Monday, December 28, 2009

What Are Your Genealogical Priorities?

With New Years Day right around the corner, there is lots of talk in the air about resolutions. Some of us cringe when we hear the word, others of us get excited for the challenge. Some of us refuse to make any resolutions and some like to call them "goals". Whatever your preference in dealing with New Years Resolutions, I highly suggest that you at least take a look back on your genealogy progress from 2009. Are you satisfied with your progress? Or do you wish you had done more?

The key to being satisfied with your genealogical work is to make sure that your genealogical tasks are reflective of your genealogical priorities. But what are your priorities?

Each person's answer(s) will be slightly different and the reasons for those answers will be different. The answers come from why you do genealogy in the first place. There are no right or wrong answers.

So for 2010, I am challenging you to....
  • Really examine that priority list to make sure it goes with what matters to you - and that you aren't listing things just because you think you are "supposed" to.
  • Make a list of tasks that go with those priorities. Don't be afraid to be a little ambitious and list some things that intimidate you or are a little difficult.
  • Now for each of those tasks, break them down. Make each task into smaller, manageable pieces.
  • Ready for the fun part? Give yourself rewards a long the way. Those rewards will give you some motivation.
So what does your priority list look like? What are some of those tasks you are going to take on in 2010? Feel free to leave your answers in a comment or write a separate blog post and post the link in the comments section. I'm excited for your answers!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Twelve Days Of Christmas

I saw Kimberly Powells post on the 12 days of Christmas - genealogy style. Then I saw Randy Seaver's version of the 12 days of Christmas - genealogy style. So I was inspired to write my own version.

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

12 Old Family Photos

11 New Family Stories

10 Pension Records

9 Census Records

8 Land Deeds and Patents

7 Lost Cousins

6 Message Board Postings

5 Family Bibles

4 Newspaper Obituaries

3 Draft Cards

2 Society Memberships

....And One Complete GEDCOM database!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Setting Goals For 2010

With the holiday season right upon us, all of us are running around like crazy people! Between going to the mall to shop for gifts, cleaning the house because the relatives are coming over, putting up the mass amounts of decorations, and trying to get all of that holiday baking done - we are all pretty overwhelmed with busy. In my case, I was neck deep in finals and just trying to survive the remainder of the semester.

But this doesn't even leave time for genealogy for most of us. Yet, I am shocked at how some of you Geneabloggers get so much done! (My theory is that some of you have clones...).

Since I've been out of school, I've been enjoying lots of genealogy catch up time (and lots of much needed sleep). But I have so many genealogy things to do and so little time to do it. So I've decided to make some clear goals for 2010:

  1. Break down the George Rogers brick wall once and for all. Not only would this give me huge satisfaction since he is my most challenging ancestor - but this would also make my Aunt Deb very happy since George Rogers is the one that she wants to know about the most.
  2. Research back to a Revolutionary War ancestor. I have two *probable* ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary war, but I am having a lot of difficulty in proving the relationships and getting documents.
  3. I want to start some research on my boyfriend's family tree. I've heard so many stories, so now it is time to
  4. I want to start telling my little cousin, Audrie more about our ancestors. She is only 7, but I want her to know more about her ancestors and get her acquainted with seeing old pictures and hearing old stories.
  5. I want to connect with more of you genealogists! I love talking to you, learning from you, and joking around with you guys. You are all so much fun!
  6. My presentation at the SCGS Jamboree 2010 in Burbank, California is going to be AWESOME. I want it to be educational, fun, and interactive. My goal is to have everyone walking away with a smile on their face.
2010 is going to be a big year for me. I'm going to be graduating with an A.A. degree in June. Then I will be doing a genealogy presentation for the first time the same weekend. Finally, in August I will be turning 21 - and be starting school again at a university! Yep - 2010 is going to be a good year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BIG Announcement

Hey Everyone - I've been waiting to tell you guys a BIG announcement.

So reserve the date: Friday, June 11, 2010. I'll not only be at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree - I'll be a speaker!! *Cue the Fun Dance Music*

On Friday, June 11, 2010 I'll be presenting a class called "Using Your Computer's Video Camera". I am so excited about this opportunity. This is going to be a fun and interactive class to help you learn how to use your video camera to benefit your research.

First off - I just want to say that this almost feels unreal. I am in awe and shock that I've been asked to do this class - however I feel so much love and support from all of my genealogy friends that I know I do this. I have learned so much from all of you and learned a lot about myself.

Secondly, I did the biggest genealogy happy dance EVER! This is such a dream come true - especially since I've been day dreaming of what it would be like to speak to a group of lecturers at a gathering, although I never imagined anything as cool as this. I've just never known how to get started and I told myself that I had other priorities to deal with right now, like school and my own research. I also told myself that I had plenty of time to make that dream a reality and possibly a nice side hobby during college and after. But with all of that daydreaming, I never imagined that it would become a reality.

Thirdly, now that I am on the path of my dream, I want to apologize to my family and friends because I can't stop talking about this. I've been asking them for their opinions and ideas and doing brainstorms with them already - and honestly it is only going to get much, much worse. My wonderful boyfriend put it perfectly: "Wow - combining your two favorite things: teaching and genealogy. The only way this could get better for you is if you taught the genealogy of Harry Potter". I must admit, he is very true. (But seeing as Harry Potter is a fictional character made up by the genius J.K Rowling, unfortunately, that dream is not likely to become a reality).

Finally, I can't wait to see all of you in person again at the Jamboree! I had such a blast with you guys last year. We are going to need to make some pretty cool plans for hanging out between sessions and do that Geneabloggers dinner again.

Just remember - I can't sit at the bar for drinks so lets make plans to sit at a table so I can order a Shirley Temple.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google A House

Today I read Randy's post about how he found information (including pictures) of the home his mother and grandmother lived in by searching for the address in Google, I was inspired - and I knew exactly what home I wanted to search for.

Last month, my Great Auntie Bub (Elizabeth Harney Pieren) passed away. She lived a long and full life, but it still has shaken my family up quite a bit. We all have so many wonderful memories of her, and we are all so blessed to have known her.

And all of us know her house. It was the house that my great grandparents bought. It is in the Maple Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington on a corner lot. It is a two story house with only one bathroom (only a tub - no shower). It has one bedroom downstairs, and 3 upstairs (you have to walk through one to get to the next, since there aren't any hallways upstairs).

Even though I am now a young adult, I still can't put my finger on what makes that house so magical. Maybe it has something to do with the history of the house (built in 1911) and the variety of people who have lived in the house throughout it's history (up to 17 at one point!). Or maybe it is the garden that used to be outside that my Great Uncle Chris maintained while he was alive. Maybe it was the all the old clothing, beds, photo albums, and odds and ends that could be found upstairs. Truthfully, I think it is a combination of all of these.

My cousins and I were only allowed upstairs during the summer, when that house would host the Annual Ping Pong Tournament and party. My uncles would fly up from California for a few weeks and sleep in the upstairs bedroom. My cousins and I would spend hours up there - exploring the old vanity (which had more bottles of perfume than a department store), exploring old coats (we found money in there once!), or just using our imaginations.

We would pretend that we were top secret spies and we were to protect a government party. We would pretend that we worked in a salon or that we were fashion designers. But the best game of all was hide and seek (the closets seemed like the never-ending wardrobe from that book, Narnia)

Point is, this house means a lot to me and my family. It has been years since I've seen it in person but I want share what it looks like. Click here to see a picture of the house, thanks to