Friday, August 9, 2013

Continuing a Tradition: Forgetting My Blogoversary

Almost.  If it hadn't been for Grant Davis of The Stephen Sherwood Letters, who was kind enough to leave a congratulatory comment on this blog, I would have forgotten my blogoversary.

My relative lack of blogging activity notwithstanding, I have not abandoned genealogy and it has not abandoned me.  As you can see from my previous post, I recently broke through a brick wall.  I am taking this as a sign not to let my research go dormant, and to keep plugging away, even if it is just a bit every night.

My husband and I have reserved hotel rooms in Richmond for NGS 2014.

We have a trip planned next month to my favorite ancestral stomping ground, the Greenville-Anderson area of South Carolina.  We are even discussing possible future research trips to Dallas, Texas and Greene County, Illinois.

And even when I am not doing much of anything, this blog (as well as my website, Greta's Genealogy) continue to work for me.  So while I miss the regular interaction with readers that accompanies regular posting, the blog is still doing what it was created to do.

Many thanks to those of you who have "stayed tuned."  There are a few posts in the planning....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gen Zen

The best results often happen when you aren’t even trying....

There is no other way to describe it. It’s the Zen of genealogy. 

But I should back up and explain. During my one year plus of self-imposed exile from active genealogy research, I have become pathetic. My research has become pathetic, not to mention almost nonexistent. 

My research muscles are flabby. And I have come to passively accept the existence of my many brick walls. Not brick walls many generations back, but early brick walls, many at the great-great-grandparent level and even one at the great-grandparent level.

 But still, I flit around aimlessly some evenings. I check out blogs on Feedly. A couple of nights ago I checked my genealogy mail, found a Family Search newsletter that links to new databases on family Search. I saw some databases for Vermont, and thought about checking out the Floyds in these records. Hey, look at all the hits I got.

But I needed to have a better idea of specific locations in Vermont to search. I decided to get that list of the names of the siblings of my great-great grandfather George Floyd, one of those brick walls that I just accept as a permanent part of my family history landscape. I thought I’d try to find a sibling who stayed in Vermont, and start with those locations.

So I looked around in Ancestry, starting with George Floyd’s two sisters. No luck with Harriet - she ended up in Wisconsin. But for Rachel, who married a Wilkins, I had better luck. Searching under both Rachel Floyd and Rachel Wilkins, I turned up a bunch of documents in the Vermont Vital Records database: a record of Rachel’s marriage to Nehemiah Wilkins, death records for a couple of young children, and ... a death record for Rachel.


I was not looking for this. But I found it, or more accurately, I found them: Rachel’s parents. My great-great grandfather George’s parents: William Floyd and Betsey Wilson. And even a place of birth for Rachel: Monkton (there’s the location!).

 A brick wall came tumbling down, and I wasn’t even trying.

 [One of my favorite Geneabloggers, Cynthia Shenette, has a blog named Heritage Zen. Wise lady.]

[I must also give a huge amount of credit in this endeavor to two very generous Floyd researchers, Rich and Randy, who a couple of years ago got in touch with me and provided some wonderful old Floyd family letters, including that list of George Floyd’s siblings. Those materials and specifically that list made this discovery possible.]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Checking In

Long time, no write.  Thank you to readers and followers who have stuck with me during an online absence that has lasted longer than I thought - my last post was in 2012!

I’m still doing genealogy (just not as much) and still following other blogs.

My research:  Still plugging away on the last family in my “all descendants” research for all of my known great-great grandparents.  Still entering information, one person at a time, in my family trees on Ancestry.  This approach has turned up some interesting information that I hope to write about eventually.  Doing a little bit of transcribing of documents from my 2010 Greenville research trip and hope to write about that as well. Still trying to tabulate and analyze my DNA results from FamilyTree DNA, 23andMe, and Ancestry DNA (see whine #1, below).  

I attended the Fairfax Genealogical Society’s Spring Conference and had a great time.  Continued my “winning streak”:  this time a free book from Arphax Publishers.  Judy Russell, and Dear Myrtle and daughter Carrie were some of the speakers - wonderful presentations!

We are starting to plan a fall vacation in Greenville, South Carolina.  I will do some more research in Greenville and also plan to go over to Anderson County for research.  Not that I have absorbed all of the research I did last time, but I just needed an excuse to get back to the Greenville area.  I also plan to attend the NGS conference in Richmond in 2014.

Some disappointments:

1.  “Tweaking” done by the various DNA companies that results in ... results dropping out, as in, “Oh, this person matched me on the Smith line, but now the Company (Ancestry/FamilyTreeDNA/23andMe) has rejiggered the results and they have disappeared from my list of matches.”  Perhaps the intention really is to fine-tune the matches, but it is pretty difficult to map, calculate, and do statistical studies/spreadsheet comparisons, etc. when the results keep changing.

2.  The disappearance of Google Reader.   I’m sure that plenty of whining has been done on this subject, so I won’t add anything.  Thanks to all who forged ahead, found alternatives and wrote about them.  I have already migrated to Feedly.

I have noticed that I am not alone in my “involuntary” exile, and hope that my fellow bloggers who have also been smacked up side the head by the demands of real life will also be able to return to the blogosphere.