Saturday, July 26, 2008

Write Down Your Life

So tonight I went to my boyfriend's cousin's 30th birthday party. It was a lot of fun. I really do enjoy being around such wonderful people and all the little kids.

Then I realized that I don't have any of the old traditions that my grandparents and great grandparents used to do. I don't know when they got together with family (or IF they got together with family). I don't know how they celebrated birthdays or the way they celebrated weddings. I don't know any Christmas traditions or first day of school traditions. I have none of that.

So it got me thinking - maybe I should write down the little things that happen in my family life so that later, when I'm gone, my ancestors know what life was like. I mean - this is a rather amazing time. In the 20th century a lone so many things happened: 2 World Wars, The Great Depression, political scandals, genocide, civil rights movements, MAJOR advancements with technology, medical advancements, the list goes on and on.

And to think - I LIVED through some of that. Mind you, I can't remember everything, but I can certainly remember a lot.

I remember exactly where I was when September 11th happened (My very first day at my brand new middle school - living in a town right next to the Los Angeles Harbor - the second or third largest harbor in the world and a place that many people suspected could be next). I remember exactly where I was when we entered the War on Terror in Afghanistan/Iraq (On a school field trip in Yosemite). I remember learning about Stem Cell research (My cousin with scleroderma received a stem cell transplant). I even remember just a few months ago - voting for the first time, in a primary, with a black man and a woman on the ballot. Wow - and I still haven't written all of this down why?

Honestly - as morbid as it sounds we won't all be here forever. And even if our bodies are, in this day and age where so many people come down with some form of dementia in their older years - you might not be able to say it. Yet, I am not writing this down. And a lot of these important events that I remember are going to be historical.

Someday, my grandchildren will ask me about September 11th and the war that followed, just like I asked my grandfather about World War II and his military service that followed. I want to be able to have something to say.

So I guess the bottom line of this blog, is to sit back and take a long thought about the questions you would ask your current self 10, 20, even 30 years from now. And then, I suggest you answer them, in writing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Family Newsletter Update

So...a little update on my family newsletter:

Well it is definitely going interestingly...okay I'll admit it. It isn't going well.

I decided that I would create 2 slightly different versions for the 2 branches of my family tree that do not really communicate together (One version is for my maternal grandfather's side of the family and the other is for my maternal grandmother's side of the family).

Well as I tried brainstorming ideas for what to write, I realized how little information I had. I figured that for each version of the newsletter I would highlight one ancestor and give some information on that person. I was hoping that people would then get inspired to maybe call or email me and tell me about a story that they have to share.

Well highlighting one ancestor is a good idea - only problem is it's my only idea. I don't have any other ideas...

Not having any ideas is sure making things difficult.

I have my aunt and cousin coming down from Seattle for a conference and hopefully I can bounce some ideas off of them. Maybe that'll help.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Creating a Family Newsletter

Hi everyone,
So after some long thinking over many weeks, I've decided to finally face my fear and attempt to create a family newsletter that can be mailed out for all my family to see.
I've kinda tried to do something similiar before except I had it all on the internet. Needless to say, it did not go well because many of my family members are not computer literate. So after no one reading it for months, I finally gave up.

So now, I figure that I will create one that I can mail it out. That way, everyone can see it.

As a genealogist who is so incredibly interested in everything genealogy, it is typical for me to forget that not everyone else is the same. Not everyone else feels a rush when they find that census record that they have been looking so hard for. Not everyone feels on top of the world when they find a maiden name of an ancestor. I understand that.

But at the same time, with my family scattered all over the country, I would like us to all keep in some contact somehow.

What better way to keep contact than to have something that connects us all - like our history?

However, I don't really know much about creating a newsletter like this. So I started searching through old mailing lists and message boards and it seems to be a rather big thing. I had no idea that some people write 8 page newsletters, front and back. I cannot even imagine that!

I have a few ideas that I am considering and trying out. I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Hunting!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Get Your Organization Supplies Now!

Hey everyone,
So today I was doing some school supply shopping and I came up with a great realization.

I know there are so many people out there who need to get their genealogy organized extremely badly. Well, with school supplies like binders, dividers, file folders, highlighters, etc. all on sale - it is definitely time to stock up on some organizing supplies!

You can't beat buying dividers for 50 cents a piece or buying binders (the sturdy view kind) at 2 for 4 dollars. You can't beat it!

Alrighty...that is it.

Happy hunting yall!

General Genealogy Tips

So I started asking some of my genealogy friends about the number one tip they would give to a beginning genealogist. I have gathered them here so that you can look them over and hopefully not make the same rookie mistakes that a lot of us fellow genealogists have done and if you are a seasoned genealogist then these might just serve as some good reminders!

1.) The number one thing that everyone told me was "Cite Your Sources". Everyone kept telling me various stories, some way worse than others. I made this mistake the first two years or so of my research. I kept taking everything that I saw as the truth and I never questioned a single thing. I cannot tell you how much of a HUGE mistake that was. I am still paying for it!

2.) Alot of people also mentioned this advice, which I think a lot of people don't follow for one reason or another: Interview Your Living Relatives. Your relatives are a wealth of knowledge. They are the first stepping stone to get you started. And don't forget to ask them to look in the attic for baby books, old letters, pictures, military dogtags, etc. Relatives hold a wealth of information.

3.) When you ask a genealogy what one of their genealogical problems/issues are - pretty much everyone besides the neat freak will tell you this: Keeping Organized. This is a huge challenge for almost everyone in every part of life. There are a ton of options and methods when it comes to this - so the bottom line is to pick one that works for you and stick with it until it no longer works for you. Because if you don't - you're house will soon be covered in piles.

4.) Many people didn't mention this but I think it is still rather important: Use the Resources Around You. For example, many public libraries offer free access to and Heritage Quest. Some even have wonderful genealogy sections. If you are lucky enough to live near Salt Lake City (A genealogists Mecca) then for heavens sake - go the the Family History Library over there. Join a mailing list - you might find that there are a lot of nice people out there willing to do a free lookup for you. Use igoogle or yahoo or anything like that to organize all of your blogs onto one place. There are a million options just like these - all you gotta do is look for them.

Alrighty - so that is it for now. I just wanted to share some of these tips because I feel that they are really important and rather helpful.

Also - if you

Welcome To My Very First Blogging Post!!

Hi everyone,
Welcome to my very first blogging post! For those of you who don't know me already from Youtube (Visit my videos -, I am a genealogist from California who wants to share my genealogy with the world while also helping you discover your roots!
I've been researching my genealogy for about 5 or 6 years now (Since I was about 13 years old). I discovered genealogy through my aunt when she started messing around with As time went by, she had less and less time to devote to genealogy and I had plenty of time to waste. So sure enough - I became addicted.

Alright - well that is it for now. I am going to be redoing the background on my youtube site - and hopefully create a nice background on here eventually too.

Until then - Happy Hunting!!