Sunday, June 05, 2016

I have been on Facebook a lot. That's a great place to network for genealogy. A fb friend asked a question & I responded, about her new niece asking her for help with a school family history project. Here's my response.
With a blended family she has the options open to pick from a wider field the characteristic traits, the family stories to embrace and cultivate [own] in her own life. She will also have the advantage of extra experiences and life stories that come with hindsight already in place. Those family [his & her]-stories are meant for to bless us. We can learn from them with awareness to avoid the pitfalls. It's like having a roadmap & guide from friends who have been there and done that - so we can avoid falling in the pits. Plus, She gets to evaluate with her heart if the current family interpretations are appropriate (Got lemons? You could just suck them =~x Or make lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon...!) 1 Accentuate the positive. 2 Learn to journal. That's how we learn to learn from our past. 3 Learn to work a research log. Good habits set you up for all kinds of good things. Her newly extended extended family is a blessing to her. And be sure she knows that the same goes for you: that she is a blessing to you <3. Find out her interests & talents, so you can be on the lookout for inspirational stories. Help her see there are stories even in those names, dates and places. We have family relationships, relationship to the cultural history going on around us (newspapers, letters, etc.). Does she like to eat? Got family recipes? That's always a good talking point. Help her start her own family recipe book? Christmases will come. :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thank You, Ancestors

I am sharing a post from Daily Small Step (via Gary Heine) - Yes, we are here now because they were there then!

On facebook - Gary Heine shared a link via Daily Small Step.

Daily Small Step 8/12/14

...Thank you, ancestors....

I'm getting ready to catch a plane with my oldest son, Sam, from Portland back to Louisville. It's amazing that in just a few hours, a giant, metal bird-like vehicle will fly us through the air back halfway across the country.

This reminds me how amazing life is and how often we forget that. I do.

Today, think of something you are grateful for but that you have recently been taking for granted. Thank your ancestors for it.

You might say, 'Thank you, ancestors, for _____, which I forgot about for a bit.'

Remember - as your gratitude flows out into the world, it makes you healthier, happier and able to connect more deeply with yourself and others.

And your gratitude expressing itself makes it easier for others to remember to be grateful for important things sometimes forgotten.
Daily Small Step 8/12/14

I am often amazed at my good fortune to have been born in this day and age, with all its...! Sure you also get the pitfalls and nuisances, the risks and snares, but this is a Great Day to be alive! I hope my ancestors said that of their days, that they could sense progress and growth form one generation to the next. Now is the Great Day of Paying it back and Paying it forward :-D Gratitude. It implies Action.

Continuity - we transmit our values through generations

I am trusting that when we are in the spirit world we will be able to see things as they really are: that this life will make more sense. I believe that the Lord can help us to know what we need to know in this life, too. One of the ways that I make some sense out of what we go through in this life is through researching my family's history. Maybe it is Sympathy for what our ancestors have gone through.... Being able to see from here where certain life-decisions led them, that helps me to think twice (or more!) about decisions I have opportunity to make. Then, how are we teaching, setting examples, for our descendants to help them? Journaling, writing my life's story, maybe I am working on what I wish my ancestors might have left for me! "What were they thinking?! Or Not...." What a genius idea - to get Youth involved in family history, AND to talk with them about our family <3 past, present, and future.... What is important? What is of lasting value, of eternal significance? We are choosing our priorities with how we spend our time, here, now....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons

Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons

Nature or nurture? Everyone is concerned about Brain Health these days. This is a National Geographic article about the impact of music, and learning to play an instrument, on future brain health. (BTW, it helps a lot.)

Is musical ability inherited, or does encouragement of musical training run in families/cultures enough to make it look like talent runs in families? We all probably have stories about how "You take after your .... They had a great aptitude for ..., too!" And so the story goes because even the placebo effect can produce good results. We put out effort into something we believe we have hope of doing well.

How have family stories encouraged you to pursue something to a good end - that if you had not heard that a(n extended) family member had done, your might not have explored? Is it inborn for humans to be competitive, even if it's to do something better than the generation before?

What are you going to encourage your kids, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews to do better - than even you? Is there a legitimate expectation that talents can be inherited?

My grandmother (father's mother), after she confronted her grandmother that she'd made a mistake in the family bible  - recording two children with the same birthdates! Her grandmother giggled - They were twins! Then Nana said - If I had know there were twins in our family, I would have prayed to have twins! (Her children were grown by then.)     Not exactly the same thing - twins may "run in families" - but how many times, researching family history have we turned up stories that would seem to bear it out? Nature, or nurture?

