Monday, February 11, 2013

Finding lost relatives

It's pretty exciting to find someone researching your same families. It's even more exciting when that person is related to you! After "meeting" a cousin on and discovering that our grandmothers were sisters, we decided to create a Facebook page for all the other relatives we found. My new cousin has a cousin with 13 siblings. As you can imagine, that means a LOT of family added to our group!! I think we're up to about 70 now. Many of the group are also researching our family. There's a lot of good photo sharing and fun newspaper articles discovered. It's a good group and it was great to meet a cousin MY age interested in genealogy!

Since the creation of that family group, I have joined NUMEROUS other genealogy pages on Facebook. Amid my travels to various genealogy seminars and classes, I've also discovered that many genealogists scoff at Facebook. "Social media" has a bad reputation for many of the older crowd. I can't understand how it could NOT be a great tool for any genealogist. It's free, it's a chance to network with other like-minded individuals, and if you join groups for the area you are researching, you are more likely to meet a relative or even find someone who lives near your research area and is willing to go look up something at the library for you or take that photo of a gravestone for you! I'm researching in areas I am not even remotely close to, and without the help of some of these people I would never have gotten as far as I have! I even had a brick wall blown wide open by a chance posting on a Facebook genealogy page. (That will be another post)

If the goal of genealogy is to network and share, what better way than social networking?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Musings from a tired genealogist

One of the things I have learned is that there is NEVER enough time for genealogy research. Maybe that is one of the reasons it is such a hobby for the older generation - they are retired and have more time! If you work 40 hours or more per week, when do you have time to research? Especially if you add kids to the mix.   

Another problem I have that eats up time is that every time I sit down and try to research something, I get sidetracked and end up researching something else entirely. Everyone I talk to has the same problem, so I don't feel so alone. Organization seems to be something else that everyone is missing. Feel free to leave your favorite organization tips in the comments section, I would love to hear them! 

I am considering creating two separate blogs, this one for the discussion of things that pertain to the age dichotomy seen in genealogy; and one to share my research work. What do you all suggest? Mix the two together or keep them separate? 

What do you want to see discussed? How can we make genealogy more relevant to a younger generation? 

I hope you are having a fantastic week!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

In the beginning...

Hello! I am new to blogging, so bear with me as I figure out how to add all the fancy bells and whistles. Thanks for reading and I hope you continue on this journey with me.

I was inspired to start a blog by listening to the Genealogy Gems podcast, by Lisa Louise Cooke. ( I'm sure many of you out there were similarly inspired. This woman is an amazing speaker and a wealth of information and I've decided I want to be just like her. I had the opportunity to hear one of her lectures at a recent expo, and I wish I'd gotten the chance to speak with her, but it was the last class of the day and when I purchased her book and remarked about how much energy she had, her husband (whom I was buying the book from) mentioned that they'd been up since 3 AM to get to the expo, so I decided I would not go back and bother her with gushing about her class like I'd planned. :)  I wasn't able to attend the second day of the expo, but I know I will catch her again at another seminar and maybe then I can meet her. If you have the chance to attend one of her classes, please do. You won't be disappointed!

I have been doing genealogy research intensively for the past 2 years, and one of the things that I have noticed is that this is typically NOT a young person's hobby. And to those who are passionate, it is more than just a "hobby". The age gap doesn't bother me, I've always identified with people older than me anyway, and I am loving all of the new friends I am making. What I don't love is the comments I always get at expos and seminars - "Oh aren't you lucky that you have started so early!" Well let me just tell you, while I may LOOK like I am in my 20s, I am not, and while someone in their 30s SHOULD be lucky to be starting so "early," I am the exception to that rule. I lost both my parents when I was in my 20s. At that time, they were both in their 60s - mom was almost 70 when she passed away. My dad was the 2nd youngest of 12, and as of right now only 1 of his siblings remains, the youngest of the family. Recently I lost several of my oldest cousins, as well. There aren't many people left that remember my grandparents, let alone anyone who knew or remembers anyone farther back. On Mom's side, I am lucky that all but one of her siblings are still alive, and that a group of family members collaborated on an amazing family tree back in the 1960s. I keep finding more and more family on that tree that are interested in the family tree and have been working on expanding it for several years. With that in mind, I have not worked on it personally in many months, preferring to stick to my dad's tree, which has never been done, with the exception of work done by an aunt (by marriage) that seems to have gone missing. She helped me 17 years ago with a school project and I know she has done years of research, but the only work anyone could find was on her family and her 2nd husband's family.

With that being said, my goal for this blog is to offer my view of the genealogy world and how it can improve to embrace the younger generation, and to impart my passion for all things historical in the hopes that more young people will realize the importance of learning about the past - before it all goes away.