Friday, April 28, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

X is for X Marks the Spot - 2017 A to Z Challenge

Same title as last year’s X post, but I want to point out that there are new enhancements to Google Earth.

Here’s James Tanner’s recentpost about it.

And here’s a link to my Xpost from last year.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

W is for Why - 2017 A to Z Challenge


Why?  That is the most difficult question that arises in researching family history. With some exceptions, we can usually answer the other four Ws: Who, What, When and Where.  Finding those still leaves with a big empty space in the Why column.

“Why?” is the most interesting part of the search.

Why did they migrate?
Why did they settle where they did?
Why would a young man in the south enlist in the Union Army?
Why did a parent abandon family?
Why didn’t they finish school?
Why did they die so young, or so suddenly?

Why? Why, Why?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

V is for Verify - 2017 A to Z Challenge

It is so exciting to find a family member in a database!  Perhaps you find a gem in someone else’s online family tree, or an ancestor’s name pops up on a passenger list, or birth or death record.  WOW!

However tempting it may be to take what you find at face value, it is important to verify all information. Check everything you can check.




Do your best to make sure that you’re not following a false positive.

Disclaimer:  I copied this from last year's A to Z Challenge. It is always pertinent.

U is for Underwater - 2017 A to Z Challenge

Underwater is not where we are supposed to be most of the time. I suspect that most of us know the feeling of drowning in obligations or details or fears or ……

Being overwhelmed is really what I mean but I needed a “U” word for today’s A to Z post. What happens to me when I’m overwhelmed is that my brain seems to shut down – or maybe it’s the opposite, my mind just spins out of control.

Going back to the underwater metaphor, what’s to do to get back to the surface without getting the bends?

Step away for a bit.
Breathe. Read a book, Take a walk. Go out to lunch. Watch a video.  Play an engaging game. Anything that has nothing to do with whatever is nagging at you.

Pick one thing to tackle.
Preferably one of your easier issues.  Focus on that one thing. Put everything else on a temporary back burner. This concentrated focus helps get things back on track.

This usually works for me, but I often need to remind myself.  You’re correct if you’re guessing that I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment.  Think I’ll go read a book.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Time Machine - 2017 A to Z Challenge

Time Machine – a family historian’s fantasy.  We read history, old newspapers, and we pore over
maps. All these give us hints about our ancestors’ lives. We know what kinds of clothes they wore, what their options were for transportation, and for home furnishings. We can read about the important issues of the day.  But we can’t know how they coped on a day to day basis.

What were their personalities? How did they entertain themselves? What were the family dynamics?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to observe their day-to-day lives! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for Substitute - 2017 A to Z Challenge

My most recent blog posts have been substitutes for “real” posts. The A to Z Challenge has been an opportunity to post to my blog at a time when I really have nothing much to say.

I’ve been in waiting mode – waiting for FHL films to arrive so that I can continue my current project.  I’m not good at waiting.  Most people would use this time to work on getting things organized – and that was my intent. 

But instead, I focused on coming up with a post for each letter.  Some of these substitutes have been better than others, but they keep me occupied while I am waiting.

Still waiting.