Randy Seaver, over at Genea-Musings has another fun installment of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun up on his blog.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go to your Blog Statistics website (e.g., StatCounter, Google Analytics, etc.) and find the page for “Keyword Searches” done on your blog.

2)  Tell us some of the funniest or most interesting keyword searches and your reaction to them.  Write your own blog post or put them in a comment to this post, or in a comment or status on Facebook .

I found some funny ones!

  1. i love climbing, santa claus (not sure what they were looking for!)
  2. is santa in my family (ha! or should I say ho! ho! ho!)
  3. should I join ancestry.com (yes, you should – but that’s just my opinion)
  4. the toilet mask co. (I admit that I did write a post on this one….)
  5. soldiers climbing brick walls  (I have many brick walls, but no soldiers climbing them.  My husband – who is a soldier – doesn’t help me at all!)
  6. santa clauses family tree
  7. harry potter family tree

So, it seems like people think that I might be able to give them answers on the family trees of Harry Potter and Santa Claus!

Sorry to disappoint them….

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One of my goals this year is to get my hands on John Edwards’ Civil War pension.  I have explained the problems I’ve been having here and here.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a reply from the VA today!!  They were quick, I have to say.  I thought that I was going to be waiting months upon months to even get a confirmation, but I was wrong.  I wrote to them right before Christmas, so that’s a pretty quick turnaround.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have the records I was searching for.  They are (of course) housed in another facility (within the VA).  Thankfully, they forwarded my request and hopefully the next office will be as prompt as they were.

Am I beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel?  Do his records actually exist??  Are they sitting on some back shelf in a musty, dark basement somewhere, untouched by human hands for the past 80 years?  Probably.

I just hope that the VA can unearth them for me so that I can finally read them!  After all of this time and frustration, there had better be something good in this thing!:)

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Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?!

When I was a kid, we didn’t normally have a huge bash at New Year’s Eve like some people did.

Most of our family members lived within 2 hours of us, but not in the same town.  Besides, we had seen all of them at Christmas, so we usually rang in the new year with just us (my parents and 3 siblings). New Year’s was normally spent at home with football and food  – lots of chips and dip.

We would of course stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop on TV.   Not very exciting, but as a kid we always thought staying up that late was so cool.

As I got to be a teenager, I generally spent New Year’s with friends who lived nearby. We always made sure we were spending the night somewhere, because really – who wants to be on the road on New Year’s Eve with a bunch of crazy drivers?

Now that I’m married and have a family of my own, we can make our own traditions.  The kids like to drink sparkling cider from wine glasses at midnight – even though I have a feeling that they don’t really like the cider, they just like drinking out of grown-up glasses. :)

You would have thought that we would have at least had a huge celebration to ring in 2000, but we didn’t.  We were living in San Antonio at the time and had a 6 month-old baby.  We stayed at home and fell asleep soon after midnight. We’re boring, I know.

This year, we spent New Year’s Eve at Sea World in Orlando.  Definitely one that we will all remember.:)

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This Thursday, I want to express my gratitude to Darwin Edward Thornton (1920-2002).  He was my first cousin, twice removed – twice.  His mother was my great-grandmother’s sister.  His father was my great-grandfather’s brother.  Robertson sisters married Thornton brothers and made the family doubly related.:)

I never met Darwin – actually I never even spoke to him or his family.  I was given a copy of a copy of a copy of his genealogy research by my aunt though, and I am very thankful for that.  He did a ton of great research in the years before Ancestry.com and online databases.  Not only did he do a lot of research, but he also put it into a narrative format which makes it so easy and enjoyable to read.  I was very excited to receive the copy of his work early on in my family history quest.  Even though I can find most of the names and dates on my own now online,  what is invaluable in his work is the stories.  It’s not just names and dates, but memories and pictures.

So, if Darwin’s family is out there in Internet-land and finds this, I just want them to know that his work is appreciated!  It has inspired me to do the same sort of writing for other lines of my family.  I hope that some day I am able to write my own family history books for my descendants to read.:)

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