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As we decorate our homes for the holidays, I thought it would be interesting to see how my ancestors would extend greetings of the season in their own native language:

Merry Christmas – England and America: Reed, Mullett, Rankin, Pollard, Hallett, Trostle, Thompson, Dodds, Gray, Cunningham, Shields, Puckett, Stone, Roberts, Garrett, Roberts, Hutchison, Lewis, Magnes, Munson, Gunning, Bailey, Hendricks, Grizzle

Fröhliche Weihnacten – Germany: Gotto, Fromm, Stitz, Massong, Dostert, Thein, Junemann, Kruse, Isenhour, Dahms, Lehrmann,

Nollaig chridheil huibh – Scotland: Brownlee, Hamilton, Ewing, Finney, Hamilton,

Nollaig Shona Dhui – Ireland: Mulhall,

Joyeux Noël – France: Beauchamp,

ᏓᏂᏍᏔᏲᎯᎲ – Cherokee Nation: McGill

Wishing all my followers Peace and Joy in 2016 …

I guess I’m a victim of writer’s block right now and this blog struck me as very honest and creative too. Enjoy!

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I’ve heard that genealogists really do see dead people and not just on Halloween 🙂

Do you search for ancestors every day of the year? You may want to check out Geneabloggers to enter the MyHeritage Halloween Contest – and qualify for great prizes – before 12 noon CDT today!!!

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I’ve got to say I’m inspired by the camaraderie in the genealogical community. Most of those I’ve reached out to with questions about shared ancestors have responded. And they have been helpful, whether or not there is an actual family connection.

In fact, I am so impressed that I’ve decided to reach out to at least one of my GenFriends each day. If nothing else, just to keep in touch. I know we may never meet in person, but that doesn’t matter. These people are special to me.

They are the comforting souls at the other end of my message or email or phone call who understand a brick wall or an amazing discovery or double first cousins or disappearing ancestors. They just “get it.”

And I appreciate that … especially the fact that they take the time to respond, however brief. Some even go way beyond that, sending me CDs of information that I would never have guessed existed. And there are those in Find A Grave who have driven miles to document and photograph graves of my ancestors living far away from me.

For my part, I am trying to be just as good a GenFriend to other genealogists as they are to me. So if you have research questions about any of the branches on our family tree (see Word Cloud above) bring them on. I’ll try to help!

Just wondering, how do you reach out to your GenFriends?

What a wonderful way to get past square one on my genealogy “to do” list! Amy Johnson Crow has issued a challenge: “The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

Time and energy ran out last year as I had so much requiring my attention and still only 24 hours in a day. And even though I didn’t want to give up something that had helped to jump-start my love for writing again, my little blog went by the wayside.

Ironically, as I was sorting out my New Year’s Resolutions recently, I had decided to dust it off and start having fun with genealogy once again. And so, it is with that optimistic outlook in mind, that I pledge to take better care of my family tree in 2014.

Do you have genealogy resolutions you’d like to share? Perhaps you’d like to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge as well?

This summer has flown by and my good intentions to concentrate on blogging regularly are “Gone with the Wind.” Luckily, we were able to get to the family reunion in July. On the way to that, we went to Corsicana, where we made some amazing discoveries including the resting place of my husband’s second great grandfather, Louis Munson. That was quite a thrill, even though his grave had been relocated and no gravestone could be found.

We’re already planning the 2014 Munson Family Reunion, our 30th year. It should be very special, with lots of great ideas and volunteers.

Closer to home, we also attended the Ancestry Day in Texas last weekend and enjoyed seeing Crista Cowan and others from Ancestry.com. More than a thousand came for genealogy tips and tricks and to network with others who were “climbing their family trees.”

My latest efforts – working on organizing my genealogy research with a form that helps you list all the documentation you have on each ancestor. Really helpful for getting a handle on my paperwork.

Please share – what is your secret to staying organized?

Over this past weekend, we got together with members of my mother’s family for a “Beauchamp Family Lunch.” At this point, this is the closest we’ll come to a reunion, because of distance and health issues of some members. But we had such a good time! Sharing a meal, trading stories, looking at old photos, taking new ones for our tree.

And most importantly, the best result of reconnecting is renewing kinship. Time and life itself puts distance between siblings, cousins, even whole branches of the same family. It was so good to see each other, face to face, to give hugs and kisses, to make new memories to carry us on to the next time we can get together and renew our family ties.

I’d love to know: Other than through family reunions, how does your family “keep in touch?”

Memorial Day is set aside to remember those whose service to our country has given and preserved our American freedoms.

As I look at my family tree, I’m grateful for the sacrifices made by my ancestors from many lands who embraced the flag and lifestyle of their adopted country, pledging their allegiance in loyalty, and the last true measure of devotion, if necessary.

I’d like to know: Do you have a special way of showing your relatives’ military service in your family tree?

I was so happy to find my blog featured among the new genealogy blogs by GeneaBloggers.com 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.