Learn From Other Tribes and Drink Upstream

Learn From Other Tribes and Drink Upstream

There is a saying "don't drink downstream" and if you've ever spent any time outdoors you know why. When you want good information, you need to go to the source. I wanted to find out what "real" writers where doing,  so what did I do? I joined a professional writer's online group. It's called Tribe Writers. I have just started and I'm not much into the community sharing part, but I want to glean what I can from this course. Results to be shared later. Next, I attended the 2014 Build Your Blog Conference, a professional bloggers conference. Taught by bloggers who have page views in the millions, who shared their expertise and knowledge on how to create a better blog. Do I want to become a full-time professional blogger? No. But, I do want to glean ideas on how to maximize the time I do spend blogging and to create a better blog. Was it worthwhile? Yes, I did learn a lot. Enough to keep me busy tweaking, adjusting, and learning how to implement what I learned for the rest of the Continue reading

Y’all Ain’t Gonna Believe This

Good stories in the North start with "Once upon a time", while in the South, the good ones start with "Y'all ain't gonna believe this..." While the melodious and smooth as honey drawl of J. Mark Lowe CG(sm), FUGA, still rings in my ears, I will share some of the insights I had from taking his Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy course of Southern Research last week. Mark is an engaging teacher, who teaches with a natural and comfortable style that is interesting, entertaining and informative. Mark is also a very generous teacher, who not only offers much information in class, but also continues to offer instruction through his newsletter and updates afterwards. Mark was the main teacher and coordinator of the course, but we were also blessed to be instructed by Michael Hait CG (sm). His voice was more Barry White, but he was equally informative  and enjoyable. Michael shared his love of maps and that inspired me to spend more time looking at these great resources. Take-aways Continue reading

Never Too Late to Start a New Family Tradition

Never Too Late to Start a New Family Tradition

You've seen the cute little shelf elf around right? Last Christmas, I had been feeling a bit sad that the adorable little elf wasn't around when my children were younger, as they would have enjoyed the mischievous  pranking elf. Even though my three are now college age, I thought they still might enjoy some silly elf fun. Of course, by the time I thought of this it was mid-December and the elves were scarce. Necessity is the mother of invention after all and this mother has a glue gun! I raided the kid's neglected toys and found a pro-wrestler action figure. Perfect! I didn't want some "cutesy" replica of an elf, I wanted a way to engage my somewhat too cool young adult children into reliving a little Christmas magic. For that it was going to require something a little bizarro, but I knew that if it would make them laugh - they would play along. What is a tradition? Meg Cox, the author of The Book of New Family Traditions , defines family ritual as “any activity you purposefully Continue reading

My New Favorite: Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Maple Custard and Praline Sauce

My New Favorite: Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Maple Custard and Praline Sauce

  I love the holidays. I love the family gathered around, sharing laughter, food and memories. This year, I decided to be bold and not only try a new recipe, but create it myself. I adapted it from several recipes and it really hits the spot. Warm, comforting and delicious. I am adding it to the “tried and true” collection. I may not have inherited a lot of recipes, but I am for sure going to leave some good ones for the next generation to enjoy. Family History is made one day at a time, and this one is the start of another great tradition. So, what was the dish that inspired me? Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Maple Custard and Praline Sauce I will share the recipe with you, because sharing is good – and so is this desert! Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Maple Custard and Praline Sauce   4 large eggs, lightly beaten  3/4 cups sugar  2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg  1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup butter, Continue reading

The 2013 Awards for Top Genealogy/Family History Boards on Pinterest

The 2013 Awards for Top Genealogy/Family History Boards on Pinterest

Pinterest.com is now being used more and more for curating and collecting information, pictures and links to websites about genealogy and family history and frankly - it’s about time! I have been using Pinterest and shouting out its merits for years. But, alas there are still some who are still unsure of how and why to use Pinterest. In an effort to create more interest and awareness of the wonders of pinning, I have decided to award my pick’s for the top genealogy/family history boards on Pinterest for 2013. My criteria for choosing award winners was that they not only had to have a variety of genealogy/family history related boards, BUT they also had to have a large number of pinned images on those boards. My hope is that you will check out the below mentioned award recipients, follow their various boards and then create your own. But, before you go crazy, it might be wise to review my previous post: Top 12 Tips for Using Pinterest for Family History. Here are my Continue reading

