United States or the state where I was raised and went to college. I thought memorizing random dates, names, places was pointless. Who is going to remember these names, dates, locations anyways?

As you can see from the previous paragraph, I was young and very short-sighted. I started loving history when researching my family tree and learning about them. Many may say Genealogy is about names, dates, and places; this is true. However, for me, Genealogy is more than the basic facts of name, date, and location. Since beginning the journey of learning about my ancestors, I found that understanding what was going on in their lives (history) helps to put flesh on those bones. I have begun to understand them better. For example, I discovered one of my great, great, great grandmothers in the 1881 Census of the United Kingdom was 81 years old, a widow, and was living in a workhouse. I thought, what is a workhouse? I had no idea, so being inquisitive, I went to google and typed in workhouses. I started learning more about them, their purpose, etc...history. During the last year of her life, she was in a workhouse because she was poor, needed assistance, and passed away when she was eighty-one years old. I had deep compassion for this grandmother, living alone without the comforts of her children and grandchildren in the later part of life. 

I have learned to love history as I search census records, birth, marriage, death records as I continue my research. Researching census records can give you a glimpse into their occupation (some of which through research do not exist anymore), whether they owned or rented the residence, and where they lived, among other things. As I continue the genealogical research of my family tree, I love to learn more about their lives and have begun understanding history in a way that is more applicable to my life. Whether this is a function of being older and hopefully wiser is unclear. It may be a combination of both things. Their lives are similar to ours. The more we learn about the history of our ancestors' lives, the better we can understand ourselves and learn from the past. 

If you would like to read more about workhouses, click here and it will take you to my review of workhouses.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Come Join the Experiment

 The Connections Experiment is a fun way to dip your toe into genealogy or family history. They have come up with a 21-day Experiment where you can choose which experiments in which you would like to participate. This month's Connections Experiment is a Genealogy BootCamp. If you ever wondered how to begin the family search quest, this would be a great opportunity for you. The BootCamp is free and you complete one task each of the 21 days. This is a wonderful step-by-step guideline on how to start, research, family stories. If you would like participate in the challenge, click this link Connections Experiment

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Native American Oral Histories - Record Your Family Memories

This is a beautiful video about the importance of recording Oral Histories, specifically the Native American Oral Histories. We are blessed in this modern age of technology where we can easily record and save our ancestors oral histories which will be preserved for your children, children's childen and down through the age. 

The Native Americans frequently taught each other their history by telling stories of their past. These stories are valuable in helping the children know who they are from and as a benefit helps them to know who they are. 

Now is the time for you to record your parents and grandparents stories. You will enjoy hearing them tell them in their own words once they have left this life. My family has recordings of my parents talking about memories from their life. They have all passed from this life and it brings me joy to be able to hear their voices. 

Consider talking with the oldest people in your family and record them talking about ther lives. We are also bleseed with the amazing cellphones which cannot only record audio, they can record video as well. The videos will be a treasure trove for your children, grandchildren, and on down through the generations. 

If you upload the videos or audio recordings using the FamilySearch Memories Mobil App which can be found in the app stores they will preserved for your children, grandchilden and on down through the generations. The Memories app can be downloaded from the Google App Store using your computer or phone or Apple App Store using your iPhone or iPad. 

I hope you enjoy this video.


Thursday, September 03, 2020

Trail of Tears Research


Recently I attended a Family Search where the discussion was regarding female ancestors and how/where to research.  In the comment section of the live broadcast was information about the Trail of Tears as someone had inquired how to find information about those people who were part of the 1830 Indian Removal Act. I was interested in learning more because this inquiry and decided to research further online to see what could be found about this atrocity where the Cherokee Nation was forcibly removed from their homelands to Oklahoma and thousands of them perished along the way.

One of the links provided during the Family Search Live Event chat section was Family Search - Trail of Tears. I began here learning a great deal from my reading in Family Search and also checking out the Cherokee Nation link in Family Search.

Further online research discovered information was limited regarding the names of the people driven from their homes in 1830 to Oklahoma. Although I do not personally have any known relation to the Native American Nations, I feel what was done to them in the establishment of the Unite States.

Although I was unable to find any searchable lists of those were on the Trail of Tears, I discovered a website dedicated to Preserving the Cherokee heritage which provided links for Cherokee roles. 

The Sequoyah Research Center American Native Press Archives website provide some Family Stories passed down to the descendants of those who traveled the Trail of Tears.  If you would like to read the stories, click here.

If you are unfamiliar with the Trail of Tears, this video explains it well. Trail of Tears Movie

Saturday, August 29, 2020

What Will You Remember about 2020?

Bullet journaling: How it sorted my life. And then I lost it

What Will You Remember about 2020? What Did You Learn about COVID-19 and Yourself? I have previously addressed the value and importance of keeping a journal in multiple posts here. 

We are currently living during an unprecedented time in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic which effects everyone differently. How has this year with the pandemic changed your life or the life of your family or loved ones? Have you been overwhelmed by all of the information and misinformation?  Additionally we are in the midst of an election year which seems to be adding fuel to the fire. 

