My interest in family history began at an early age.  I was in the GATES program in elementary school.  We always got to do neat studies on various subjects, one of them genealogy.

I was about 10 when I did this project in 1986.  It didn’t go beyond my great-grandparents, but I was fascinated.  When you’re a kid, you tend to think in the now.  I thought it was so cool that my great-grandparents had immigrated from Sweden.  I had never met them, and definitely had never heard their names before.  Lars and Eugenia Bergman.  So foreign.

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We only worked on this for a few months and then moved on to another subject – maybe frog dissecting?  I can’t remember exactly.

Genealogy was shelved for me.

I didn’t revisit it again until I had my first daughter, almost 12 years ago.

I often wonder how much more information I could have gleaned had I asked my grandparents more questions when they were still alive.

  • Cynthia Shenette - March 7, 2011 - 9:56 am

    I love this! It shows you were interested in your family tree even as a little sprout!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - March 7, 2011 - 10:30 pm

    I can relate to your blog “where it all begin.” I am a novice in researching my family tree and have had similar thoughts about what information and connection I might have received from my grandparents and other relatives while they were living. Those left behind in my family do not possess all the pieces to our family history. Thanks for your reflection.ReplyCancel

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Another great week in the Genea-Blogosphere.  More fun links to share!

  1. I loved the Open Thread Thursday topic this week on Geneabloggers: Embedding Research Content on Your Blog or Website. It’s something that I’ve been pondering for quite some time.  I would love to have an easy way to share a few generations of a tree in a blog post – in a visually pleasing manner.:)
  2. I feel exactly the same way that Bill West, of West in New England, does.  So Many GEDCOMS, so Little Time.  How true.  I have records I copied from Virginia courthouses LAST MAY which I still haven’t transcribed, entered, and analyzed.  I still haven’t finished my DAR paperwork, and I have a tub full of papers to enter into my database.  I wish that there were more hours in each day.:)
  3. Did you know that New Zealand canceled their census this year, because of the recent earthquake?  How disappointing for future genealogists, searching for their ancestors. Alex, at Winging It, explains this in her post “No census for you“.
  4. Lisa, over at The Accidental Genealogist, has a list of blogging prompts inspired by Women’s History Month. Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.  I think I might join in on a few of these later this month.
  5. Keep ‘em coming Wendy, keep ‘em coming.:)  My cousin Wendy over at Shaking Leaves, keeps posting about our shared ancestors and I love it!  This week, she posted John Newton Garriott and Jane Alen Reed’s marriage record.
  6. I can’t wait to read the next issue of Shades The Magazine.  There are many exciting changes being made, and there are opportunities for you to contribute! Head on over and check it out.
  7. I love how Lisa of Old Stones Undeciphered honored her female ancestors through 10 generations of pictures. What a neat idea!  She submitted it to this month’s Carnival of Genealogy over at Creative Gene.
  8. I encourage you to check out My Georgia Roots, a new blog started by Georgia Tim.:)  He has some great posts this past week!
  9. I loved Emily’s Genealogy Rules over at More Than Names.  So true!
  10. I took Deborah’s advice, and I added “Faces of America” to my Netflix queue.  Head over to Irish Genealogy: The Faery Folk Hid My Ancestors and read her review.

There won’t be a favorites post next week, as I will be enjoying myself in sunny Florida!!!:)

  • Heather Rojo - March 4, 2011 - 8:15 pm

    Thanks for this list. There are some blogs I’ve never read on this post, and I’ll be checking them out this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Bill West - March 6, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the shout out, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • footnoteMaven - March 6, 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Jen:

    Thank you so much for the Shades Promo. Even I’m excited!

    And thank you for alerting your readers to the fact we’d love to have contributions at Shades.

    Our community is packed with brilliant sharing people.

    -fMReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 6, 2011 - 10:17 pm

      It is, isn’t it? I keep finding more great blogs every day!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Wallen Logsdon - March 7, 2011 - 7:53 am

    Thanks for the mention of my COG submission Jen, I feel honored!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - March 8, 2011 - 9:59 pm

    Hey there, thank you for the shoutout! :)ReplyCancel

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My cousin, Wendy, from Shaking Leaves, found our ancestors on the 1874 Plat Map of Steady Run Township, Keokuk County, Iowa.  The Milton Price Brittain family was living right near the township border.

