Scrapbooking Your Family Tree

During my genealogical research, I have accumulated quite a few old photos and heirlooms. Some I received from relatives, both near and far, and others I’ve had passed on to me specifically to include in my genealogy records. One elderly lady I met was so happy to give me some photos she had of my ancestors (who were also related to her in some manner) because she was afraid they would be thrown out after she died, since they didn’t have any meaning to her immediate family. I was honored to accept them. She passed away a few months ago. … Continue reading

Documenting Your Ancestor’s Home

If you have been researching your genealogy for any amount of time, you have likely acquired a nice collection of pedigree charts, old letters, birth & death certificates, marriage licenses, baptism records, draft cards, and any other document that provides important genealogical information. You may also possess old photos of your ancestors and their families. However, you may not have considered documenting the home of your ancestors, and I am here to tell you that you should. Homes of our ancestors often hold deep sentimental value and memories for the people who once lived there. It could be that there … Continue reading

Genealogy and Family Ghost Stories

Occasionally, your genealogy research will reveal a “skeleton” in the family closet. Sometimes, if you are lucky, your genealogy research can uncover a family ghost story. It is things like these that make genealogy so interesting! Part of the fun in documenting a family ghost story is discovering clues of it’s veracity. Just make sure you are recording it the right way. It is not unheard of for a family to hide, or to stop talking about, a family member that caused a scandal. Perhaps a baby was born “out of wedlock”, or maybe an ancestor suffered from a mental … Continue reading

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy

Each week I participate in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenge, which is a set of weekly prompts that were created by Amy Coffin of We Tree. Each prompt is designed to allow genealogists, both beginning and advanced, to further their genealogical knowledge. I have found the challenge to be both fun and beneficial to my own genealogy research and know-how. Anyways, this week’s prompt is to encourage other genealogists to participate in a challenge of my own choosing, so I thought what better way to do this than to post about it here. Come up with a personal … Continue reading

Genealogy for Kids

I want my children to share my passion for genealogy, and I try to share my research with them whenever I think I may have grabbed their attention. My three-year-old son accompanies me on most of my cemetery visits, and actually gets excited when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk in the cemetery. My nine-year-old daughter enjoys looking through my old family photos with me. I am always looking for ways to involve my children in my genealogy, and often come up short when looking for ideas online. However, I have managed to come across … Continue reading

Family Reunion Planning: Who to Invite and How

As I discussed in my last post, there are different types of family reunions you could have-from a small gathering of only a few relatives, to a large event of anyone who shares your last name. The size of your gathering may be dependent on factors, such as the reason for the reunion, your budget, and how many people your venue can accommodate. Start by grabbing a pen and notepad and jotting down a list of everyone you want to invite. Don’t forget to include your relative’s spouses and children. Note which relatives you have addresses or phone numbers for. … Continue reading

Family Reunion Planning: Types and Themes

I may have gotten ahead of myself in this family reunion planning series, since technically this post should have come before my post about budget, venue, and food. Considering the type of reunion you will have, and any theme you may want, will help tremendously when determining your reunion budget. TYPES Small, intimate gatherings are probably the easiest and most inexpensive family reunions to plan. These often include just a few of your closest family members, and may be held in celebration of a special event, such as an anniversary, birthday, graduation, baby shower, etc. Medium-sized family reunions can also … Continue reading

Family Reunion Planning: Budgets, Venues, and Food

In my last post, I talked about why someone might want to plan a family reunion. This post will discuss planning for the reunion budget, venue (location), and food. Budget Unless you have recently won the lottery, you are probably planning your family reunion on a limited budget. There are a number of websites that offer free budgeting worksheets for party (and reunion) planning. The first thing you need to do when planning a family reunion budget is to make a list of everything you will need to purchase or rent. Some items that may be included on your list … Continue reading

Historical Attractions in the United States

For me, genealogy has sparked a general interest in American history. I remember thinking history was so boring in high school. Text book learning, apparently, is not my thing. However, during the past few years I have visited places that have historical significance in our great country. I have learned so much through my visits, and have developed a love for history. Besides the fact that visiting historical attractions can be fun, interesting, and exciting, they can also teach us a lot about our ancestors. Having a direct connection with historical places can be a very humbling experience. Listed below … Continue reading

Mystery Solved!

My great grandfather was born to a single mother in 1898. She never disclosed who the father was, or if she did, it was kept secret by anyone who knew. She married a man within a few years of my great grandfather’s birth, and my great grandfather assumed his stepfather’s last name. It is unknown if he was ever officially adopted. I first became aware of my great grandfather’s illegitimate birth when I first began diving into my genealogy. There were a few theories as to who the biological father was: a traveling businessman, a married man, or even a … Continue reading