Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Research Week: 25 Jan 2015

Despite some Short Attention Span Theater – flitting from one family to another – in my research, I can call this a productive and interesting research week. 

Though I am not participating in the Geneabloggers’ “Do Over,” I did go back to revisit my research (hence the flitting) on closer generations (grandparents, aunts, and uncles) and found quite a few “new to me” things:

- One of my aunts by marriage committed suicide
- I finally learned the maiden name of the second wife of one of my uncles
- I learned more about the German background of an uncle’s wife
- Discovered that my paternal grandfather had filled out a World War II registration form.
- Found a picture of an aunt for whom I had no pictures showing her as an adult; the picture also included her second husband and two sons.
- Entered a lot of 1940 census information.

Although I am continuing to build up my 23andMe family tree on My Heritage, I have decided not to subscribe to My Heritage, since at this point it does not look like there is a lot I can get out of the documents they have.  I have to admit I was tempted when I saw that one item was a death notice for my paternal grandfather (I do not have an obituary or death notice for him), but I suspect it was just a brief notice.

Two of my favorite blog posts this week are:

“Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find aGrave, too?” on the Young and Savvy Genealogists blog (it includes a hilarious and alarming story about David Tennant in the shower – knew that would get your attention!).

Also this one on the Personal Past Meditations blog on “link rot” and “citation rot”:  “Going,Going…Saved.”

And here is a new blog that I have been enjoying – this author definitely has some colorful ancestors! -  Leaves on my Family Tree.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


2014 was obviously not a banner year for me, either in terms of genealogy blogging (I wrote a total of one post) or in terms of genealogy research.  My main genealogical activity consisted of keeping up with my DNA results and matches on FamilyTree DNA, 23andMe, and Ancestry (whose adamant refusal to add a chromosome browser is frustrating and discouraging).  In May I attended the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia, but my attendance at lectures was greatly reduced by ill health (which has improved a great deal since then).  In October I attended Fairfax Genealogical Society’s Fall Fair, featuring presentations by John Philip Colletta, and was inspired to get back to serious genealogical research.

Even in the area of reading genealogy blogs my activity was much reduced, especially since a number of my genealogy blogging friends had also cut down their posting activity.  I did manage to start following at least two (new to me) genealogy blogs that have provided fascinating reading:  Hoosier Daddy? and The Legal Genealogist.

2015 shows a bit more promise, however.

There was one enormous (sort of genealogy-related) development that happened in 2014:  my husband and I bought a second house in Greenville, South Carolina, the destination of a genealogy research trip we made in 2010 (described in several of my 2010 posts).  Not only did my husband and I fall in love with the place, our daughters became almost as obsessed as we are when we stopped in Greenville on our way back from the National Genealogical Society Conference in Charleston, South Carolina in May 2011.  Since I am still working, I can only make a few trips a year to Greenville, but eventually I plan to make it my “base” for Southeastern US (SC, NC, GA, TN, and KY) research.

My research has started to return to “almost normal” – it may be only a few minutes on weeknights, but I can usually shoehorn at least a few hours of research into my schedule on the weekends.  Which brings up some of my current research….

The “Ew” Factor

The current line I am researching involves a few pretty scuzzy characters (who shall remain nameless to protect … I’m not sure what); these are not direct ancestors (though there is plenty of scandal in my direct line as well), but part of my “all descendants of” research.  A number of the men show up in various prison and reform school lists.  One guy in particular inspires the “Ew” response.  He abandoned his wife and their nine children (and did not take responsibility for the children after her death in 1931), appears with two different women on the 1930 census, and eventually decided in the case of one of these two women that he preferred her 15-year-old daughter (his step-daughter), with whom he eventually had a number of children.  He is shown on the 1940 census living with this woman, the 18-year-old stepdaughter, and what I can only assume are two of his children with this stepdaughter (listed as his grandchildren).

Other research-related activities at this time are:  trying to get my genealogy materials and files better organized (not exactly a genealogy “do over,” but still pretty labor-intensive) and working on my family tree on MyHeritage, since 23andMe family trees will now be hosted there.

“Real life” may sometimes interfere, but I will always find my way back to my ancestors.