I then looked further on the map of the neighboring township of Benton to see where Milton’s daughter and her husband, Jacob Frederick Sanchez-Tereso were living.

When you put the two township maps together, the two families were living very close to each other.

I love maps.  Seeing where my ancestors lived - and who their neighbors were.  Things start to make a bit more sense.

I searched further, and found the Sanchez family in the 1861 map.

The difference in detail between the two is huge.  The earlier version doesn’t  have boundary lines, simply names and points.  It’s still helpful in placing him on the map though.

I really wish that more of these maps were available online, because they are so helpful!!

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Who is this sweet baby?  I wish I knew.

It  belonged to my Grandpa Don. I’m really not sure what date to put on this photo.  It looks older than the majority of the ones in the stack though (which were mostly from the 40’s. )

I’m guessing that this is more around 1910-20.  This is a complete guess though.  He was born in 1918, so it couldn’t be one of his kids.  Could this be him or a sibling?  I’m not sure.

  • Dee Blakley - March 2, 2011 - 7:48 am

    What an adorable child!ReplyCancel

  • Shaz - March 2, 2011 - 10:33 am

    I would date it 1900-1910. It looks
    very much like my father-in-law’s
    baptism photo in 1905. You might ask
    The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor.ReplyCancel

  • Pat Kuhn - March 2, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    it does look like a baptism photo.and it is a beautiful child!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - March 2, 2011 - 4:52 pm

    Thanks for the input! I think I might head over to the Photo Detective to see what she might say. My grandpa had 5 siblings born between 1900-1910, so that’s a big possibility.ReplyCancel

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I am a bookaholic.  I fully admit it.

Over the years, I have accumulated quite the home library.  Most of the books are for our homeschooling, but I don’t discriminate.  I like fiction and non-fiction alike.  Kids books.  Mysteries.  Photography manuals.  And of course genealogy books.

So, when you have this many books, how do you find anything?  Honestly, for a while there I couldn’t.  I had books that I didn’t know I owned, because they were lost on the shelves. I have them separated out by subject – science, history, art, education, language arts, photography, etc.  But there are so many within each of those sections that I still was often unsure of what we actually had.

With our many moves (we’re military) I am always worried that one of these times something disastrous will happen.  A train derailment.  Flooding in the crates.  Something that would ruin what has taken me years to collect.  I decided that it would be nice to have a list of the books we own for insurance purposes also.  I honestly had no idea how many we owned – and would have a very hard time guessing.

Then I got a membership to LibraryThing. And I feel organized.

Free memberships allow you to add up to 200 books.  For many people, this will be sufficient.

I opted for the “lifetime” membership for $25.  It allows me to add as many books as I like.

Cataloging your library is easy.

You can either type in the ISBN or title of the book you own and it will pop up (through Amazon if you wish).  You click on it to confirm that it’s the version of the book you own.  Then you tag the book with whatever you want – science, biography, underwater basketweaving, favorites, etc.

And viola! You have a catalog of your home library.

When you are looking for a book on a certain subject, you can click on that tag and see what you own.

You can also share your library with others on your website with a nifty little widget.  You can choose books with a specific tag or else your entire library.  You can also customize the widget, changing the number of columns and rows, if you want just the covers or also text, and if you want it to be a static image, or else a rotating widget, showing different books ever few seconds.

Neat, huh?

By the way, you can create any number of collections.  You can make a collection of books that you have read but don’t own, or perhaps a list of your reading “wish list”.

If you look in my sidebar, you can see the widget I created of the books I own, which are tagged “genealogy”.

P.S.  I’m not quite done adding all of my books in yet.  The downstairs is done, but I still have to go add the books in everyone’s bedrooms.  I’m already at 2,141 books. Yes, over TWO THOUSAND books.  The movers hate us.

  • Amy - March 1, 2011 - 7:27 am

    LOL! Good we are not alone. The last time the military moved our books to storage, they asked us to get them on digital!!! We have one grate just books!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - March 1, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    Great post, Jen! So I’m assuming the lifetime membership is a one time thing. $25 isn’t too bad for that. I don’t have as many books as you but I have well over 200! Thanks for the intel!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 1, 2011 - 3:16 pm

      Yes, the $25 is for a lifetime membership!ReplyCancel

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