Hair color, eye color, birthmarks, career paths, etc....?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I think these two blog posts are related - both by James Tanner. Thank you.

Scattering data across the Web - a problem of consolidation or methodology? Part One -

Open Access to Universal Search of's Explosive Growth -

I have just come from a couple of hours on Mocavo. I am grateful for the tip-off on free access, and I appreciate that they are working hard to acquire records. I wish it was not such a competition to secure rights to accessing collections of genealogical interest. I wish there was more cooperation & collaboration. But I probably have that attitude because of how I value the information. For me it is not about bragging rights.... <3 is also working to make source records available for searching. I hope you are working with them, too. Anyone can create an account with FamilySearch. What James Tanner says about knowing your people well enough to figure where to search for records is fundamental. Just Googling a name is not good enough. That is not due diligence. That is not where our ancestors would want us to leave off searching for them! Yes, that challenge of actually DO-ing research is what turns our hearts to them, and helps us to get to know them better - to know you is to love you.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

I feel that my family history was preparing - ME - to be here now - to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is where I belong. I am a key person for my family history - to the past, and to the Future! And I know this because of the understanding I have gained through my membership in the Church. There IS something we can do to make a difference, to help the people who are part of our family - history. ALSO I am in position to make the difference for my posterity. <3 We here now can be Saviors on Mt. Zion.

Merry Christmas

Click to learn more about the story of Christmas.


I Love Christmas! We all have holiday memories where we get to know our family, and our extended families, better <3 I have been putting down Christmas memories this season. Largely they are sketches of the people I remember from holiday events of gatherings. I love Christmas Art! I love Christmas cards that depict the nativity, and the whole story.... I collected Christmas cards that spoke to me. Some day those may turn up again. I am grateful for being able to scan and save pictures on my computer, now. I love Christmas Music! Christmas music has been a big influence in my life, and in my family life. It is something that has brought us together, in service. My family has a heritage of music. I mostly love Christmas because it is the celebration of the Good News the birth of Jesus brings! The point of Christmas is for us to choose to change our lives toward loving each other, as Christ did. Yes, if only we could transfer that Christmas Spirit of Goodwill to the rest of the year. :-D Alma 5:26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? .... I hope you all have a wonder-full season of love with your families. And I hope that those feelings of love stay with you past the holidays, in your change of heart. It is the love that causes us to reach out to come to know our families more and more. Whether it's the research that helps us get to know them, and then love them; or it's the Love that leads us to search after our kindred dead...? It is the Love that turns our hearts to them. They are turning their hearts to us. We have that promise. The promise of the coming of Christ is that we have hope as the family of Christ to live again eternally with Him in LOVE.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Live more than one life - read biographies! Research your family histories! (And her-stories :-)

I understand that saying, Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I am living proof. I am a "convert" to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If I had not accepted the challenge and invitation to listen to the missionary discussions when I did, and made the changes required to be baptized, then I was probably going to end up where I was headed. Every day I still have the opportunity to stay the course or make changes to keep me aiming toward my goals. Becoming a member of the Church helped me to find my goals and understand how to work to reach them. Being happy is one of my goals :-D

Making sense of feelings, longings, my particular talents and interests was a huge part of my investigating, and continuing to learn about the Gospel, and the Restored Gospel. <3 The interest I have in genealogy, family history, is a Major part of my life, and I have my own mother to thank for that, and my Nana, too. However it is the appreciation of their interest in genealogy that I got from my testimony in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I really do appreciate the genius of our being in families to learn and grow, to prepare to return to our Heavenly Father through coming unto Christ. That love that we develop when we come to know our family through researching our family history is real. It is that love that changes us! It is a good change, too. I am grateful for that power in my own life.

There is a Lot more to it though! It is not just me, not just me and my future-self who is being affected by the changes and choices that I am making today. I am changing my past self, too. As I learn about the people in my family history (and the lives of other people with whom I get to help research their family history) - I learn from their stories, without having to totally go through those things myself. I see my own story, my history, in a new light. How we judge ourselves really does affect how we tell our story (even if we only ever tell our story to ourselves).

