You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2013.

I was so happy to find my blog featured among the new genealogy blogs by on April 27. What an honor.

I enjoy reading the blogs in this group because they are so varied, so colorful, so full of what makes history come alive: real people! I don’t need reality shows to catch my attention when there are so many spellbinding true stories that I can find in their family trees as well as my own.

They set the bar high and I hope I can continue to offer observations and comments on genealogical research and family histories that will be of interest to my fellow genealogy bloggers.

I’ve got a lot to learn and am thankful for this group and any advice I receive from its members. I’d like to know: have you found genealogy blogging groups or organizations that are encouraging to your efforts?

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.

Considering the dozens of ways I get side tracked every time I open my family tree, it’s a wonder that I actually get any research done.

I usually go after one piece of information, then find some interesting side note and start to follow wherever it leads. Like a puppy following a scent, I wander through books, websites, other people’s trees or boxes of old letters and photos.

Then, when I finally look up and realize how far afield I am, I often can’t remember where I started and don’t know how to get back there.

Genealogy experts say that having a plan in writing and taking notes along the way is great for keeping yourself on track. Sound advice. And maybe, it just might keep me from barking up the wrong tree twice.

I’d like to know: how do you keep track of your genealogy research? 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?

Haven’t had much time for genealogy lately because I’ve been cleaning, sorting, tossing stuff. I’ve discovered things I’d forgotten we had and I’ve even taken time to walk down memory lane.

One of these walks brought me to long-forgotten photos and a reminder that they needed to be sorted, labeled, scanned and shared with family and friends.

I’m a visual person and when I can put a face with a name, I connect better. I love adding photos to my family tree because it makes the people and places more concrete, more real to me.

Digital photo files are easily labeled and saved to my online trees. But the old black and white photos I found while spring cleaning really need to be preserved before they fade away, taking my memories with them.

I’d like to know: how do you archive your photos? Do you have a favorite software that you use, or do you scan them directly into your computer and upload into your tree?