An Apology to the Mom in the Store

An Apology to the Mom in the Store

This isn't about family history, but it is about the human family and how we treat  and cherish each other. I just got back from the grocery store, where of course I picked the wrong line - again!  I had just run in to pick up a few things for dinner, and as there was only the young mother ahead of me with a few items, I thought I could be in and out quickly. First mistake. It turns out that this very young mom had 3 WIC [Women, Infant, Child - money for mothers with children under the age of 5, specifically for food] checks, which meant that she had to divide her items into 3 separate piles for each check. With the first check, the young mother had chosen name brand beans, so the cashier, left the till, took the beans back and eventually came back with the off-brand beans. The cashier, obviously new, slowly made the purchases, paper-clipped the receipt to the check and then proceeded to the second set of items. The people who had been in line behind me, left our line and Continue reading

Ohana Means Family Or Why You Should Use Facebook For Family History

Ohana Means Family Or Why You Should Use Facebook For Family History

One day, while Google-ing for dead people, I came across an announcement about a family reunion for descendants for Captain Thomas Mossman and his wife Mary Ann Lewis. I so excited because:Those are my 3rd great grandparentsThere was going to be a reunion It was in HAWAII! Thank goodness my ancestors didn't settle in South Dakota! My family line left the aloha state for California with my grandmother. Something about education, pffffffft! what were they thinking?! Anyways, because of the move, my family line had drifted away from their Hawaiian ohana. This was a great chance to reconnect with my cousins and learn more about my ancestry.My husband, 2 daughters, mom, aunt, uncle and 2 cousins all made that reunion and had a glorious time meeting and connecting with our new extended family. We have cousins with ethnicity from Polynesia, Japan, China, Portugal and everywhere else too - how cool is that! Thomas Mossman started his career here as a sail maker Thomas Mossman was born in 1 Continue reading

Put Some Heart into it. How to Share Your Family History Stories.

Put Some Heart into it. How to Share Your Family History Stories.

You are working hard, gathering the all the details to fill out your pedigree chart, right? Don’t forget to make time to tell the great stories you uncover along the way. For some, research is easier than figuring out how to tell a good story, maybe some even wonder why bother with it.“Stories are how we think…Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities and define and teach our social values.”~ Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director, Media Psychology Research Center Put the heart back into the chart! Tell their stories, share their struggles and in doing so you make a heritage worth remembering and cherishing!So here are some easy ways to get started is sharing your family stories:Check out the new website FamilyStorytelling.com, not just because I’m a featured contributor, but because there are some great ideas to not only share your family’s stories, but Continue reading

Born Protectors and Patriots

Born Protectors and Patriots

Valerie Elkins: Patriots Display As we approach Independence Day, I reflect upon my heritage. Both my husband and my ancestor's have been in every war and conflict since this country began.My husband is a Marine (once and always), my son is in the Army National Guard, my father in the USAF, one grandfather was in the WWI, the other in WWII and back it goes.Some seem to be born with a inborn willingness and  desire to  protect and defend. Did they all anxiously want to fight? Probably not, but they would do so anyways. Because they knew there are some things worth fighting and dying for.There are also some women, who may not have joined the battle, yet they nurtured the love of freedom, they inspired the need to defend and protect and they supported and prayed for those they loved who were in harms way.My son who is in the ROTC and the Army National Guard, has had girls he was interested in pursuing a marriage relationship with, not want to be with him because they did not want to face Continue reading

NGS Wrap-up

NGS Wrap-up

Back from NGS and I couldn't end my posting on the conference without including my take on the vendors.Vendors add so much to our conferences and really provide a great service to us attendees. So here are some of my favorites that you might want to check out for yourself.FamilyTreeDNA.comFamily Tree DNA was there and I purchased the Family Finder option, which is the autosomal DNA test. I was able to swab my check right there and now I wait for the results - which I will be very interested in learning about!My brother took the Y-DNA 12 marker test through them and discovered we have 55 countries with matches.Yes, you can say I'm VERY curious to see what this test will reveal to say the least.Jill Crandell has developed a very intriguing new program that really has been sorely needed in genealogy - a better way to use research logs.Think of it like the Evernote of research logs. You can access it anywhere, from any device. You can organize it and apply the same document for several Continue reading