You have witnessed this, right? You start out telling a story of something that happened to you & with each subsequent retelling it changes a little. You draw different lessons from it. You emphasize different points. You gloss over or, in hindsight, flesh out other details, since you know the final outcome. Only - that's the thing! As time goes by, with more life experiences coming on, with feedback from others (& from yourself!) even the "final outcome", the take-away, changes. Your take on that story's experience and what it "fit-you-for" in the future comes into clearer perspective. Maybe it's like re-reading the scriptures - we get out of them what we need right then, when-ever we are reading them <3 So, I am back to the notion of Today is the first day of the rest of your life, meaning the future. Not Only that though, but Today is the first day of the rest of your life, meaning the your past, the first half of your life. You look at your past differently as you grow in appreciation for the hand of the Lord in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. It makes us value our life thus far in a different perspective as we come to recognize how (like in the Footprints poem) the hand of the Lord has been in our lives all along (in our past, present and future), no matter what. Got it? The missionaries changed my life (helped me come unto Christ and Want to change my life by following Him): changed my future life, and changed how I understand my past life. Repentance and forgiveness changes everything! Now, here is the Amazing part! Not only has my life changed for the (eternal!) better, but for each member of my family for whom I am able to enable them to receive their temple ordinances - that changes everything for them, too!!!! It changes their future of course, to accept the covenants for themselves, enabling them to progress. But it also changes the value of their past at having prepared them for their future.

How does this apply in your life? What is the difference between a relationship that was a real aggravation, that later, when you really got to know that other person, changes into a great bond of sympathies? What makes the difference? It is that insight of understanding, and kinship.
Write in your journal about how you feel now about something, or some one. Go back later & reread that entry. Did your understanding and feeling about that whole thing change? (Make a hypothesis - will it have changed?) How do you think our ancestors feel about their lives on this earth now, especially those of our ancestors who are deceased? What if that was you? (We are projecting here....) How would you feel if one of your descendants had heard the story of, say, your exploits as a teenager, and decides to follow your daring lead, OR NOT! If we can learn something for our edification from our family stories - Win Win!
We win because we didn't have to go to jail to learn to not (take your pick) and our progenitors have some satisfaction of having those experiences finally count for some good!

We will have to ask them some day when we see them again. ;-D

Meanwhile I am very thankful for missionaries who helped me and help people all over the world come unto Christ, learn who they really are and to change how they value their lives. It can change everything!

See the good in yourself!

I just listened to this - and it is not just about Change - it IS about Transformation - becoming a new creature in Christ!
Thanks to Lisa Marie Richard for pointing me to that.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What do you know?

Who do you know? And what do you know about them, or yourself, for that matter?!
At the Central Point, Oregon family history center, MY family history center - there was a sheet on the table I was intrigued by. Perhaps someone printed it out as a handout for a class.... It came from FamilySearch in 2011, but with no form # (don't you love a mystery?). How can I get one of these, without just lifting this one? :-D

Google to the rescue! Putting "anything" or "just about anything" inside quotation marks in the Google (or most any) search box - the " " quote marks keeps those words together, and in that same order. This sheet had a title, so I Googled: "Information to Collect from Your Home and Other People." It is not case sensitive; I did not capitalize anything. One of the returned matches was the link to this document from FamilySearch - the one I had in my hot little hand!
(Who is frankie? Thanks, Frankie :-)

This is like a shopping list to check off when you've found these treasures of information on a person on your scavenger hunt. It could also serve as a list of prompts, as to what TO look for. I have a "probably" cousin, Vern Taylor, who tipped me off - that for every person in my genealogy database I might be able to find them in every census held during their lifetime. This would be a very useful skeleton from which to branch out with other details on a person. That was a big Aha moment for me. Searching Census records is "relatively" easy (pun?), and often pretty low-cost, but it can give you a lot of useful information, and eliminate some discrepancies. [I just mis-typed that word; went to and looked it up & came back to correct it. Then it morphed into discrapencies. Your timeline of Census listings can help you avoid those, too.]

Well, this checklist is like that, helping to coordinate a whole lot of records created during a lifetime, and which might still be extant. Ask - you might get lucky! Who knows why families, especially moms, save Stuff, ephemera, etc.? But genealogists are sure grateful to get some of that Stuff :-D What a terrific find to come up with a journal, letters, Marked family pictures....! That should give each of us pause to consider: Is my Stuff worth anything to tell my life's story? What story IS it telling by default? If it's not organized [discrapencies?] it could just look like flotsam. Jettison your jetsam before you drown in Stuff! ...When no one will be able to tell the important Stuff from the ....