I remember when I first heard about the pandemic I thought it is just like another cold or flu bug, but then life started changing so quickly with new information coming out once or twice a day. I decided to start writing about my experiences during this year in my journal as I knew this was something I would want to remember, share with my family and perhaps help someone in the process. Being in the medical field myself, I have watched how science has evolved regarding the pandemic as more information was learned. Whether or not you believe this is a hoax or whether or not this is really a problem, writing down you thoughts and experiences helps you personally to solidify your feelings and may help one of your descendants down the line in the process.

Writing about your experiences while in lock down or isolation can provide you an outlet and also provide insights to future generations of the reality of this time in the worlds history. Each country will or has been experiencing the pandemic based upon their unique locations, the government recommendations and/or restrictions, the impact of the pandemic on the economy, etc.  You may want to consider how your felt when you first heard and felt about the pandemic; how the pandemic has affected your life and the life of your family economically, socially; how did your work life change: did you start a new hobby; and what things have changed in your life since it's beginning.

Using your journal to keep records of your genealogical research by creating a page for each person you are researching, where you have searched, what you have found, what you have proved correct or eliminated.

Benefits of journal writing:

  1. Journaling/writing can help provide prospective and encouragement by noting how the challenges were overcome or dealt with even if the outcome was not what you wished. 
  2. Journaling can help you know you can do hard things and be successful despite the hard things. 
  3. As you journal you may reflect on what you have learned about yourself, how you have changed and/or how your world has changed
  4. Possibly discover blessings you have been blessed with during this challenging time. 
  5. It can help you sort out your priorities and organize your life
  6. Inspire creativity
  7. Help to relieve stress and anxiety
  8. Goal setting

Journals come in various types and sizes including: a study journal, art journal, weight loss journal, scripture study journal, work journal, photo journal, bullet journals, and/or a life experience journal. Journals can be on single or multiple sheets of paper, a bound journal like the example in the picture above, a spiral bound journal, or you can journal with your computer in a Word Doc or something similar, or using an app for journaling. Journaling is for all ages; children can create their journal with their artwork; teenagers and young adults can journal about their experiences with friends, family, teachers. 

If you am not sure where to start or need inspiration, all you need to do is to google journal prompts and you will find numerous websites providing you ideas.

The great thing about journaling is there are so many ways to journal and there is no right or wrong way to write. No one will grade you on it; it is just your thoughts and ideas. One word of caution, if you decide to have an electronic journal, remember to always, always, always to back up your writing in case you have hard drive failure.  Happy writing!

Friday, May 01, 2020

COVID 19 Pandemic and Genealogy

It has been a long time since I have posted anything as I started a new job back in 2017 and have been busy learning my new position. You may wonder about the title of this post and it's relationship to COVID 19 and why I am now posting. Let me explain. With everyone staying isolated/quarantined in their homes due to the COVID 19 pandemic, there is a number hours to fill especially if like me, you have been furloughed or laid off from work.

I have done several tasks/chores I wanted to complete within my home that I have put off from doing because of work. Well, I have accomplished many of these things and have been feeling a yearn to do something else. Now what?

A fun option for me and possibly for you would be the 21-day Connection Experiment/Challenge.  The challenge was initiated by two women by the name of Olivia and Sydney. They have created various 21-day Challenge calendars based up on what you would like to focus on.  The calendars include: Family Plan, Teenage Plan, About me Plan, "My Tree is All Done" Plan, and Build Your Own Plan. The calendars are being shared at no cost to anyone.

Each day provides you ideas on how to focus on your family, yourself or others by completing a simple and not so simple task. I have chosen to Build My Own Plan.

Today, I started by texting my siblings and asking them to participate with me by responding to a question once a week about something simple. My first question to them was: What qualities in your friend do you admire most? My answer was short and sweet: I admire in my friends kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty and integrity.

You could do this challenge through email, texting, Marco Polo, FaceTime, What'sApp. etc.  You just make the challenges your own if you are doing the Build My Own Plan.

They have developed a questionaire with questions about how you are feeling when you first start the experiment. Then after 21 days, you complete the questionnaire again to see if there has been a change. The thought behind this experiment is to see how working on genealogy can change your life. The questionnaires are not mandatory to complete the challenge, but it would be fun to see the results. If you would like to join in, click here to get your calendar and to learn more.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Danish Family Search

I don't know about you, but researching for your Danish ancestors can be challenging and finding records and being able to understand what you are seeing can be a daunting task.  I have found a website called Danish Family Search, not to be confused with the FamilySearch. From what I have read and looked at online, Danish Family Search is not connected to FamilySearch. The Danish Family Search began as a result of Marianne and Dan Nicolaysen's search for their own family names. The couple has a background in IT and developed the site to make it easier to search for family names. They also have registered users who assist with transcription. The site is wonderful and would be worth taking a look at if you are looking for your Danish Ancestors. The site contains Church records, Census records, Military Levying records, and School protocols. You can use the site in Danish or English. The site has a search tool and also allows you to click on the region your ancestors are from on the map of Denmark on the home page.  I found it simple to use and fun. I searched for records of one my ancestors Carl Alexander Albert Christiansen and found him in the 1880 with his family. In the census, I found his name to be Carl Albert Alexander Christiansen. The order of the two middle names has been an unknown for some time and finding a records a little closer to his birth date might give one an idea of the proper order. Either way, it was fun to find the family. If you would like to search the Danish FamilySearch, click this link.