Did you ever have one of those moments where you just want to kick yourself?

Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to my research.

I have a Rubbermaid tub of papers that I have yet to enter into my computer program.  It seems like such a monumental task that I’ve put it off for years now.

But what I’ve found is that often the answer to my brick wall is lying in there, waiting for me to re-find it.

Another researcher contacted me through this blog after finding we shared a common ancestor – John Robertson.

John has been one of my biggest brick walls for years.  I knew he was from Kentucky, but not where.  Finding a John Robertson in the 1840 census proved to be difficult.  It’s a common name in a large state – and without the names of the family along with him, I haven’t been able to pinpoint which one might be him.

And I had the answer of where he was from (or at least a good clue to the answer) sitting in that tub for years.

I pulled out the Civil War records for John Robertson’s son, Hugh – so that I could scan them and send them to this researcher. And as I started reading through it, I realized that Hugh’s birthplace is listed on this record.

I believe that it says Brick/Breck county. My guess is that it’s an abbreviation of Breckenridge County. The only other option would be Bracken county. Either way, my search for John Robertson has now narrowed considerably.

It looks like I need to take a vacation at home and get to digitizing and entering in this information that I have.

The only question is where do I put the kids?:)

Do you ever find yourself hampering your own research by your lack of organization? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

  • Amy - March 14, 2011 - 6:25 am

    I am truly jealous of your collections of so much fun stuff! Seriously, how did you get it all? I wish someone would suddenly just open up a forgotten rubbermaid tote & mail it to me… FULL! You have truly been blessed :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - March 14, 2011 - 8:39 am

    Oh, no one sent it to me. It’s a collection of stuff from over the years. Actually, the reason I have a tote full of stuff that isn’t entered into my computer is – after we took our genealogy class, I realized that I needed to better source my information. So, I started my database completely over. Which means I never got around to re-entering all of the information I already have. Big mess.
    I have probably 10 Civil War pensions that I need to digitize amongst that stuff. Thankfully, I ordered them years ago when they were cheap in comparison. :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan - March 14, 2011 - 3:23 pm

    You are not the only one – there are at least two of us. And I’m betting there might even be a third somewhere…ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 14, 2011 - 4:54 pm

      Maybe we need to start a group – Unorganized Anonymous. Oh wait, that wouldn’t work, because we’ve just announced it to the world! :)ReplyCancel

  • MHD - March 24, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    No, you are not alone! I’ve been working diligently at getting all the ‘stuff'(defined as “valuable genealogical research info needing to be synthesized and added to database &/or clue lists”) into my system. And, even though I’ve made a little rule about “No New Research,” as I work on inputting the old stuff, of course, I find a great clue and off I go, working on it and, utlimately, adding to the inputting pile. I take a bit of comfort in seeing that there are now “only” two piles where there used to be three…. I’m now trying to not let it upset me: this is supposed to be fun! You’ll get it done!ReplyCancel

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From the October 2, 1912 edition of the Denison Bulletin, Denison, Crawford, Iowa.

“Sarah Edwards was born April 3d, 1850, in St. Clair county, Michigan, and died at her home in Dow City, Iowa, September 24th 1912.  She was married in Michigan September 8th 1857 [I believe this should be 1867 not 1857] to John Edwards.  In 1877 they moved to Iowa, where they have since resided.

She united with the Latter Day Saints’ church in December, 1885, and remained true to that faith until death.  She was a good wife and mother and a kind neighbor.  She had been in failing health for a number of years and at the time of her death was almost totally blind and had been a great sufferer.  The bereaved husband has the consolation of knowing that he did everything possible for her comfort and relief.  She leaves to mourn her departure her husband and three sons, Wallace, John, and Elden, all of Dow City. The funeral was held in the Latter Day Saints’ church Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock, Elder C.J. Hunt of Deloit conducting the service and the remains were laid to rest in the Dow City cemetery. The ones thus bereft of wife and mother have the sympathy of all in their dark hour of sorrow.

I really wish that I had a picture of her.  She died in 1912, so I’m sure that some relative has one somewhere.  I am hoping that someday I find one!  I love putting a face to the names and dates.

  • Tim Jones - March 13, 2011 - 7:08 pm

    Thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog. I have chosen you to receive the “One Lovely Blog” award. You may stop by my blog to see the rules that go along with accepting this award.


