thegenealogygirl


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Courage To Seek the Man Who Left

 

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Vince, December 1956

I have one living biological grandparent.

Vince.

That is all I have ever called him.  I didn’t decide to call him that, my Mom, her Mom, and her siblings did.  I don’t know when they decided to do that.  I’m sure they must have called him Dad at one point.  But for my entire lifetime, he has been Vince.

As a young child, I was completely unaware of his existence.  I’m not sure when that changed.  But when I was 16 years old I met Vince for the first time.

Meeting wasn’t his idea or mine.  It wasn’t even my Mom’s idea.  It was Uncle Dan & Aunt Barbara’s idea.

They tricked him.

His mother had been in a nursing home for many years.  Dan & Barbara were daily visitors.  But there came a point when they knew she didn’t have much time left.  Dan insisted that Vince come and see his mother.  It took some persistence, but finally, Vince and his wife Dena planned a trip to Spokane from California.  Dan also insisted on taking Vince & Dena out to dinner one night while they were in Washington.  What Vince did not know is that Dan & Barbara called my Mom and her siblings and told them that Vince wanted to see them all.  They set up a family dinner at my Uncle’s home.  The evening of the family dinner, all of us minus one cousin were gathered at my Uncle’s home.  Dan & Barbara had Vince & Dena in the car and as they approached, Dan explained what was actually happening.  Vince was shocked but had no graceful way out, and so for the first time in many, many years, Vince was with all of his children at the same time.

As a 16-year-old who had been shielded from basically all of the feelings of my Mom and her siblings towards Vince, I did not view this as an important moment.  The only part of that evening I can recall in detail was the only moment I spoke with Vince.  I had been playing the piano.  As I finished and stood, there was Vince sitting in a chair near the piano.  He said to me, “What is your name?”  I answered and he asked, “And who is your parent?”  I answered and felt more than a little bit of annoyance that he had no idea who I was.  That was it.  I answered and walked out of the room.

That was the entire extent of my experience with Vince, my grandfather, during my growing up years.

When I married my husband, my Mom insisted that we send Vince & Dena an announcement.  I was ambivalent but complied.  Vince & Dena sent me a gift.  It was a precious moments figurine of a couple on their wedding day.  I was not softened.

Almost ten years later I was copying VHS tapes of our family movies of that year for each of our grandparents.  It was our Christmas gift.  As I started the last tape I realized that I had another grandparent.  It struck me that even though I viewed him as simply ‘Vince’, my mother’s biological father, I was 1/4th – him.  And I didn’t know a thing about him.  I made one more copy and sent that along with a handwritten letter explaining my a-ha moment and the fact that I knew nothing about him and I wanted to.  I gave him my address, phone number, and email address along with the letter and 2 hour VHS of my children.  That Christmas we were out of town visiting family.  When we returned, there was a voicemail from Vince.

I bet I listened to that voicemail at least 20 times.  I had reached out and asked for contact but I was nervous to call him back.  Before I had worked up the courage to do so, he called again.  I had caller id and knew it was him.  I answered.

We talked.  He shared that this has been hard for him – I never did clarify what was hard, my reaching out, or the separation from his children.  He went on to share that the divorce had been hard.  Seeing his children after the divorce had been hard – not the seeing them part, but the returning them part.  Apparently, my Grandma made that moment very uncomfortable for everyone.  There was a lot of strife.  He slowly saw them less and less.  His family was not happy about the divorce.  But they were even more unhappy about his remarriage to Dena.  They felt it was shameful that he married his sister’s divorced next door neighbor and worried what people would think.  Vince was feeling pushed away by everyone.  He got a job offer out of state and took it.

He ran away.

I can’t really blame the guy.  He was young.  Divorce was taboo.  My Grandma was a fighter.  His family was embarrassed.  He ran away from his problems and created a new life.

He told me that he thought it would be better for his kids if he quietly stepped out of their life.  What he said next was so sad.  “I hoped that when they were old enough they would look me up.  They never did.”

My letter and VHS opened old wounds.  But it wasn’t all bad.  We talked a few times on the phone.  I learned a bit about him.  He showed interest in me and my children.

And then my entire world imploded.  I didn’t have the energy necessary to feed this newly formed relationship with Vince.  I allowed it to wither away to a Christmas Card relationship.  I didn’t know how to explain my sudden disappearance to him.  So I didn’t.  I sent Christmas Cards and other items of interest.  He sent Christmas Cards as well.  When my oldest graduated from High School, Vince sent a card and money order.  My son thought I was crazy when I photographed his signature on the money order.  But I had never seen his full signature before.  And likely wouldn’t again.

Then sometime last year I decided I really wanted Vince to take a DNA test for me.  I printed a very large fanchart for him.  He was in the center.  His mother’s lines look pretty good, but his father’s line is completely blank.  I also printed my fanchart so he could see a comparison.  I once again handwrote a letter asking if he would take a DNA test for me.  I told him I would purchase it and send it to him.  I mailed my package and waited.  My Grandma asked me over and over again if he had agreed.  It seemed like she was going to call him and give him an earful if he hadn’t and that seemed like a bad idea.  It was only a few months later that my Grandma passed away.

I started thinking more and more about Vince.  He was my only living biological grandparent.  (Biological is an important distinction here because my Grandpa is very much alive.)  I hadn’t spoken to him in years.  I had only met him once.  I felt this strong sense of urgency that I needed to see him and talk to him as an adult.

I mentioned what I was thinking to my Auntie V.  She said, “Well, if you want to do that you better do it soon.  I hear his health isn’t very good.”

I decided I needed to do it.  What I couldn’t decide was if I should show up at his door unannounced or call ahead.  Finally, I decided to call Aunt Barbara and ask her opinion.  She thought I better call first.  She said, “He’s not mean, he’s just absent.”  She told me he would not make an appointment and then not be there (like his sister once did).

