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NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV_

Or in other words, what have I gotten myself into? National Blog Posting Month is a challenge that I’m hoping I have enough words to fill, because there are other challenges that I haven’t done so well at 🙂

During November, I pledge to write a post each day to at least one of my three blogs. Hopefully, I can find enough inspiration to post to more than one, but realistically, I’ll only promise to post to at least one each day. Since AncesTrees is my primary blog, this is where I’ll be writing most often, which means that I’ll be trying hard to find something interesting to say about my ancestors, or genealogy, or family trees, or cemeteries or any of the dozens of tags I’ve attached to this blog. The hardest part, is of course to keep it interesting.

And I pledge to read posts from at least one other blog each day. I’m going to really enjoy this part of the challenge because there are so many fascinating people blogging about everything imaginable. In addition to learning something new each day, I’ll be seeing new styles of writing and ways of thinking! Talk about broadening my horizons, and all without leaving the comfort of my desk chair.

So thanks for hanging with me during the month of November, and if you are participating in NaBloPoMo as well, let me know and I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well.

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I’ve got to say I’m inspired by the camaraderie in the genealogical community. Most of those I’ve reached out to with questions about shared ancestors have responded. And they have been helpful, whether or not there is an actual family connection.

In fact, I am so impressed that I’ve decided to reach out to at least one of my GenFriends each day. If nothing else, just to keep in touch. I know we may never meet in person, but that doesn’t matter. These people are special to me.

They are the comforting souls at the other end of my message or email or phone call who understand a brick wall or an amazing discovery or double first cousins or disappearing ancestors. They just “get it.”

And I appreciate that … especially the fact that they take the time to respond, however brief. Some even go way beyond that, sending me CDs of information that I would never have guessed existed. And there are those in Find A Grave who have driven miles to document and photograph graves of my ancestors living far away from me.

For my part, I am trying to be just as good a GenFriend to other genealogists as they are to me. So if you have research questions about any of the branches on our family tree (see Word Cloud above) bring them on. I’ll try to help!

Just wondering, how do you reach out to your GenFriends?

When I read this outstanding post by Katie Noah Gibson, I was excited at the possibilities. Of course,  I immediately thought of mapping my family tree.

My plan is twofold: on a fundamental level, I will get a ginormous map of the world and stick tiny color-coded labels representing each direct-line ancestor.

The second stage of my plan is more complex and would probably require individual maps. It involves tracing each of those people as they moved about in their lives. I envision a criss-crossing of lines and colors which will be a visual feast of family group movement.

I’m expecting to learn so much more about my ancestors by mapping their lives. In addition, this process will no doubt inspire new discoveries, new questions, new opportunities to engage other family members in leafing out our family tree.

I’d like to know: if mapping your family tree sounds like a great idea, let me know your plan and share your progress.

Ancestry.com offers a useful service called Member Connect. This gives you the option of finding others who are searching for the same ancestors you are and reaching out to them. Super helpful tool for genealogists who are looking to maximize their scope of family knowledge.

An email can be the beginning of a great collaboration, new discoveries and breaking down brick walls. However,  sometimes, that hopeful email can go unnoticed, unread or simply ignored.

Of course, I know that sometimes those who have planted a family tree might be busy or may have forgotten about it altogether. And then, I’m sure that there are trees out there whose owners have passed on, with no one to take up the challenge to cultivate or leaf out their family tree.

I only know that when I send out an email request for help, I am full of great expectations.  And when I receive such an email, I am so excited that someone has made the effort to make a connection. To me, that’s what life is all about.

I’d like to know: how do you make connections with other researchers?

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