Tomorrow, through the magic of technology and hosted by FamilySearch, I will realize a dream, being at rootstech Connect.

Today I will select the livestream and videos that interest me and add them to my Playlist. If I cannot watch them over the next few days, they will be available for access for the entire next year!!!

Are you interested too? Here is the link to their YouTube channel website tutorials

I’m especially interested in the Show My Relatives feature, a sort of matching program that will let participants know if another attendee’s tree shows ancestors you may share in common. This should be exciting!

Please let me know if you are joining this amazing event as well. I hope rootstech Connect will be a springboard and inspiration for genealogists, family historians, story tellers and record keepers throughout the world!

Debbie Reed Hutchison

The Janus god, « looking to the future and to the past » | Download  Scientific Diagram

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of doors, gates, and transitions. What is unusual about the god Janus is his iconic image. As the god of transitions and dualities, Janus is portrayed with two faces—one facing the past, and one facing the future.* As such, he is the ideal namesake for the first month of the Roman calendar, January.

Looking back on the year 2020 with its enforced lockdowns and quarantines, I have found time to plan my genealogy “do-over” following Thomas MacEntee’s outline of attack. In going through boxes of notes and photos, I’ve discovered several documents and followed several hints to intriguing scenarios.

Looking ahead to 2021, I’m inspired to examine my ancestors more closely and to climb further up my family tree. I’m certain that I’ll be finding duplicates, misinformation, unrelated individuals and maybe even surprises. In addition, I may begin to break through my brick walls and solve a few mysteries.

In any event, I’m excited that 2021 will be a year that I finally commit my time, energy and words to my AncesTrees blog.


C1D22922-877D-461C-95DF-6C420EC74B49As I watched our grandson practice “long tones” on his clarinet, I realized what an important place music has had in our family over the generations. Musicians in our family have hummed, whistled and sang through the years. They have played a long line of instruments including guitar, ukulele, drums, xylophone, violin, recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano and accordion. It’s so true, music unites our family 🎼 

Mom and me sharing a laugh.

This is one of my favorite photos of my mother, Otha Beauchamp Reed, born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Her family was not enumerated in the 1930 United States census when she was just a girl herself, and I hope to find out where they were living that year to tie up some loose ends in our family history.

This is my challenge, my course of action for the year, my exercise regimen, day in and day out. Hopefully my reward will be to develop a powerful new habit that will make me stronger in all aspects of my life.

My father, Willard William Reed was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I was told that his family moved around as part of crop harvesting and they were living in Canada when he was born for that reason.

My first goal for 2020 is to request his Canadian birth record and to locate the house they lived in from the information on the 1921 Canadian census.

Did my ancestors follow the harvests?

My great grandfather Thomas Reed (1843-1917) was listed as a farmer living in Indiana and Nebraska in the US Census records of 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910. His father, Ezekiel Reed (1818-1891) farmed in Indiana as well according to the US Census records of 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880.

With all this in mind, it should be logical to believe the family story my father told that his father, my grandfather Marion William Reed (1870-1951) was a laborer who worked with a group that went from state to state harvesting whatever was ready to pick, pull, pluck or scythe.

That might also explain why their family moved from Indiana, where my grandfather was born, to Nebraska where he met and married Elizabeth Lillian Gotto, my grandmother, to Calgary, Canada where my father was born, to Colorado, Washington and back to Colorado where he is listed on the 1940 census as a farmer.

It must have been hard to follow the crop harvesting cycle, taking temporary jobs in the off season and moving your wife and nine children across country. However, in the early 1900s, times were economically challenging for everyone and I’m proud to see how resourcefulness and following the harvest helped my family survive.


When we visited Hodgenville, KY on a genealogy research trip, we were fortunate to meet Carol in the LaRue County Kentucky Genealogy Society and the great staffers in the LaRue County Public Library. All of these fine folks were so instrumental in guiding our travels through the county roads and through the cemeteries there.

The 1899 map above was a key find, charting the location of farms in the area listed by the names of the landowners in 1899. So many of the names in the county were familiar to us from our family tree. Seeing where they lived made these ancestors come alive once more!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
Week 2: Challenge

Because my New Year’s resolution was to keep in touch with my DNA matches, it should not have been a surprise when I went to my Ancestry Message Center and found that notes from my “cousin matches” had been piling up.

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round tuit

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019

No more procrastination! First things first!

I’ve just discovered that many of the things I’m setting aside time for now that I’ve retired (on the so-called bucket list) are things that I thought of doing many years ago and put off for one reason or another.

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Looking back at my lack of dedication to this project in 2015, I am almost afraid to try again. But thank you, Amy Johnson Crow, for giving me another chance.

The prompt for the first week in January is Start. A small word for that all important first step forward, or in the case of genealogists, backward as we search for those who have come before us.

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