Wouldn’t it be nice if we had pictures of all of our ancestors? One of the joys of being on Ancestry (note: they employ me!) is that you can connect with so many people. I met a cousin a while back and we messaged back and forth. Lovely lady.
And a week or so ago, she said she had a picture of Elizabeth Jane Wallace. Now Elizabeth, my 2nd great great grandmother, doesn’t even have a grave marker. This was too much to hope for, but sure enough here it is:
Elizabeth is in the lower left, her mother Martha Jane Cash, is in the lower right. Is it me or do they appear to be short a few teeth? Upper right is Aurelia Donald Brogan, upper left is is Ethel Jane Brogan. Martha died in 1913, so it was taken before then. Ethel was born in 1890, so I would guess the picture was taken between 1905 and 1913.
We’ve start a new series on Ancestry.com called Between the Leaves. It’s a genealogy chat show for some of the genealogist who work at Ancestry.com: Myself, Juliana Szucs Smith, Amy Johnson Crow and Crista Cowan. The first episode was a lot of fun to film and I can’t wait to do the next one!
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.
— David Eagleman from Sum: Forty Tales of the Afterlife
So I’ve be blogging for a few months now and it has indeed been a lot of fun. I spent the last couple of days thinking about what kind of posts have gotten some of the best responses.
Posts that have a story associated with them. Can be small snippet of a story of lengthy piece. But it seems those with a genealogy bent to their personality love a good or even passable story.
Posts that talk about how I’ve done it wrong. Confessing one’s genealogical sins seems hard at first, but it seems to have brought out some camaraderie. Let’s face it — none of us are perfect. And we all started as really naive and clueless family historians. Who knew a birth record could be wrong? Who knew that vital records don’t exist for everyone and are not readily available? Who knew those stories about Indian princesses are just stories and not facts? But figuring this out and then learning how to fix our errors? That is one of the joys of genealogy. We never stop learning. I enjoy discussing the learning process as much I enjoy discussing my ancestors.
Posts about the forgotten. This was and still is the main goal of my blog. I don’t want my ancestors, good, bad or ugly to be forgotten. They have made me who I am. And remembering those who have left no one behind, such as my maiden aunts and bachelors uncles, seemed to have struck a real chord with many.
So I think I’m on the right path. It’s OK not to be perfect. Which is good, because that is not in my DNA. And sharing our mistakes maybe can make it easier for others. Or at least we can share in our “can you believe I did that?”
And telling the stories. Making the records come to life. That is the fun and addictive part, isn’t it?
I am a perpetual student because the world is a limitless place. — Elissa Scalise Powell
I had the honor of being in Elissa’s class when I was a student in the Boston University Online Certificate program. She was inspiring then, and in a recent post on APG mailing list, she delivered the above gem. (I couldn’t find this attributed to anyone else, so I assume it is hers.) It was part of a great discussion about education.
When I was a computer science student at the University of Arkansas working on my bachelor’s degree, I remember sitting in an architecture class and thinking, there is absolutely no way I am ever going to know all there is to know about this. It inspired me to go get a Master’s Degree at Purdue.
I had that moment in my BU class where the light went on and I knew I would have to pick and choose what I became truly knowledgeable about in Genealogy.
For me, I want to know all I can about Southern Genealogy, specifically Virginia, and the Carolina’s and the Civil War. That is where my family’s history lies.
Oh, and sourcing!
Some days I feel like I am making progress and some days I am overwhelmed.
But I keep reading and practicing. Because the world is indeed a limitless place.