So I called.  No answer.  I left a message.  I explained that I would be passing through and wondered if I could stop in for a brief visit.  I told him I would call him back the next day.  I did just that.  He didn’t answer.  I proceeded to call him back and got a busy signal.  I called 21 times that day and only heard that annoying busy signal.  I decided to quit trying to call.  Showing up seemed best.

 

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Me, still hopeful about collecting some DNA from Vince on the day we set out.

 

So last week, during Spring Break, I loaded my family up and we drove to the middle of California and stayed in a hotel in Vince’s town.  The next morning we got up, packed the car and drove toward his home.  Until we encountered the locked gate around his community.

I can’t adequately express what I felt as we sat in our car staring at that gate.  I was so close!  I had two DNA tests in my purse.  I had a million questions.  His house was mere feet from where I sat and I could not get to it.

Several cars came and drove through.  I toyed with the idea of just following the next car.  But I wasn’t sure what would happen.

I called Vince, again.  He didn’t answer.  Again.

We sat there.

And then a nice woman turned the corner of the sidewalk and was about to enter the neighborhood on foot.  My husband got out of the car and talked to her.  He explained that my grandfather lived behind the gate and we were trying to get in.  She asked his name.  After my husband’s reply she said, “Oh Vince, I know Vince.  He is such a great guy!”  I was already weirded out by my husband calling him my grandfather, but her response was even more difficult to reconcile.  She said that she probably shouldn’t tell us this but if we went around to the front and typed in a specific code we could enter the neighborhood.  So we did.

As we pulled up to Vince & Dena’s home, Vince was outside getting the mail.  I hopped right out of my car and walked up to him.  With a million complicated feelings going on inside of me, I offered my hand and said, “I’m Amberly”.  He was quietly shocked.  His ignoring me hadn’t worked.  But as Aunt Barbara said, “He’s not mean, he’s just absent.”  And so he let me and my family in.

For the first time in my life, I had a face to face conversation with my grandfather.  A real conversation.  Not just the exchange of a few words.  And for the first and second time in my life, I hugged my grandfather.  We weren’t good at it.  But we hugged, twice.

We also talked.  I didn’t tell him, but I recorded our hour-long visit.  He shared a few stories.  Answered a few questions.  Showed me a few family treasures.  And he took a picture with me and my children.

He would not take a DNA test for me.  He wouldn’t even talk about it really.  I could sense that it wasn’t worth pushing and so I let my long-sought dream slip through my fingers and I focused on what he would give me – a bit of his time, bits of information.

It was a really nice visit.  Vince is very quiet.  Very gentle.  Very organized and orderly and clearly likes things to be neat and calm and peaceful.  As I sat there I had to really concentrate to see that man I knew from old photographs.  But he was there.  His dark eyes were intently focused on me as we spoke.  I knew with absolute certainty that there was no way he and my Grandma could have made their marriage work.  They could not be more different.  I also felt a sense that he and Dena had very carefully constructed their world to protect them from past hurts.  And here I was opening old wounds.  But he let me.

It took a lot of courage for me to fight my way to his doorstep.  But I feel a sense of peace now that was worth every bit of my effort.

I will likely never see Vince again.

And that is okay.

I will probably still call him Vince.  But describing him as my grandfather as I type is becoming less and less uncomfortable each time.  I may always think of him as Vince, but after last week, I think I will be okay with also thinking of him as my grandfather.

The moment that will stay with me until I leave this life is the moment he spread his arm wide, inviting my teenager into his embrace for a photo.  Vince squeezed and jostled my son a bit, just like my Uncle does.  My son smiled.  And then we all stood together for a few pictures.

 

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It turns out 6-year-olds also don’t view a moment like this as important.  No real smiles from my little darling, but this photo is a treasure anyway.

 

I can’t possibly heal the deep wounds of the past.  But last Tuesday I accomplished something that I hope will open a way for Vince’s posterity to know just a little bit about him.  To think of him as more than just the man who left.

I hope I built a bridge of sorts.

I hope.

 

 

 


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A Cautionary Tale of Digital Loss

 

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Daniel Ramon Costello & Barbara Ann Deno Costello, my granduncle & grandaunt at their home in Spokane, Washington.

 

 

I am sick.

Heartsick.

Like, really, really heartsick.

Almost four years ago I went on a trip to Spokane, Washington to visit my Grandma and interview her.  I saw, and also interviewed, other family members including my Uncle Dan & Aunt Barbara, and my fabulous Auntie V.  It was a fantastic trip.  My sister and Mom drove up to be there too.  I had brought along a digital audio recorder to capture all of the conversations.

Grandma told me stories I had never heard.  She talked about being a single mom in the 60s.  She described being a rescue diver for years and the moment she decided she couldn’t do it anymore.  She answered questions about family members who she knew, but my Mom and I did not.  She described people and places.  She went over photos with me identifying people and adding details about those people and the events in the photos.  She talked about how hard it was when her father went to prison for a year.  We talked and talked and talked.  I captured it all on my little digital audio recorder.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Barbara told me about John Costello and Mary Brown Young, my great grandparents.  I knew Mary, but John died when my mother was a child.  They shared how sorry they were in later years that they hadn’t asked Grandpa Costello more questions about his family in Spain before he passed.  Uncle Dan talked about his time in the service during WWII.  Aunt Barbara started to tell us about how sad my biological grandfather was when he and my Grandma divorced before my Mom and aunt cut her off.

My Auntie V shared some insights, when we were alone, about various family members from the past.  Her “unvarnished truth” to balance what Grandma had shared.

My Grandpa told me detailed stories from Viet Nam that are so fascinating.  I’ll leave it at that since he is still living.

All of these gems and much more were recorded on my handy little digital audio recorder.

I returned home from my trip and was immediately swept back up in daily life with my children who were 16, 13, and 2.  I was able to process some new data and information, but my trusty little audio recorder didn’t make the cut.

More than a year passed and one of my uncles from my dad’s side of the family needed to borrow my audio recorder for a family reunion I wasn’t able to attend.  I wrote up a short list of instructions and stood holding that recorder, struggling with whether or not to leave the micro sd card inside.  It has an internal memory that was more than sufficient, but what if the contents on the sd card were somehow erased?  After going back and forth I popped that oh-so-tiny micro sd card out and set it on my dresser.

