Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If Youve 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 ....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I had rotator cuff repair surgery on my right shoulder on the 6th of September. How does that affect my take on genealogy? I have been practically good for nothing for the past 2 weeks! I really do appreciate the help I have received from my friends, my church family and the social workers from Ashland Community Hospital Home Health Care. It has really given me pause to reflect on how helpful I have been, or Not, with my own family members who have had health needs. I can see where I have not understood what they were going through, what they were up against. I hope that this affects how I will respond in the future <3

I am in pain as I am typing with 2 hands here. It is about time for me to take another pain pill, and I will take the anti-nausea med, too. :-(

How did our ancestors get along when they were laid up? Did family rally around?
My father's mother, Nana, told of how when someone in the extended family got sick, they would send for her mother, Nettie, to come nurse them back to health. Then when they were back on their feet, Nana's mother had to go stay with someone else, a daughter, or someone else who was in need. I think we all have someone in our families who have a natural bent to care-giving. Thank Goodness for that! What happens when the care giver needs care?

In our modern society we have reliance on the health care system, not so much on the family or extended family.

That's all I can manage now. But I have been thinking about how separated we are these days - our hearts are separated from each other.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

1 July Indexing Sunday!

The images for the 1940 US Census have been made available through the National Archives. To see what is searchable (by names) and to see the progress on the Indexing projects you can go here -

In areas for which the Indexing is not yet complete, you can browse the images, page by page. It may be tedious, but it is a Whole Lot better than working with the images on a microfilm reader! This is progress to have them made available in the internet for searching! But wouldn't you like to have them all indexed and searchable by name?

You, too, can help get that accomplished! This Sunday, 01 Jul 2012, there is a big push to have folks especially work on Indexing for the 1940 Census. Go here - - and sign up, if you have not already, or log in & put in some time on this. This is a great Sunday afternoon activity. You will be in good company. It is interesting work, and you will help a whole lot of people searching for their families :-D

If you have not done Indexing before, now is a great time to start. It is interesting. It is challenging (they want you to do your best to get it right), and you will learn a lot. The push is to complete the 1940 Census. You can choose where to work, or let the next needed area come up for you.

You will need to allow the download of a program onto your computer to do the indexing. This is a good thing. This will allow you to work offline if you want to and it will help keep track of your work's progress. Each batch (about a page in the census taker's book) is indexed by two people independently. Then their work is compared to each other, and any discrepancies are looked at by an arbitrator (someone who has more training and has been at this longer than you or I). You can look at the feedback on your work and get better at it.
You do get better at it, and faster. 'Betcha can't index just one.... Because it is some fun, some people do a lot if Indexing, but there is a Whole Lot that yet needs to be done. We are not in jeopardy of running out of projects. Historical societies in your part of -the world- sponsor indexing projects. If you have language skills besides English (your own research rakes you all over the world?) then you can help with those records, too, and learn some valuable skills that you can use for your own research. There are lots of tips and helps, and support for how to do this.

Typically you get a split screen - with the image that your are working to extract the information from in the top of the frame; and the template with a highlighter moving along for the information they want and where to type it in the bottom half. Creating an index is not extracting all the information, but just key information, so that someone will probably be able to identify their person or family, and then locate the image.

Indexing provides a tremendous service. Thank you for helping out! It will keep you off the streets at night, too!

Who do you know who was probably enumerated in the 1940 Census? What was going on in 1940? This was just before the outbreak of WWII. Did your family relocate during the Great Depression? Where were your guys when they went into the war effort? There are stories with your family - and Listen. Help your elders find themselves in the 1940 Census, or find their parents, or grandparents. It is good to feel like you know where you came from.