  • Tim Jones - March 13, 2011 - 7:09 pm

    Thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog. I have chosen you to receive the “One Lovely Blog” award. You may stop by my blog to see the rules that go along with accepting this award.


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I know that many people belong to national or regional societies, but do you belong to your local genealogical society?

I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions on them around the blogosphere.  Are they a thing of the past?  Are they still relevant?

I think that the quality of the society varies so widely from place to place, that it’s hard to make a blanket statement about them.

We move a lot and I tend to join them wherever we are living.  It gets me plugged in to the local genealogical community.  I like to hear the various speakers and meet with other genealogy nerds like myself.

Last week at our local society, Barry Sheehy and Vaughnette Goode-Walker came in to speak about their book, Savannah Immortal City.  It was a very interesting presentation and made me want to take a closer look the next time I’m walking through town.

I bought a copy and had it autographed.:)

undefinedundefinedSavannah is a city rich in history.  If you’ve ever walked through downtown, then you know what I’m talking about. An incredible amount of the antebellum architecture is preserved here.  You feel like you’re stepping back in time.

I love learning about the local history of wherever we’re living, even if I don’t have any ancestors that walked these streets. I hope that I find an active society when we move to El Paso this June.

Are you a member of your local society?  Why or why not?

  • Amy Coffin - March 14, 2011 - 10:57 am

    I am not a member of any of the local societies in my area. The one nearest to me meets on a day that I can’t. The biggest one is too political and clique-ish.

    I am a member of a few societies from a distance. I do this to support preservation in the areas in which I am interested, or because I like the group and want to be a part of it.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 14, 2011 - 4:56 pm

      A political genealogical society doesn’t sound like any fun! I have been a member of a few from a distance also for the same reason. I’m hoping that there is a great society in El Paso.ReplyCancel

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I just returned home from 5 days in Florida.  Disney World.  The Everglades.  Key West.  The beach.  All of it was very exciting.

But I was even more excited to learn that I was on the list of the top 40 genealogy blogs in Family Tree Magazine – in the new blogs category!!!

I started this blog almost exactly a year ago and have had so much fun with it.

I love having an outlet to share my finds, think through my brick walls, find others researching my families, and connect with other genealogists.

I am humbled and honored to be on the list with so many other great new bloggers.

My good friend Cherie, of Have You Seen My Roots? is on the list also (yeah Cherie!!).  As are Cynthia from Heritage Zen, Brenda from Journey to the Past, and Lisa of Old Stones Undeciphered. And that’s only the “new blogs” category.

There are 35 other great blogs on the list also.  If you haven’t read the list yet, head on over to Family Tree Magazine and check it out. Congratulations to all of those listed – and all who were nominated!




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I posted a picture of my mom’s bronze shoe a few weeks ago. I think it’s such a great heirloom.

This week, I’m sharing a picture of my own baby shoes. Not bronzed. Very worn. Really, how could I have worn these out that much in the short amount of time they must have fit me? I must have fallen down in them a lot to have scuffed them so much.

You know what I love most about them?  The bells my mom attached to the shoelaces.  She must have done it so that she could keep track of me.  I must have jingled everywhere I walked.:)

Do you still have your baby shoes?

  • Marian Wood - March 10, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    Love those bells! Great photo. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Goodrum - March 10, 2011 - 1:20 pm

    Congratulations on being one of Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2011!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Goodrum - March 10, 2011 - 1:38 pm

    Beautiful photo of your baby shoes too!ReplyCancel

  • Janice Tracy - March 10, 2011 - 4:44 pm

    Congratulations, Jennifer, on having your lovely blog named to Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 Genealogy Blogs!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Leyndyke - March 10, 2011 - 7:18 pm

    Congratulations on your Top 40 blog award. It’s a very nice blog.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Wallen Logsdon - March 10, 2011 - 8:12 pm

    Congrats on being a top 40 blogger! (Great photo of the baby shoes too, love it!)ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Shenette - March 11, 2011 - 7:18 am

    Jen – Congratulations on your top 40 award! I’m so happy for you!Love the baby shoes BTW, and I hope you are enjoying your vacation!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - March 11, 2011 - 7:34 am

    Congrats, Jenn on the Top 40! So well deserved! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy - March 12, 2011 - 8:07 am

    Jenn you continue to amaze me! I love this photo by the way… but you are hauling all this around with you across the country with 5 kids? WOW! Beautiful photo!ReplyCancel

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