I think.

Here is the moment in the book where you want to scream at the character, “No!  Don’t do it!!”

The recorder was used by my uncle at that reunion and then returned and placed on top of my dresser.

I think.

This week I am going back up to Spokane to help with an archiving project, among other things.  I will see Aunt Barbara, my Mom, Auntie V, and Grandpa.  Grandma and Uncle Dan have both passed away.

I need to be able to record and I debated – do I use my digital audio recorder or do I use my phone?

I pulled out that recorder and thought I had better pull the audio files off of it.  I plugged it into my computer and searched the files.

There were five.

Four nonsense practice files that last just a few seconds and a 33-minute file from the reunion.

That is all.

I must have checked the micro sd card slot at least 15 times hoping for something to appear that simply wasn’t there.  I even used a flashlight just to be certain.  I went through the folders on the internal memory over and over hoping to find something more but coming up empty every single time.

Panic set in.

I started tearing apart every place in my house I could imagine myself considering “a safe place” for that teeny-tiny-little micro sd card.  (Carefully, of course, but definitely fervently.)  All the while I was racking my brain and praying for a memory to pop to the surface.  Did I really just set that invaluable sd card on my dresser?  That miniscule, but more precious than gold, fragile tiny card on the edge of a dresser?!

That seems like a terrible decision.  And the thing is, I don’t know for sure what I did.  I just know that there is not a micro sd card inside of that digital audio recorder.

So far I have found one micro sd card – but not the one I need – but seriously, where did that come from? – and one regular sd card.  What is happening here?  Why aren’t these properly stored?  Why is my organizational system falling apart?!  What on earth?

Why didn’t I transfer those files immediately after my trip?!

Why didn’t I transfer those files while I was still on my trip?!!!!!  I had my laptop with me.

And this is the point where I could ramble on and on about my laptop being super full and being a busy mom with big and tiny children and being the Relief Society President in my ward and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

You know that moment I mentioned, the one where we all want to scream at the character, “No!!  Don’t do it!!”?  Well, I didn’t listen.  If I could have even had a tiny glimpse of my present anguish, I would have moved mountains to get those files transferred to AT LEAST two other places.

But I didn’t.

And now I am heartsick.

So terribly heartsick.

Real tears have been shed several times now as I continue to search and continue to come up with nothing.

 

There are two very small glimmers of hope.

One, my Mom interviewed my Grandma about 2 years ago and still has that recording – that I will immediately move heaven and earth to transfer to AT LEAST two places the minute it gets into my hot little hand.  There are two major disappointments with this – one, I love you Mom, but I ask better questions 😳 – and two, my Mom says it’s all fiction.  But let’s be real, would I know the difference?  And is my Mom’s opinion of Grandma’s stories accurate or fair?  I don’t know.

Two, I just might still find that micro sd card.  I believe in miracles.  I’ve experienced miracles plenty of times.  I don’t know if I actually need a miracle this time or just more time searching, but I’ll take that treasure anyway it comes to me.  So I’ll hold out hope that somehow, someway, those hours of audio files will make their way back to me.  And no matter the path it takes, I will consider it a miracle.  But I have learned a VERY BIG lesson.

NO MATTER HOW BUSY I AM, THERE ARE SOME TASKS THAT NEED TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY.

Good preservation requires having multiple copies in multiple places.  So guess what I will be doing over the next month?  Assessing and addressing my current level of preservation of family photos, home movies, and priceless papers and artifacts.

 

But I still really, really, really want to have that oh-so-precious and oh-so-tiny micro sd card back.  Please.

 

I’ll take any good vibes, happy successful treasure hunting thoughts, or prayers you want to send my way.  I could definitely use them.

 

And friends, I hope you will learn from my mistake and avoid a similar bout of sorrow and loss.  What do you need to digitize, duplicate, or store in another place today?  Don’t wait.  Please, don’t wait.

Good luck.

xoxo

 


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My Top Ten RootsTech 2018 Moments

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Me, RootsTech 2018, posing with my Photo+Story submission

Wow!  Last week was a blur of genealogy goodness at RootsTech.  There were so many awesome moments.  If you were not at RootsTech, but want to enjoy some of the awesomeness, you can view the general sessions and many of the classes for free here.

I made notes of so many fantastic quotes during the general sessions.  I will share those slowly over time.  My favorite keynote address was Scott Hamilton.  His love and respect for his mother was so moving.

One of the main reasons to attend RootsTech is for the classes.  They were great.  Lots of choices about lots of topics.  There was definitely something for everyone.

I loved being there all week long with one of my favorite friends, Catrina.  That definitely made the week the best RootsTech yet.  Even though we were together every day, we failed to take a picture together.  Does anyone else have that problem?  Haha.

Aside from hanging with my pal, there were lots of other amazing moments, here’s a quick recap of my RootsTech Top Ten:

 

10 – I spent a lot more time in the Expo hall this year.  There were so many cool sales, coupons, products, and demos.  I could have happily spent a small fortune for sure!

 

9 – The DNA sales were fantastic!  Living DNA was $49, 23 & Me was $99 for the autosomal + health, Ancestry was $59, and FTDNA was $59 for atDNA and $139 for YDNA.  I may or may not have purchased 7 tests from 4 different vendors…

 

8 – On Wednesday evening I stopped by the Larsen Digital booth and shared with them the short video of Grandpa Costello they digitized for me last year.  I thanked them for helping me discover and preserve this special treasure.  The darling woman running the booth said, “Can you say that again and let me record you?”  I laughed and then agreed.  There really is nothing like being asked to record a video on the spot to promote something.  Of course, watching it after the fact, I realized I am basically a super happy genealogy cartoon character.  😂  Here it is:

 

 

7 – On Friday I attended the BYU Sponsored Lunch.  I ended up sitting next to the head of the BYU Family History department and the Deputy Chief Genealogist for FamilySearch.  Very cool experience!  Next year I will definitely attend another sponsored lunch or two.

