Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A genealogy dislike

There aren't many things that I dislike about genealogy or doing genealogy research. Sure you have your 'brick walls' that you never think you'll be able to knock down but then after weeks (or months or even years) you finally do. And then there's the family history you find online or information you get from a cousin that you have to check for accuracy and find that very little of what they have or what you found actually IS accurate.

But there's one thing that I have never liked about genealogy or genealogy research. Its when you have to add information to a person because they have passed away. A cousin contacted me on Facebook to let me know that her mother (my aunt) had passed away last night. I hadn't seen my aunt, uncle or my cousins for that matter since they moved down state about 10 years ago. I hadn't talked to them either so I didn't know about the medical issues my aunt had over the last year or so. It surprised me when my cousin called and filled me in because the issues she relayed to me were ones I didn't expect.

Needless to say it felt strange adding the date of her death to my family tree and the binder where I keep my maternal line information. I looked at the date and then noticed that 10 years to the DAY my aunt's sister-in-law passed away, and a year prior her brother had passed away. My aunt and uncle (along with my two cousins) lived about two blocks from our house for nearly all of my life before they moved away. My cousin (the one that let me know about my aunt's passing) actually lived across the street from me for about 6 years before they moved.

I am going to miss my aunt she was a stubborn woman and strong willed. One memory I have of her came around the holidays. We had gone over to my aunt and uncle's house for either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and she made stuffing...well what she called 'stuffing' it was actually made from Stove Top and as much as I loved my aunt, it was the WORST tasting sawdust ever. Everytime I see a box of Stove Top I think of her and smile. I'll miss you Aunt Jeanne.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Genealogy Instincts again

Here's the problem I always have with doing genealogy research. Some people don't think going with your 'gut' or your 'instincts' is the right way to go because you might end up doing research on the wrong family and I don't just mean one branch but the ENTIRE family back two or three hundred years and then come to find out after all that work that you aren't even related to anyone in the tree.

But I find that using my instincts, genealogical or detective if you prefer, don't just help me find the RIGHT branch or family for my tree but also ends up helping others that might be doing research on the same surname as I am. After all I did find at least two generations of Robinsons for another researcher that turned out not to be mine.

I haven't been doing as much research lately because 'life' has gotten in the way. But I never let my research lag for very long no matter what else is going on. In fact just last week I was poking around trying to find information on a great-aunt's husband's family and sent an email to a cousin (a daughter of the great-aunt) and she gave me a couple of clues. Well, with those few clues I managed to find her GRANDPARENTS marriage record. It turns out her father was born here in the US but was then taken to the Czech republic when he was a baby with his parents and returned to the US when he was about 25. Unfortunately, because the country has changed so much and actually branched out into several other smaller countries finding any other information on that side of the Atlantic is going to be a tough mystery to tackle. But the elation my cousin had when I sent her the image of her grandparent's marriage record was enough for me.

This led me to once again tackle my own maternal side of the tree. Though not as difficult as my cousin's digging through German records when there isn't much known is part of the challenge and much like one of my favorite fictional characters, Nancy Drew, I am always up for a challenge.