"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who or what do you blame? SNGF

Tonight I read a post by fellow blogger Elyse Doerflinger posted an entry based on Brenda Joyce Jerome's Who or What do you blame prompt from her blog for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF).
Brenda asks:
"Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information? Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?  Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?   If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this  journey. "

First of all, I think blame is a rather strong word. I can think back to a school project that I had to do in Social Studies class in 3rd or 4th grade, it may have even been 5th grade.  Our assignment was to fill out a pedigree chart.  After that I dabble in research with my Mom's help.  I wrote letters to the family and worked on more current generations of the family.  I think I was about 13 when my passion really started to take off. I wrote letters diligently and compiled information.

Ancestry made another big impact on my obession with genealogy.  I began to compile historical information on my roots.  About the same time I met my husband and eventually his Mom.  She introduced me to Family Tree Maker.  That Christmas my husand gave me a copy of Family Tree Maker for a Christmas gift. 

I did always love to her my Grandpa tell stories of him growing up.  I have been working on compiling those stories...something I wish I had done when I was younger.  My Dad and I have been working to record some of the stories that my Grandpa used to tell. 

So, I guess there are many reasons and many people why I am here.  And many people why I am here....either way, I am here.  Like I said ealier, blame is a very strong word.  Either way all the people who are important in my life, also support my passion.  My parents, my Grandma and my wonderful husband!  My daughter takes much joy in filling out her own forms and walking through cemeteries with Mommy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kids and Genealogy

Tonight I read a blog entry from Legacy.  He talked about his son wanting to be a genealogist.  You can read the story Here.
This made me think of my own child and our trials and tribulations through genealogy. One of my favorite moments with my kids is when we were driving past Oakwood Cemetery on 8th Street in Traverse City (MI) one day and my 4-year-old chimed in from the back seat and she said, "Look Mommy genealogy!" (Pronounced only how a 4-year-old can....GeeNeeeOLOGY).

Cluster Research

So I've been reflecting on my recent genealogy break through on my Fitzgearld line and I'm sure some of you are wondering how I was able to track down all this information on one family.  The answer: Cluster Research. 

So what is Cluster Research....good question, I didn't know what it was either, but apparently I was doing it already AND I had been doing it for years.  Basically cluster research is reseaching collateral lines of your ancestors and researching other people your ancestors may have associated with to discover more information on your brickwall ancestors.

So here's what I'm talking about with real life examples...
My 2nd GrGpa is Thomas Fitzgerald. From his records, I have found that his parents were John and Emily (Tennyson/Tenison) Fitzgerald.  Through additional reserach I have found the John and Emily had the follow children: William, Mary, Emma, Thomas, Agnes, John, Margaret Elisabeth, James Francis, and Edward.  After some time I could not link John and Emily to their parents, I started researching on their sons to see if I could find additional information on John and Emily.  It has been almost impossible to find anything on their daughter....but not for lack of trying.  Through researching the sons additional information on John and/or Emily.  Through my research I found on Edward's death certificate that John was born in the City of Cork, Ireland....I have yet to confirm this,  but its a starting point.  So far tracking down Edward, the youngest son, has given me the most information on John and Emily.    It has definately proven to be beneficial to track information on my GGGGrandparents children. 

This is just a brief overview on Cluster research.  I highly recommend Gus Marsh's chat on Genealogywise.  There is a transcript online of Gus' chat on cluster reserach.  If you have brickwalls....even if you don't have brickwalls, you should be cluster researching.  Additional information and source supports the research that you already have.

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Fitzgerald Family Find

This week brought more information to my 3rd Great Grandparents family!  I recently wrote to the Diocese of Harrisburg after finding that my family was catholic.  Through reseach, I discovered that the Diocese provides a research service for a fee.  I printed out the research request for and filled in the information that I had and sent off the form and the research fee.  It didn't take very long to get a return. 
The letter returned gave me some history on the diocese and the churches....again fire is my nemesis, the church bured to the ground completely, all records being lost.  Although, I did glean some information about the family. 
The information provided to me included the births, baptisms and full names of three of the Fitzgerald children.  It also provided very different spellings of names....for example, John's name was spelled Joanne Fitzgerald and John Jr's name spelled Joannem.  At first thought I was thinking this was the Irish version of the name John, but after some inquires on Genealogywise, there is no 'J' in the Gaelic language....which means I'm searching for the wrong name in Irish records.  Come to find out, Joanne and Joannem is the latin form of John, which makes sense seems so many early catholic records are written in latin.  The irish form of John is Eoin.
But the records gave me the births and baptisms of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th youngest Fitzgerald children.  And another place to write to for additional information on the family.  I'm composing my letter next! 
The lesson here: Don't forget the good old tried and true research methods, even in this day and age of technology!

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Amazing Event

On September 16th  GTAGS had an amazing event at the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) put together by our past president, Mary B.  Our event was called "Hands On Genealogy" in which we exposed people to various sources for research at the library to assist researchers in their search.  The turn out was amazing.  We doubled our expected turn out.

Participants were given tasks to do in the library to find certain information on pre-researched information to help familiarize themselves with the resources available at our library.  I was posted at the 2 computers that the library has provided with databases where people can come and do their own research.  I was so amazed at the positive responses that we were given!  One participant even found her mother in a year book that the library had in it's collection.

All of GTAGS should be proud of the amazing accomplishment.  We planned for 20 to 30 people, and we had 51 registered participants, and about a dozen GTAGS members helping out.  We're already planning for our next event. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Genealogy Quote of the Day!

‎"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance" -George Bernard Shaw