 

6 – I skipped class on Friday morning and wandered the Expo hall in relative quiet.  I met Johanne Gervais at the Québec Genealogical Society booth and learned about some awesome resources available to society members.  She also looked at two curious records for me and shared some insight.  I was delighted when she said she hadn’t seen a record quite like that before.  It’s always nice to know that a record you find curious is just as curious as you thought.  😉

 

5 – During my Friday morning Expo hall wanderings, I joined NGS and learned about a few opportunities from the wonderful ladies running the booth.  This was definitely a good thing for me!

 

4 – My first year at RootsTech I met Kit.  We chose a lot of the same classes and both love the front row so we kept sitting by each other.  By the afternoon of the first or second day, I had shared a snack with her and we have been pals ever since.  Kit and her friend Karen travel to RootsTech together each year.  This year Kit and Karen met Grace on the flight to SLC and so our circle of friends grew.  On Friday evening, Kit, Grace and I enjoyed a lovely, long dinner that was super fun!

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Thursday morning – me, Kit, and Grace (who I didn’t realize was in the shot until later, I should have gotten her in closer and with a smile ;))

 

3 – Meeting Diahan Southard on Thursday at her booth.  I thanked her for helping me smash a brick wall and she said, “Can you say that again and let my assistant record you?”  So on Friday, I met Diahan at her booth and we recorded a video together.  Twice in two days!!  What are the odds?  I quit thanking strangers for helping me with my genealogy after that.  😂  But it was a super fun experience!

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Diahan Southard & I on Friday after recording a video together.

 

2 – Finding a VERY important land deed at the FHL on Saturday for a (sort of) end-of-line ancestor that helps tighten up his timeline!  🎉

 

And finally… my top moment at RootsTech 2018 was…

 

 

1 – My Photo+Story Submission won 3rd place!  New Canon Rebel DSLR camera for me!  🎉

 

 

 

Thank you, FamilySearch and RootsTech for a great week of genealogy goodness, learning, friendship, and connections!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Thinking about RootsTech for next year?  The dates are – February 27-March 2, 2019.  I hope to see you there!

 

 


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RootsTech 2018 – THIS WEEK!

It’s going to be a busy and awesome week for me at RootsTech!  I’m looking forward to a week of genealogy goodness, learning, and research at the Family History Library.

If you can’t be at RootsTech but want some RootsTech goodness, you can watch the live stream sessions from home.  Here is the streaming schedule.

Or, you can check out the recorded sessions from RootsTech 2017 here.

Or, check in with me here and on twitter – @genealogygirl_ – as I share a few things throughout the week.

 

Happy Monday, I hope you learn some amazing new genealogy tidbits this week!

 

xoxo

 


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Getting Organized – Making Plans

 

Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, I don’t do a darn thing from my to-do list and instead, I tackle some sort of project that I’ve really wanted to get done but didn’t have time to do, and didn’t really need to do.  It is a super-weird-totally-nerdy-strangely-productive form of procrastinating.  Better than watching TV, right?  😂

So last week, I avoided my to-do list and tackled one of those wish list projects.  I went through my entire blog and updated a page you can find right up there☝🏻 at the top of my blog entitled, “My Ancestors“.

It is a list of every person I have written about or mentioned on my blog, mostly, with links to those posts.  I hope this will be helpful for extended family members to find things I have written that may be of interest to them.

It also helped me to see areas of my tree that I haven’t written much about and feel a bit more direction on how to prioritize a few posts I have had dancing about in my thoughts.

The day after I finished updating the page, my sister stopped by my house.  She mentioned a photo of our great grandma that she can remember seeing somewhere.  I whipped out my phone and was able to quickly look at each post about her and see the accompanying photos.  Awesome!

So, feel free to check out my new procrastination masterpiece by clicking the page link above – or here – or by scrolling on because I pasted that big beauty below.

 

Family members, please feel free to give me some input.  I made this page for you, so if you think it could use some adjustments, I am happy to hear your suggestions.  For instance, I am wondering if I should break up the last two lists into four – the same two categories, but broken up by maternal and paternal…?

 

FYI – I added three fancharts, seen above, at the top of the page with captions.  One fanchart is for my Dad, one for my mom’s mom, and one for her biological father.  I don’t generally mention him because he is still alive, and, well, I’m guessing the term “biological” probably clued you into the other reason.  The man I call Grandpa is still living so there is hardly any trace of him anywhere on my blog.

 

Happy Monday, I hope you are able to tackle some wonderful project that will make you feel awesome, very, very soon!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

Listed below are the ancestors and family members I have written about on this blog.  The list has four sections – Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Direct Line Ancestors, and Other Family Members.  All individuals are listed in alphabetical order by surname.  Women are listed by maiden surname.  If the individual is my current end of line person or brick wall (bummer!), their name is italicized and bright blue.  All ancestors who were an end of line person when I started this blog, but are no longer a brick wall, have this next to their name – 🎉, because that is something to celebrate!  Family members from my maternal side have a pink double heart before their name and family members from my paternal side have a blue heart before their name.

 

 

Grandparents:

 

💕DUVAL, Deane Alice

 

💙ELLIS, Mary Margaret

 

💙PETERSON, Ronald Skeen

 

 

Great Grandparents

 

💕COSTELLO, John

 

💕DUVAL, Francis Henry

 

💙ELLIS, Claude Albert

 

💙HUBAND, Blanche Octavia

 

💕MAFFIT, Hope Estelle

 

💙PETERSON, Rulon Powell

 

💙SKEEN, Naomi

 

💕YOUNG, Mary Brown

 

 

 

Direct Line Ancestors

 

💙AUSTIN, Louise Maria – my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Louise Maria Austin Cheney.

🎉💕BLACKBURN, Eliza – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyA Marrying Mess.

💕BOLES, James Thomson – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Helen Boles.

🎉💕BROWN, Andrew – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Andrew BrownFinding Andrew Brown’s Parents.

