15 February 2016

Motivation Monday - Connections, Skills, Cousins and...?

What’s not to love about a Monday celebrating the Presidents of our Great Country? Even though it’s REALLY cold and I have to go to work, it’s still a great day. I woke up on the right side of the dirt. Heh.

I have been really fortunate to be working on a number of genealogical projects that have kept my “recreational” writing to a minimum. But, I decided that there’s nothing stopping me from writing a short post about what keeps me motivated in the genealogical process:

1) Connecting with great new people. This, for me, is what keeps me going. I work alone and often spend my non-work time alone, so meeting new people, virtually, makes me happy. Whether I’m helping them, they’re helping me or we’re collaborating, it’s fun to work with others to move our research forward. If you haven't thought about attending a conference, please do...it's a great way to get connected! Great place to start is at FGS's Conference.

2) Enhancing my own skill sets. I find it remarkable that each time I work on someone else’s genea-challenges, I uncover another skill set. As an example, in the last few weeks I worked with original Land Records that included information that should have been in Court records but was recorded in the Land Records instead. This made me review how I look at land records and how much material they can provide when doing research. I volunteer for the Fox Valley Genealogical Society as a research assistant once a month and I'm finding helping my DAR sisters with their HWs leads to some really interesting challenges!

3) Sharing my love of the preservation of our history. Seems like each time I discuss research with someone, the physical material comes up in the conversation as well. I’m now assisting a local small cemetery to determine how best to preserve headstones from burials in the mid-1800s, some of whom were born in the 18th Century. I’m going to be working to get an RFP from companies that specialize in historic cemeteries, and will be doing some of the work alongside them. I also love speaking to audiences about it; I’ll be presenting a few times this year, including next week in Naperville, Illinois.

4) Meeting new cousins! I have two such connections that happened in the past week; one on Dad’s side and one on Mom’s side. Not sure how well the BEIGHTLER connection is going to play out; we had a nice back and forth, but I think they may not be happy that our family name is not spelled BIEGHLER, how their ancestor spelled it. Unfortunately, if you use Name Thesaurus, there are 296 variations on that spelling and the iterations in our part of the family are BIGLER, BEIGHLER, and BEIGHTLER. As for Mom’s side, I was really happy to find a photograph posted in Ancestry that turns out to be the 3rd cousin of my Mom, part of her WAGNER ancestors from France! Super excited that the cousin is also excited to know about the detailed work I’ve done on this line, and that I will be able to add another branch in that line.

These are the things that motivate me. What motivates YOU? 

12 February 2016

Friday Follow - Changing the Changes for a Change

If it weren't for a number of genea-friends who've mentioned their dusty blogs, I might not be writing this. I've spent a lot of time writing posts on Facebook, and realized that I'm missing a lot by doing that. For one thing, I'm missing out on all the cousins I have, who I haven't connected with, by limiting the scope to Facebook. For another thing, I really do enjoy telling the stories of my ancestors, as well as myself, in a more 'literary' way.

My tiny little Life has gotten in the way of my Work, both of the Archives variety and the Genealogy variety. I haven't answered calls for papers or lectures, and it's only been providence that's allowed me the privilege of speaking for a number of groups last year! My passion hasn't waned, it's just that there's a finite number of minutes in a day and I've had to make some hard choices about what to do and what not to do. I have NOT given up on my genealogical research; frankly, I've made some really great advances!  But, of course, no one's going to know if I don't write about it.

So, I've re-launched my website at www.fromrootstoleaves.com

And wrote a blog post.  

I'm the Last Leaf on This Branch...I'm a shaky leaf...did I get your attention...??