03 January 2013

Thankful Thursday - Accentuate the Positive

The beauty of my newly clean email in-box (down to less than 10 from 4931) is I can now take a few minutes to read the blog posts I get via my email. There are SO many great blogs out there, one of which is Kinexxions, written by Becky Wiseman. Her post was awesome; a geneameme created by Jill Ball of Geniaus fame. Since my new year kind of started off on a sad note, this seemed like the perfect post for Thankful Thursday. So, with no further ado, here goes: 

1. An elusive ancestor I found: Nicolaas Jean Francois Wersel. 'Found' is a bit of a misnomer; with the help of Taco Goulooze I confirmed that he took his entire family, wife Maria Hendrina Brinkman and three sons, Francis John (Frank B. Sr.), Gerard (George) and Nicolas (Nicholas) to Brazil in 1848 and that they came to the United States in 1851 aboard the ship Cecrops. 

2. A precious family photo I found: This lovely photo of Laura Louisa Greene (1837 - 1896), my 2nd great grandmother and the woman who I was named after; provided to me by Stephen Burrows Baer (1st cousin, 1x removed). Precious indeed...
Photo of Laura Louisa Greene (1837 - 1896)
courtesy of Stephen B. Baer 2012
3. An ancestor's grave I found: In Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Riverside Cemetery, the plot of my 2nd great grandparents, Phillip Powelson and Jane Garrett Powelson, their daughter Fannie Powelson Jeffrey and her husband George Jeffrey, their daughters Isabel (who died when she was six), Bessie Jeffrey (never married), Adelaide Jeffrey Thurston Koop and her second husband Adolph Koop, and my grandfather Victor Wersel. Poor granddad, there among his inlaws, far away from his beloved Cincinnati. My grandmother, Frances Jeffrey Wersel is the only family member not buried there; her ashes were interred in Illinois (don't ask, it's one of those 'family' things).

4. An important vital record I found: the 1815 deed for the purchase of a piece of Symmes purchase in southwestern Ohio by my 4th great grandfather, Stephen Burrows.

5. A newly found family member who shared: my 3rd cousin, Nancy Wersel Rybolt, who provided me with access to a significant number of our Wersel and Wagner documents dating between 1820 - 1880 and the Strubbe family Bill (William), Mary, Chuck and Laura, my 2nd cousins, who generously invited me to visit them in Cincinnati so I could do on-site research and we could share our history.

6. A geneasurprise I received was: the incredibly detailed research of Taco Goulooze who took my Dutch Wersel family under his wing and located records in the Netherlands for evidence of my family. He admits to being a bit 'Columbo', but I still love the fact that he's taken such an interest in digging into that line. 

7. My 2012 blog post I was particularly proud of was: my end of April 'Why Would You Want to be A Genealogist' post. I'd seriously contemplated giving up on the idea of creating an archival and genealogical services business. After writing the post, rather than giving up, I re-doubled my efforts.

8. My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was: my birthday post in August, 'A Half Century's Worth'. Odd that a post, not necessarily directly about genealogy, would be one of my most read. Guess there's more of us out there than I thought...heh.

9. A new piece of software I mastered was: Shhh...I can't say yet...that's a post you'll be reading soon.

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was:  all of them! Seriously, social media and genealogy just go hand in hand.

11. A genealogy conference from which I learned something new was:  the National Genealogical Society annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. There was so much I learned, and was able to apply, to my genealogical research. It was also my first genealogical conference, so that was awesome.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at: the DuPage Genealogical Society in November. I presented "Who Will Look at Your Genealogical Collection", a lecture about how to protect and preserve all that hard, genealogical, work and ensure that it's stewardship is assured in the future.

13. An article I had published was: on Archives.com, as part of their Expert Series, 'What do I do with all of this Stuff: the Process of Processing', archival processing for family history/genealogical material.

14. I taught a friend how to: inexpensively protect and preserve her family history material. 

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was: Evidence Explained, by Elizabeth Shown Mills. <--- note, I'm not citing this correctly LOL

16. A great repository I visited was: The Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Go. There.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was: Megan Smolenyak's 'Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing'.

18. It was exciting to finally meet: my genea-Tweeps! I love meeting the people I interact with on Social Media, but especially my Twitter 'friends'.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was: my trip to Michigan this summer and fall. I got to see the country where my great grandparents were born and raised their family and research some of my roots there.

20. Another positive I'd like to share is: Never. Give. Up. :-)


  1. Great post, Laura - and thank you for your help with my concerns of Greatgrandfather's Souvenir Album. It's 'comfortable', and I'm making slow headway in inventorying it on one of my blogs. I always love reading your posts. Cheers for a new dream-filled year.

    1. Thank you so very much, Celia, and I've been following your posts about the album. I'm happy I was able to address your concerns about its care and handling; so often there are 'easy' fixes that help keep our treasures safe. Cheers to you.

  2. Thanks for the "shout out" Laura. It sounds like you had a pretty good year last year! I hope that 2013 is a great year for you - personally and professionally...

    1. Thank YOU for being such an inspiration! This was a great exercise to capture the positive, and I'm happy I had the chance to put it all together. Here's to a great 2013 for you as well - safe travel, fabulous photos and uncovering those genealogical gems...

  3. I love the idea of accentuating what you've done, rather than the usual resolutions "to do" too many things in the new year. I remember learning about many of these events as they happened this year, I believe: especially numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, and 19. I didn't realize until now, in retrospect, that you went through a crisis in April and thought about giving up on your business--I'm so, so glad that you didn't give up! I'm glad both for you and also for all those who receive your caring professional help, including me.

    I'm really sorry that I missed your beautiful August birthday blog because I was on vacation -- now that I've just read it, I'm not surprised that it was immensely popular. It speaks right to everyone's sense of identity and purpose, the unfolding of each life both despite and because of new goals. I can seriously relate to "pulling ahead" through the chaos, and arriving at a new place in life.

    Hugs, Laura, and may you be blessed with constant renewal of health and spirit!


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