💕BROWN, Catherine – my 2nd great grandmother. Photograph Showcase:  James & Catherine YoungPhotograph Showcase:  The End of My Brown Family Pedigree in Photographs.

🎉💕BROUILLETTE, Esther – my 3rd great grandmother.  New United State Marriage CollectionPublic Member Ancestry Trees – A Mixed Bag.

💕CASTILLA, Vincenzo – my 2nd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – John Costello, Man of Mystery.

💙CHENEY, Hattie Margaret – my 2nd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Louise Maria Austin CheneyPhotograph Showcase:  A Fall Photo.

💙CHENEY, Joseph Thompson – my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Louise Maria Austin Cheney.

💙DAVIS, George Edward – my 3rd great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah is Calling to Me.

💙DAVIS, Susan Kaziah – my 2nd great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  Family PhotoPhotograph Showcase:  Frederick & SusanPhotograph Showcase:  Frederick & Susan EllisPhotograph Showcase:  Susan’s EyesPhotograph Showcase:  Sarah is Calling to MeFamily Reunion Bingo GamesA Special Christmas Gift & the Lesson FamilySearch Taught MeTreasures: Susan Kaziah Davis History.

💙DAYMOND, Rebecca – my 4th great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah is Calling to Me.

💕DEMERS, Marie Louise – my 2nd great grandmother.  Give Your Precious Photos Source Citations Too,

💙DIXON, Electa Philomelia – my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Lyman Stoddard SkeenFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💙DOLBY, Maria Amanda – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Lyman Stoddard SkeenMemorial Day 2017.

💕DUVAL, Alexis, later known as Alexander – my 3rd great grandfather.  Give Your Precious Photos Source Citations Too,

💕DUVAL, Francis Cyprien – my 2nd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Francis Cyprien DuvalWhy Klondike is ruining my sleep…Did I Really Just Find What I Think I Found?52 Ancestors – Alice HydeAlaska – My FascinationIn MemoriumDoes baby Dorothy belong in my tree?Give Your Precious Photos Source Citations TooDear Genealogy Bloggers, I love you!,  Photograph Showcase:  In Uniform.

🎉💕DUVAL, Francois Simon – my 4th great grandfather.  Puzzling:  Ebee Duval.

💙ELLIS, Frederick William – my 2nd great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  Frederick William EllisPhotograph Showcase:  Family PhotoPhotograph Showcase:  Frederick & SusanPhotograph Showcase:  Frederick & Susan EllisFamilySearch Book Scanning ServiceFamily Reunion Bingo GamesA Special Christmas Gift & the Lesson FamilySearch Taught Me

💕FERGUSON, Janet – my 6th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – James Young and his convenient death date.

💙FOLKMAN, Jane Zina Petrina – my 2nd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Jane Zina Petrina FolkmanTell Me a Story – First RefrigeratorWho is Patricia?Photograph Showcase:  A Visit With GrandparentsFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💙FOLKMAN, Jens Peter – my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Jane Zina Petrina FolkmanFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💕FORTIN, Marie Emilie – my 4th great grandmother.  Genlighten.com.

🎉💕GAUTHIER, Marie – my 4th great grandmother.  Puzzling:  Ebee Duval.

💙HUBAND, Heber Albert – my 2nd great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  A Fall Photo.

💕HYDE, Alice – my 2nd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Francis Cyprien DuvalWhy Klondike is ruining my sleep…Photograph Showcase:  In Uniform52 Ancestors – Baby Girl HydeDid I Really Just Find What I Think I Found?52 Ancestors – Alice Hyde52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyAlaska – My FascinationIn MemoriumA Marrying MessArthur & Mary HydeDoes baby Dorothy belong in my tree?Incest?Give Your Precious Photos Source Citations TooPhotograph Showcase:  My Sister Alice.

💕HYDE, Henry Douglas McLenberg – my 4th great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  Which Grandfather Hyde?A Marrying MessArthur & Mary HydeIncest?.

💕HYDE, William Henry – my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Baby Girl HydePhotograph Showcase:  Which Grandfather Hyde?52 Ancestors – Alice Hyde52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyAlaska – My FascinationIncest?.

💕JERRAIN, Emma Esther – my 2nd great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  A Chain of MothersDNA Happy Dance & A New-To-Me Resource.

💙LAKE, James – my 5th great grandfather.  Family Reunion Bingo Games,

💙LAKE, Mary – my 3rd great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah Jane Marler and her DaughtersFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💕MAFFIT, Seth – my 2nd great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  A Man with a PipeDNA Happy Dance & A New-To-Me Resource.

💕MAFFIT, Seth Potter – my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – An Unusual DeathDisappointing Death RecordNew United State Marriage Collection.

💙MARLER, Sarah Jane – my 4th great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah Jane Marler and her DaughtersFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💕MARSDEN, Sarah – my 4th great grandmother.  Arthur & Mary HydeIncest?.

💕MCLAREN, Isabella – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Helen Boles.

💙MUDD, Joseph – my 4th great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah is Calling to Me.

💙MUDD, Sarah Esther – my 3rd great grandmother.  Photograph Showcase:  Sarah is Calling to Me.

💕PALLINA, Amelia – my 2nd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – John Costello, Man of Mystery52 Ancestors – Amelia Pallina.

🎉💕PERRAULT, Adeline – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Prudent Therien.

💙PETERSON, Peter “B” –  my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Peter “B” PetersonFamily Reunion Bingo Games.

💙PETERSON, Thomas William – my 2nd great grandfather.  Family Reunion Bingo Games.

💕POTTER, Laura Ann – my 4th great grandmother.  Public Member Ancestry Trees – A Mixed Bag.

💙POWELL, Ann – my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Peter “B” PetersonFamily Reunion Bingo Games.

🎉💕ROBERTSON, Janet – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – James Young and his convenient death dateJames Young On RepeatThe Mixed Up Case of the Two James Youngs & Janet Robertsons in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

💕ROBERTSON, Mary – my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Andrew Brown.

