Monday, April 30, 2012

Helping Others

I think I should start this post with several disclaimers.
  1. I don't work for
  2. I don't work for NBC, think Who Do You Think You Are?
  3. I don't work for PBS, think Finding Your Roots.
I love working on my genealogy and sharing that passion with others. I'm always learning new things and I enjoy helping others start their line, continue their line or even prove their line.

Recently I introduced 2 of my coworkers to genealogy. Neither of them had ever worked on their family's genealogy and they wanted to know where to start. My recommendation was and is always a 5 generational chart. Their searches are very different from my own, so it will be a challenge to help them as they get deeper into it. One of my coworkers is looking into his paternal side which includes a Russian grandfather. It looks like I'll be learning some Russian geography and a few Russian words. My other coworker is Puerto Rican, as are her parents. Puerto Rican geography and Spanish are also on the agenda.

I've also been helping another coworker with his family lines. He has already started and will come talk to me about the things he has found as well as what he hasn't found but wants to find. Being an African-American, he knows he will most likely run into "the brickwall" of slavery, but really wants to do as much as he can. As a WASP, this is another new journey for me. We both avidly watch NBC's Who Do You Think You Are will discuss it the next day. It has been interesting to watch to see what tips and tricks we can pick up. I recently started watching PBS's Finding Your Roots, which has a very different format from the NBC show. I like them both and find they each have different things to offer.

Another coworker I've helped always believed she was eligible for membership in the DAR. She thought she had 2 possible patriots, since one was much easier to prove than the other, we worked the easy line. It was fairly easy to document each generation as the DAR requires, but we were missing one link, from the patriot to his son.  We knew the patriot had been proved by the DAR and the line was still open, so there had to be something to link to his next generation.  I started looking at some of the message boards on to see if any of posts might have been about her family. There were quite a few. I started looking through some of those to see if any were about her patriot and mentioned a will. I didn't find that, but I did send out a few emails to a couple of the more prolific posters. One of those emails paid off and we were able to locate a copy of the will. Mission accomplished, paperwork done, application submitted!

No matter where you are on your genealogical journey, you have knowledge you can pass on to others. Take time to think about what you can pass on and who you can inspire to work on their family genealogy.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Who will you find?

As those of you who work on your genealogy on a regular basis know, the 1940 census will be released in a matter of days. For some of us, it will be the only census to be released during our lifetime and that's just how the government planned it. But we in the United States can be thankful it is only every 72 years, not 100 years as in other places. Who am I hoping to find? I know I'll find my parents. The 1940 census is the first census in which my parents will appear, as well as some of their siblings. Since I was born shortly after the 1960 census, anyone who will be looking for me in a census won't see me until the 1970 census appears in 2042. Right now, that seems like a long time away and who knows if I'll be around to see it. To help out future generations, I made a copy of a blank 2010 census that I plan to file away in my research. My goal is to do that every time a census questionnaire comes out. This way future generations will have an idea of what questions will be asked and can see the changes from one census to the next.

So the question I pose to you is: who will you find?