Phenology watch

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday is Genealogy Day

I am a Genealogy fanatic.  About three years ago, I joined Since that time, I have added close to 4,000 names to my tree!  Two years ago, I found a branch of my father's family that I never even knew existed, and have since attended a family reunion.  I have also reunited my mother with two of her first cousins.  It's amazing what information you can find!
Sometimes, you can't find the records you need online to finish that little piece of the puzzle.  A lot of information is on microfilm or microfiche that has not been digitized, and the only way you can access it is to visit the local City, County, or State Library.  Now, most of my family is from Iowa and Minnesota - and unless I make a major road trip or shell out bucks for air, hotel, and car - there is no way I can get to those local libraries for that golden nugget of information.  That's where Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK)  comes in!  People volunteer to do lookups in their local area for people all over the country.  I volunteer for Pierce County, WA, and Wednesdays are my day to get things done. Today I was able to fulfill three requests for copies of obituaries.  I always go the extra mile, though, so after the library I stopped at three cemeteries to take pictures of gravesites.  (I'm also a volunteer at, so I know how much information can be gleaned from a headstone, surrounding family stones, and cemetery records).  I also stopped at two of the addresses listed in the obit and took pictures of the houses, so their descendants could see where they had lived - sometimes 100 years ago!  Today, I found out that a family purchased four plots in a local cemetery in 1918, and only one has been used.  Hmmm...I wonder what's going to happen to those other plots....I just love a mystery!  I had been searching for years to find out where my Irish ancestors came from - unfortunately, records were not kept well during the Potato Famine, when my relatives, along with a million other Irishmen, emigrated.  Using RAOGK, I found a volunteer who took a photo of my great-great-grandfather's grave in Minnesota, and it says right on the gravestone - from County Meath!!
If you're new to genealogy, or interested in getting started, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help you.  I have an World Deluxe Membership - if you just want me to look something up for you, I can do that, also.  Try it - it's fun!  And, you never know what you might find out....

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