💙SKEEN, Joseph (1876 – 1961) – my 2nd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Jane Zina Petrina FolkmanTell Me a Story – First RefrigeratorWho is Patricia?Photograph Showcase:  A Visit With GrandparentsFamily Reunion Bingo Games.

💙SKEEN, Joseph (1816-1882) – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Lyman Stoddard Skeen.

💙SKEEN, Lyman Stoddard – my 3rd great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Lyman Stoddard SkeenFamily Reunion Bingo Games.

💙SMITH, Philomelia – my 5th great grandmother.  Family Reunion Bingo Games,

💙TAYLOR, Joseph (1825-1900) – my 4th great grandfather.  Family Reunion Bingo Games,

💙TAYLOR, Joseph Allen (1848-1929) – my 3rd great grandfather.  Family Reunion Bingo Games,

💙TAYLOR, Lettie – my 2nd great grandmother.  Tell Me a Story – Divinity & the Great DepressionFamily Reunion Bingo Games.

💕THERIEN, Prudent – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Prudent Therien.

💕THOMAS, Ann –  my 4th great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Ann Vickers Young.

💙THOMASEN, Maren Katrine – my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Jane Zina Petrina FolkmanFamily Reunion Bingo Games,

💕VICKERS, Ann –  my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Ann Vickers Young.

💕VICKERS, James –  my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Ann Vickers Young.

🎉💕WHITELEY, Ann –  my 3rd great grandmother.  52 Ancestors – Baby Girl Hyde52 Ancestors – Alice Hyde52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyA Marrying MessIncest?Photograph Showcase:  My Sister Alice

🎉💕WHITELEY, George – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyA Marrying Mess.

💕YOUNG James (1876-1945) – my 2nd great grandfather.  Photograph Showcase:  James & Catherine YoungPhotograph Showcase:  The End of My Brown Family Pedigree in Photographs.

💕YOUNG James (1852-1916) – my 3rd great grandfather.  James Young On Repeat52 Ancestors – Ann Vickers Young.

🎉💕YOUNG, James (1824-1895) – my 4th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – James Young and his convenient death dateJames Young On RepeatThe Mixed Up Case of the Two James Youngs & Janet Robertsons in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

🎉💕YOUNG, James (1800-1870) – my 5th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – James Young and his convenient death date.

💕YOUNG, Thomas – my 6th great grandfather.  52 Ancestors – James Young and his convenient death date.

 

 

 

Other Family Members

 

💕BOLES, Barbara Crow – my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, granddaughter of Helen Boles and great granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BOLES, Christina – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  52 Ancestors – Christina Boles.

💕BOLES, Elizabeth Montgomery – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  52 Ancestors – Elizabeth Montgomery Boles.

💕BOLES, Helen – my 3rd great grandaunt, daughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  52 Ancestors – Helen BolesThis and That,

💕BOLES, Helen – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  52 Ancestors – Helen Boles, the niece.

💕BOLES, Isabella – my 3rd cousin 2 times removed, mystery great granddaughter of Helen Boles, 2nd great granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BOLES, Isabella Muir – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, daughter of my 3rd great granduncle Alexander Boles & Isabella MUIR Boles, granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BOLES, James – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, son of my 3rd great granduncle Alexander Boles & Isabella MUIR Boles, grandson of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BOLES, James – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, son of my 3rd great granduncle John Thompson Boles & Christina Montgomery, grandson of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  Memorial Day Tribute – James BolesMemorial Day 2017.

💕BOLES, James Thomson – my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, grandson of Helen Boles, great grandson of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BOLES, John Thompson – John is my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  52 Ancestors – John Boles, the Disappearing Man,   Off to South Africa?Unraveling the John Boles Mystery – Part OneUnraveling the John Boles Mystery – Part TwoUnraveling the John Boles Mystery – Conclusion.

💕BOLES, John McLaren – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, son of my 3rd great granduncle Alexander Boles & Isabella MUIR Boles, grandson of my 4th great grandparents James Thomson Boles & Isabella McLaren.  This and That

💕BROUILLETTE, Dollie – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, daughter of Nelson Brouillette & Maggie Goff.  My New Treasure.

💕BROUILLETTE, Nelson – my 3rd great granduncle, brother to my 3rd great grandmother, Esther Brouillette.  DNA Happy Dance & A New-To-Me Resource.

💕BROUILLETTE, Telesphore – my 3rd great granduncle, brother to my 3rd great grandmother, Esther Brouillette.  Book, Book, & Book…A New Toy at the Library.

💕BROWN, Mary – my 1st cousin 4 times removed, granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents Andrew Brown & Mary ROBERTSON Brown.  ALL the Babies of Mary Brown Wood & Mary Brown Wood, Part 2 – So Much Death.

💕COSTELLO, David Anthony – my granduncle, son of my great grandparents Mary Brown YOUNG Costello and John Costello.  52 Ancestors – David Anthony Costello.

💕DOUGLAS, Maggie – birth name, Margaret Leckie McPherson Dempster, the wife of my 1st cousin 5 times removed.  Who is Maggie Douglas? Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four

💕DUVAL, Adelaide – my 2nd great grandaunt, daughter of Alexis Duval & Marie Louise Demers, my 3rd great grandparents.  Give Your Precious Photos Source Citations Too,

💕DUVAL, Alexander Valmore – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?.

💕DUVAL, Annie Marie Elvera – my great grandaunt, daughter of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Photograph Showcase:  In UniformDoes baby Dorothy belong in my tree?Incest?Treasures: Aunt Vera’s Scrapbook – A Perplexing Gem Riddled with Fact and FictionPhotograph Showcase:  Class Pictures 101 Years Ago

💕DUVAL, Baby Boy – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?.

💕DUVAL, Dolores Lenore – my great grandaunt, daughter of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Newspapers.com & a Runaway AuntDoes baby Dorothy belong in my tree?.

💕DUVAL, Dorothy – my great grandaunt, daughter of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?.

💕DUVAL, Ebee – my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents Francois Simon Duval and Marie Gauthier.  Puzzling:  Ebee Duval.

