This blog is a resource for those who want to--have to--find out more about who they came from.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
I'm very much looking forward to "Who Do You Think You Are?", the new celebrity genealogy show on NBC that will first air on March 5th at 8 p.m. Central Time. You never know what you might learn.
You probably have several albums filled with photographs. Are they labeled?
If not, a hundred years from now some descendents will be looking at your photos, scratching their heads. Who's this? I don't know. Someone's mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather... I wish we knew.
Your photographs are not only mementos of good times you've had. They're historical documents. Set aside some time this weekend to write the names and relationships of the people pictured down on the back of each photograph. I can guarantee your great-great-granddaughter will be grateful for it and thrilled to have a certain picture of you. Believe me--I've been there.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I’m still interested in hearing about your best genealogical find. What was it? Where was it? How did you find it? How did it rock your world? What new questions did it raise? Email me at FindingMaryCordial@gmail.com, and you might see your tale posted here.
I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
What a great idea, I thought. So often, we journal about the everyday grind and we forget to write down the precious things about our lives. Keeping a journal where we list our favorites, our passions, and our joys gives future generations insight into the kind of people we were.
You don't need to purchase this particular book to accomplish this mission. Many of the big chain book stores offer journals at bargain prices--under $5. I recommend purchasing one and then filling it with the things that thrill you. Poems. Photos. Lists. Print outs of emails. You could also write down your genealogy as you understand it--parents' names, grandparents' names (don't forget maiden names). If your parents and grandparents are still living (or their siblings), ask them for the names of their grandparents. Include birth and death dates. Places they've lived. Occupations and noteworthy pursuits, too. All of this may seem mundane to you, but to your great-great-great grandchild, all of this is genealogical GOLD.
Just my tip for the day.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
In my way of thinking, an Armchair Genealogist is a person who wants to find out more about who they come from and how they came to be wherever it is they may be. Armchair genealogists don’t hold certificates in genealogy…yet. They research online, subscribe to vital records sites and make pilgrimages to libraries both near and far. They share information with others. They are utterly addicted to their search for family, which for many is a lifelong quest.
I’d like to hear your best story about a genealogical find. What was it? Where was it? How did you find it? How did it rock your world? What new questions did it raise? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you might see your tale posted here.
I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.
Friday, February 5, 2010
“Her name was Mary Cordial,” my maternal grandmother Marilyn Matilda Dietz Phillips told me, that distinct glimmer of pleasure in her eyes—the one she always had when she retold this story. “And you are her legacy.”
My grandmother, known to her grandchildren as Nanny, shared Mary’s legend with us many times over the years. We all listened with interest—who wouldn’t be interested in this tale of forbidden love?—but for whatever reason, we never asked for the finer details. So when Nanny died on July 16th, 2003, we were left—although we wouldn’t acknowledge it for five more years—with a big bagful of unanswered questions.
How exactly was Mary Cordial related to us? When was she born? Where was she born? When did she and her husband immigrate to the Unites States? Who were her children? And who’d told Nanny this magnificent tale?
Thus began my quest to find Mary Cordial. In the coming weeks, I’ll reveal the steps I took -- the wrong-turns, the busts, the pay-offs -- and how this search led me to what may well be the most rewarding addiction known to mankind: genealogical research. I'll also share tips, success stories and photographs, and perhaps even muse aloud about life, death, God, science, the afterlife (?) and other relevent topics. So, come -- join me in celebrating the great hunt for our ancestors.