Family History – it’s not All About the Research

The holidays are a time when you may be able to see relatives whom you do not get to see frequently. Of course, that is a wonderful thing. As a genealogist, you may be tempted to try to get as much information as you can during the visits. You might even make an action plan of what you want to discuss and with whom. I have discovered that unless there is some pressing research that you absolutely must do, those research questions and plans can be saved for email or telephone exchanges, or even writing letters. Holiday visits are a … Continue reading

Family History in the Christmas Tree

For some families, decorating the Christmas tree is a trip down family history lane. While I do not yet have a tree for my home, and I am not sure whether my parents have theirs yet, I do have many memories of decorating Christmas trees with them. Some of the memories even involve the event of choosing a tree and bringing it home. When I was growing up, we did not have a specific plan regarding where we got our Christmas tree. Sometimes, my dad would come home with one on top of the car. Other times, we would go … Continue reading

Mormons and Genealogy

One question that many new genealogists have, after seeing that many great genealogy resources are connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is why genealogy is so important to Mormons. For Mormons, family life is important, eternal, in fact, and it is central to God’s plan. Since family is an eternal structure, baptisms may be conducted for deceased family members. Genealogy research enters the picture when Mormons trace their roots in search of ancestors who died without learning about the Mormon Gospel. It is these ancestors who are then baptized by proxy in the temple, so … Continue reading

What does your surname mean?

What’s in a name? Every name means something. Most people seek out information about the meaning of names when they are looking for the perfect name for a baby that is on the way. Surnames, or last names, also have their own meanings. What do the surnames in your family mean? One of the things that makes genealogy fun and interesting is learning about the meanings behind some of the names. Sometimes you find out that a certain first name has been handed down through several generations. It can be both entertaining and enlightening to learn what your last name … Continue reading

Who Do You Think You Are

OK, so I wanna know why is it only now that I am hearing about the new NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are? I came across it last week and have it set to record each week on my DVR. I saw my first episode this past Friday, although it’s not the first time the show has aired. Heck, it wasn’t even the first time that particular episode had aired. But despite me being late to discovering it, I am glad I did! Basically the show helps celebrities (one each episode) discover their genealogy. The episode I watched … Continue reading

Managing Your Family Tree Online

Are you using a website to store your family history? Do you use websites for research? There are several websites to help you manage your family tree online. I have used them for research, but only one to store information. I prefer to keep my records in a book that I created, so that everything is kept in one place and can be passed down to my son. However, there are advantages to doing things online. Information that is stored online reduces paper clutter. Research has been made much easier with the help of websites that offer search functions and … Continue reading

Risk Factors for Addiction

I’ve talked a bit about alcoholism here at the Health Blog, and my own fears about addiction. There are some factors that can increase your risk of developing an addiction — but it is important to remember that a risk does not mean a guarantee. Still, it can be helpful to identify risk factors. Family history (or you can call it genetics if you like) is a big risk factor for addiction. If a family member has shown signs of trouble with addiction, you may want to be careful. My grandfather was an alcoholic, and I tend to avoid … Continue reading

Health and Gratitude

It’s that time of year: time to start counting our blessings. Holiday season is upon us, with Thanksgiving tomorrow (for U.S. folks) and winter holidays on the horizon. I think gratitude is a healthy thing. It’s so easy to get mired down in what’s wrong, what’s hard, what’s stressful… and forget all the things that are good in our lives. Sometimes, stopping to take stock can be a real eye-opener. It’s a great chance to let the good things shine for a while. I happened to be at the doctor’s office today — my first appointment at a new office. … Continue reading

Bringing Your Research to Life

There is something comforting in knowing where you came from and the stories of your family and your ancestors. I was raised being told the stories of my grandparents when they were children, and as they grew into adults. I try to share those stories with my children as well. I’m also touched by the stories of their parents, my great grandparents and the sacrifices that each of them made to protect their family. These stories give me strength as I face the challenges in the world today. Genealogy is about finding that connection and that strength. Tracing your family … Continue reading

Family Tree Ideas

There are a variety of different ways to chart your genealogy. When you use a computer program it will store the information in a set way that allows you to easily follow and read it. However when you want to display your family history you have several different charts to choose from. The type of chart you choose will also depend on how much information you want to display. There is the traditional line chart. This is a much more practical chart. It is easy to create and to follow. It starts at one side and flows out across the … Continue reading