💕DUVAL, Leon Howard – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde.  Photograph Showcase:  In UniformDoes baby Dorothy belong in my tree?.

💙ELLIS, Beth Louise – my grandaunt, daughter of my great grandparents Claude Albert Ellis & Blanche Octavia Huband.  Photograph Showcase:  Ellis Family

💙ELLIS, Claudia – my grandaunt, daughter of my great grandparents Claude Albert Ellis & Blanche Octavia Huband.  Photograph Showcase:  Ellis Family

💙ELLIS, Dale Huband – my granduncle, son of my great grandparents Claude Albert Ellis & Blanche Octavia Huband.  Photograph Showcase:  Ellis Family

💕HUNTER, Sherry Grace – my 1st cousin 2 times removed, niece of my great grandfather Frank Duval, adopted daughter of Annie Marie Elvera DUVAL Hunter.  52 Ancestors – Sherry HunterThe Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕HYDE, Albert – a mystery relative.  Who on Earth is Albert?

💕HYDE, Arthur – my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  A Marrying MessArthur & Mary HydeIncest?Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleThe Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕HYDE, Baby Girl – my 2nd great grandaunt, daughter of my 3rd great grandparents William Henry Hyde & Ann Whiteley, she is likely Rosey Hyde.  52 Ancestors – Baby Girl Hyde.

💕HYDE, John – my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  Incest?.

💕HYDE, Letitia Douglass – my 3rd great grandaunt, son of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  Incest?.

💕HYDE, Louis – my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  Incest?.

💕HYDE, Muriel Grace – my 1st cousin 3 times removed, daughter of Robert Hyde & Rosey Hyde, granddaughter of my 3rd great grandparents William Henry Hyde & Ann Whiteley AND granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden. Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleDon’t Lose Track of Your Digital Files…Dear Genealogy Bloggers, I love you!The Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕HYDE, Robert – my 3rd great granduncle, son of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  A Marrying MessIncest?Incest?! – An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image!Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleDear Genealogy Bloggers, I love you!The Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕HYDE, Rose Elvera – my 1st cousin 3 times removed, daughter of Robert Hyde & Rosey Hyde, granddaughter of my 3rd great grandparents William Henry Hyde & Ann Whiteley AND granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  Incest?Incest?! – An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image!Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleThe Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕HYDE, Rosey – my 2nd great grandaunt, daughter of my 3rd great grandparents, William Henry Hyde & Ann Whiteley.  52 Ancestors – Baby Girl Hyde52 Ancestors – Ann WhiteleyA Marrying MessIncest?Incest?! – An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image!Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleDear Genealogy Bloggers, I love you!The Mess that Just Keeps on Growing.

💕KINGHAM, Barbara Norma Robertina – my relationship to Norma is complicated.  Her relationship to her family is complicated.  She was raised by Rosey Hyde.  Incest?Incest?! – An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image!Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit Hole,

💕KINGHAM, Harry Grant – husband of Rosey Hyde, my 2nd great grandaunt.  Incest?An Update: ALWAYS Go To The Next Image!Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit Hole.

💕MAFFIT, Hilan Thorne – my great grandaunt, daughter of my 2nd great grandparents Seth Maffit & Emma Esther Jerrain.  Photograph Showcase:  SistersWho Is On That Swing?Answer to “Who Is On That Swing?”

💕MAFFIT, Orrin Seth – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents Seth Maffit & Emma Esther Jerrain.  52 Ancestors – Orrin Seth Maffit, A Child with Two Names?DNA Happy Dance & A New-To-Me Resource.

💕MARSDEN, Martha – my 4th great grandaunt, daughter of my 5th great grandparents William Marsden & Sarah Chambers AND second wife of George Whiteley my 4th great grandfather.  A Marrying Mess.

💕MILLAN, Catherine Lucille – my 1st cousin twice removed, daughter of Catherine Boles Young & William Millan, granddaughter of my 2nd great grandparents James Young & Catherine Brown.  Descendancy Research – A Story About Catherine LucilleGenealogybank.com.

💕MILLAN, William – husband of my great grandaunt Catherine Boles Young.  Descendancy Research – A Story About Catherine LucilleKate & Bill For Just 5 Years.

💙PETERSON, Darrell Skeen – my granduncle, brother to my grandfather, Ronald Skeen Peterson.

💙PETERSON, Janice – my grandaunt, sister to my grandfather, Ronald Skeen Peterson.  Uncle Darrell – Part II, A Life in PicturesUncle Darrell – Part XI, Family ReflectionsPhotograph Showcase:  Naomi as a Young MotherPhotograph Showcase:  A Rare MomentPhotograph Showcase:  Trusting ParentsPhotograph Showcase:  A Visit With GrandparentsPhotograph Showcase:  On the Cusp of the Great Depression

💙PETERSON, Lowell Skeen – my granduncle, brother to my grandfather, Ronald Skeen Peterson.  Uncle Darrell – Part XI, Family ReflectionsOne Last Tether.

💙PETERSON, Marilyn – my grandaunt, sister to my grandfather, Ronald Skeen Peterson.  Uncle Darrell – Part II, A Life in PicturesUncle Darrell – Part XI, Family ReflectionsTell Me a Story – First RefrigeratorPhotograph Showcase:  A Visit With Grandparents.

💙PETERSON, Wayne Skeen – my granduncle, brother to my grandfather, Ronald Skeen Peterson.  Tell Me a Story – “You have my mother’s eyes!”Uncle Darrell – Part XI, Family ReflectionsOne Last Tether.

💙SKEEN, Evan Folkman – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents Joseph Skeen & Jane Zina Petrina Folkman.  Photograph Showcase:  A Visit With Grandparents,

💙SKEEN, Melba Trina – my great grandaunt, daughter of my 2nd great grandparents Joseph Skeen & Jane Zina Petrina Folkman.  Photograph Showcase:  Ronald & Melba.

