Saturday, January 26, 2013

From Holocaust archive rescues lost identities, reunites long lost families

People of European descent are lucky in the amount of records available to them for genealogical purposes, for the most part - people of European Jewish descent often hit that brick wall as recently as World War II because of people and records lost in the Holocaust. So I found this article and this archive very interesting. And maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but it brought a tear to my eye.

Holocaust archive rescues lost identities, reunites long lost families

Enjoy your weekend, everyone - keep warm! :) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My blogiversary - celebrating 5 years of genealogy facts and fun


Five years. Five years.

I knew the anniversary of the date I started this blog was approaching but it seems unreal that I've been an active participant in the genealogy blogosphere for 5 whole years. Time flies when you're having fun, huh?

And I really have been having fun - sharing all the amazing discoveries I've made about my own tree over those years, sharing all the research tips & records help that I've learned and gotten familiar with along the way that have hopefully helped others in their family history research! When I think about where I was five years ago, I have so much more solid information, I have so many more branches, both backwards and sideways, I have so many more stories that have made the members of my tree so much more well-rounded and interesting and REAL, so many fewer brick walls (well, not really - but the new ones are at least further back), and most importantly, so many more connections - with fellow genealogists, with my readers, and with all my amazing researching cousins, who have played such a huge role in so many of my genealogy breakthroughs - and it's this blog that has often times been the catalyst to connecting us!

And there's just so much more to learn and share - I truly hope I have another five years in me. I hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing this blog. 2013 looks to bring a lot of changes to my personal life, the biggest being the arrival of my daughter, who should be here in just 11 short weeks - so I may not get to write as often, but as I'm doing all this work for, among others, my daughter, you better believe that while I may not have as much time to research my family and write about it, I'll find the time somehow and somewhere. After all, I really think genealogy chooses us, and not the other way around - once a genealogist, always a genealogist!


Friday, January 11, 2013

A genealogy break: The Liebster Award

Thanks to Heather at Leaves for Trees for nominating me for the Liebster Award! Heather is one of the people I interact with the most in the blogosphere - I always appreciate her comments and suggestions on my blog posts and I appreciate her encouragement to keep chugging along as a blogger by giving me this nomination!

Liebster is a German word that means friend, dearest, adored, beloved, chosen one. The Liebster Award is given to bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage them to keep at it and to help spread the word about interesting blogs to a new audience.

The rules for the award vary, but I'm going to follow Heather's suggestions:

  • Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself/your blog (if you want - it was much harder than I thought it would be to come up with 11!)
  • Nominate five blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
  • Let the nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
  • Add the award image to your site (optional). 

So, 11 random facts about me/my blog:
1. I am also the author of two other blogs: one about television and a sports blog for girls.
2. I am OCD, probably most evident in that I HAVE to eat Skittles in a particular order and the television volume has to be on an even number. I know. It's weird.
3. I am the oldest child of an oldest child (my dad) of an oldest child (my grandfather).
4.  I wish I had gone to school for history (a degree as useless as the one I actually have) but if I was independently wealthy, I would still consider going back to school for history. Besides finding it interesting in and of itself, the more familiar you are with history in general, the better you'll be at your own family history!
5. I wrote my college senior thesis on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's right. AND I got an A :)
6. Besides my grandmother's influence, my interest in genealogy was piqued by the insert in a Freeport restaurant menu on the history of Freeport.
7. Out of the six people in my immediate family, I am the only one who does not have 17 letters in their name - boo :( LOL
8. Keeping this blog has made me learn so much about my family that I'm so proud of that I can't wait to pass on to my daughter. (Unlike my siblings, she'll be a captive audience for at least the first few years!)
9. I once went to the movies 60 times in one year.
10. I used to really identify with my Irish ancestry but the more I've learned about my German ancestry, the more I identify with that.
11. I once passed Will Ferrell in a stairwell - he was really tall!

So, these are five bloggers I like to follow - even though they're not all genealogy-related, they're all well written and interesting and I hope my nominating them for this award helps encourage them to keep chugging along, too!
1. Skipping Down Memory Lane
2. Brown-Eyed Blessings
3. A3Genealogy
4. Digging Up the Dirt on My Dead People
5. Running the Race

When you get a chance, definitely check out Heather's blog (linked back at the top of this post) as well as my five nominees! Whether you're a blog reader, writer, or both, we have to support and encourage each other!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A new year, a new project & a call for help! :)

Welcome to 2013, everyone!

So in keeping with the new year, I've started a new project - I'm adding siblings and sideways branches to my family tree.


Purely to keep things streamlined and more orderly and under control, I've always avoided this, even though I know sometimes your best family connections are your sideways connections. Your grandmother might not have the info or records or family heirlooms you want or need, but a third cousin might be the key to unlocking more info on your family or even knocking down that brick wall - I speak from experience! I have those branches galore on my home computer programs, which is how I was always able to find and connect to these people, but I've decided the time has come to make those branches public. Because I need some cousin help.

I got a very helpful response on my last blog entry from CeCe over at Your Genetic Genealogist who noted that when AncestryDNA gives you that list of possible cousins to connect to, if the probability is high enough (and for me, its in the upper 90 percent), then these really ARE probably cousins. Exciting, right? Which means these are people I need to connect to! But when I look at their trees, I don't recognize any of the names, which is frustrating because it means I can't personally connect myself to them yet, but at the same time it's exciting because it means one or two of those people on their trees are as of yet unknown family members of mine, branches that are so far behind a brick wall, a brick wall I'm trying to break down.

So, that's my call for help - I might not be able to connect to their trees yet, but maybe, if I start filling those sideways branches in, one or more of my potential cousins might be able to connect to my tree - all it takes is one familiar name or a place, something somebody heard before or came across before, or even just a hunch. I'm a strong believer in hunches - sometimes our subconscious can make connections our conscious mind can't yet.

It's already overwhelming but very exciting - wish me luck! (And if you think we might be related or you have a helpful tip or strategy that worked for you, drop me a line in the comments section!)

Happy New Year, y'all - may it be a good one personally & genealogically for all of us! :)