💕WHITELEY, Alice – my 3rd great grandaunt and step-3rd great grandmother, sister to my 3rd great grandmother Ann WHITELEY Hyde, and second wife to my 3rd great grandfather William Henry Hyde.  Alaska – My FascinationA Marrying MessArthur & Mary HydeIncest?Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit HoleThe Mess that Just Keeps on GrowingPhotograph Showcase:  My Sister Alice

💕WILLIAMSON, Carole Rose – my 2nd cousin twice removed, granddaughter of Robert Hyde & Rosey Hyde, great granddaughter of my 3rd great grandparents AND great granddaughter of my 4th great grandparents Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit Hole,

💕YOUNG, Catherine Boles – my great grandaunt, sister to my great grandmother, Mary Brown YOUNG Costello.  Descendancy Research – A Story About Catherine LucilleKate & Bill For Just 5 Years.

💕YOUNG, George Vickers – my great granduncle, son of my 2nd great grandparents James Young & Catherine Brown.   52 Ancestors – George Vickers Young, A 98 year old ex-wife, and my shyness,  George Vickers Young Update.

 


7 Comments

Quick Disney Break – AWESOME Genealogy Day – Miracle Update

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A few weeks ago my hubby was checking Disneyland prices and noticed a big price drop for last week.  We decided to move up our tentatively planned February Disney trip to last week.  It was fantastic!  I’m so glad we fit it in this year.  Our youngest is at the perfect age – he can ride everything and he LOVES the magic of Disneyland.

Hastily moving a trip to the same week as the big Family History Fair in my town meant I had to go into serious prep mode for both the trip and the Fair.  It all worked out wonderfully.  The Fair was this past Saturday (we got home late Thursday).

I had been a little bit nervous to be teaching four different classes all on the same day but it went great!  We had a fabulous turnout, especially considering the major snowstorm the night before.  I learned I can teach four different classes on the same day without losing my voice, mind, or ability to make sense.  Phew!

But the BEST part of the Fair was having a minute to talk to my sweet friend and catch up on her recent discoveries.  She is my elderly friend whose own father was her brick wall.  She had only one picture of him.  ONE!  And did not know for sure who his parents were.  Using her DNA results, we were able to identify those grandparents and come up with a hypothesis for which of their children is her father – he changed his name.  It turns out we were correct!  It also turns out that her father was married before he married her mother.  My friend has FOUR previously unknown half-siblings.  They are much older and have all passed away.  But there are two living children of those half-siblings.  They have connected and will meet for the first time THIS WEEK!  Photos have been shared and relationships have begun.

Using DNA with your research = MIRACLES.

Give it a try!

❤️❤️❤️

 

I have lots of catching up to do but had to share the fantastic news.  xoxo

 


18 Comments

Happy New Year! 2017 Review & 2018 Goals

Eleanor Brownn Quote

Happy New Year!

 

2017 was packed with amazing genealogy experiences, milestones of both the personal and genealogical kind, the sorrow of loss, and the joys of life.  When I reflect back over the year, these are some of the biggest moments:

 

Digging into the story of Rosey, my 2nd great-grandaunt, has been a fascinating adventure.  I’m still finding tidbits scattered across the world.  Just last week I found a big one I wasn’t expecting.  The story that is unfolding is so enthralling that I think it is worthy of its own book.  Here are the 2017 posts about Rosey:

 

John Costello continues to elude me.  He is my great-grandfather and my most challenging brick wall.  Despite his continued brick wall status, I have had some major breakthroughs this year.  I discovered seven seconds of color video of him with my great grandma and my mom as a baby!  I added to my collection of photos of him including the first one of him looking at the camera and smiling!!  I learned that he was ethnically Jewish.  He is still a brick wall, but I feel like I am making some meaningful progress for my own sense of connection to him, and preserving details for future generations to know something about him.

 

I finished organizing and filing all of the letters my grandparents wrote to each other during WWII and their LDS missions.  TEN Hollinger boxes worth.  I have also begun the process of digitizing and transcribing those precious letters.

 

I made enough progress in my Young surname study of Renfrew, Renfrew, Scotland to untangle my 5th great-grandparents James Young and Janet Robertson in the Family Tree on FamilySearch.

 

In my DNA efforts to learn about John Costello, I discovered a first cousin who was adopted at birth.  Together we went on an amazing journey to identify his father and mother.  I still can’t get over what a cool experience that was!  You can read about that journey here:

 

Still on a DNA high, I watched a Legacy Family Tree webinar on DNA and heard a tip from Diahan Southard that led me to solve my Priority 2 brick wall!!!

 

In September, I rushed to the bedside of my grandmother to be with her in her final days.  She was diagnosed with leukemia on a Thursday and passed away on Sunday.  I deeply miss her and the genealogy experiences we shared.  But I am so grateful that I started my genealogy adventures in my very early twenties.  That meant I got 20 precious years of asking her questions.

 

In October I finally held in my hands a long sought after, precious, and very rare book because of a cousin connection I made on Ancestry.com.  It confirmed my previous research efforts and added a richness of story to a family line that had been lost to time and young deaths.

 

I ended the year with a bang! when I helped my friend end her 50 year-long search for her paternal grandparents using her DNA results.  What a joyful experience!

 

As I consider 2018, I am struggling to put my finger on my top three goals.  I know that I want to continue to learn, research, digitize, archive, solve, teach, share, help, write, and answer questions I have.  But those are the things I do all of the time.  The one thing that often eludes me is a very important word – FINISH.

So I am pondering on what three things I want to FINISH this year.

The list of projects I am considering is long enough for a lifetime of effort.  I’m never short on projects.  But which three are the most important, the most pressing, the most meaningful?

I’m still pondering that and will be for a bit.

For now, I am grateful for the progress and experiences of 2017.  I hope 2018 will be just as richly rewarding.

 

How about you?  What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?

 

 

ps – The moment I am looking forward to the most in 2018 is standing in the baggage claim area of the Salt Lake Airport in August and wrapping my arms around my precious first-born, missionary son for the first time in two years and 5 days.  That will be a big milestone moment right there!  ❤️