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Are you a Name Collector?

Names and Collecting

Names and Collecting

Often times we find ourselves befuddled about information that comes to us in the form of family history. Whether it is duplicated information with contrasting dates – or an extra spouse you weren’t planning on – or too many or too few children in the picture. Either way to be great at what we do, to truly know what we have is the right information we have to …….RESEARCH IT!

Let me explain – a Name Collector is someone who is so excited about their tree, they just want the fullest biggest, farthest back tree they can create! One problem – they don’t check the facts! They go online and gather names that look like they connect, or pilfer someone else’s research, and claim it as their own, we have all seen it, we may have even done it at one point in our lives. But Name collecting does not create a “healthy Family Tree”!

Remember my rule of 3 – you need to have a minimum of 3 valid sources (vital records, census, land, wills, etc.) to verify who and what you are connecting to your tree! — Don’t just be a name collector, really search out in your mind if that person belongs on your tree – this is my favorite part of doing research, it is a puzzle that never stops! 🙂

So what do I mean by all of this? you really need to verify people. I have two lines I am personally researching on my tree right now, one with the last name of DAVIS and the other with the last name of LEMM – two people on each line, with the same first and last name, and yes even born in the same year and area.

An idea to work through this type of mess or complicated problem is to do some of the following steps:

1. Create a time line in a spreadsheet or using Google Docs
2. Have all parties involved on the time line (spouse, children)
3. Take both your similar people and create the side by side comparison of each

In my circumstances, I had one James H. Davis that served in the military and one that did not, separating the two was pretty difficult since their identifying information was so similar. Once I laid them out, line by line I identified the similarities and the glaring differences.

After doing my due diligence, however, I soon found out that they were 1st cousins, with names in honor of their Grandfather! This helped the situation quite a bit, since doing this research I was able to go back to their grandfather and opened up more leaves on my branches…….which lets face it folks, is always exciting!

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Still Here……hang on just a little longer!

Peeking in

Peeking in

Hello dear friends, so sorry for the long turned longer hiatus! It was much needed. I am heading out to Salt Lake City, UT for Rootstech 2016 this week!

Leaving my sorta warm Southern California home and heading to the cold vallies of Utah! Stay tuned however, new stories, new lessons and new posts are coming soon!

Cannot wait to report on all the great events!

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What does the 4th of July mean to you?

American Home with us flag for 4 of july

The 4th of July in my family has always been a huge tradition! Family Gathering and fireworks, BBQ and games! However, in my family there was so much more……we learned the importance of the holiday and what it meant to us as American Citizens. My dad was a bit of a historical fact geek and loved every opportunity he could get to share some of that knowledge with his resistant kids! My Husband and I passed on that great tradition to our very resistant daughter! We have always been country proud, Military proud, Law Enforcement Proud and so thankful to live in this country! Although we love to travel – each time we come home, we are HOME!

I am thankful for the men who had the forethought to create the Declaration of Independence, and create the basis of which we live here in the US! I am thankful each day for the men and women who have sacrificed and fought so that I may live my safe, happy, content life here! I hope that each and every one of you have a SAFE 4th of July! Don’t forget your BBQ; Watch those “bombs bursting in the air”  But remember, if  just for a moment, why we have this special holiday!


4th of July Fun Fact: “John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.” (History.com)

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I am Back in action!

Help needed. Drowning man's hand in sea or ocean.

After a whirlwind few months of travel, genealogy conferences, masters classes and too much to list here……life has finally settled down so that I can focus on some real “FUN” – Stories will come later – I have reached out to long lost relatives, made new connections with discovered relatives and researching client lines as well. More on that later.

Also, right now I am preparing to attend the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree – I am so excited to be a part of this conference. I am especially looking forward to the DNA Day on June 4th, specifically dedicated to all things DNA and learning more about this quickly growing tool that is both a mystery and a blessing all at the same time. I am sure there will be more on that to come.

Check out the link and the schedule, it would be great to see some new faces and experienced faces at the Jamboree!

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Are you Swimming in the Gene Pool?

Help needed. Drowning man's hand in sea or ocean.

Today is another step towards researching my own heritage and genes. Over a year ago, to learn more and to jump into the new wave of DNA in genealogy and family history, I used myself as a guinea pig and took the Ancestry.com DNA test. I have also studied and reviewed my brother-in-law’s DNA from 23andme to help him find his biological family as well as his own heritage. We are very close with his results! Although learning the language and the science of it all was a bit overwhelming to me. Who knew taking a week long symposium on DNA would make me feel like a insecure teenager in AP Biology class again?

Since the first test I have taken, I have learned that my heritage although out there, may not be as easy to find  since I am a female with no known male immediate biological relatives. My Brother-in-law on the other hand has a better chance and more options for him to determine the information he needs since he is a male. I am no expert on this, nor do I even want to get into the genetics here, as it is much to much to digest in just one simple blog post. I have taken classes, listened to lectures, attended two symposiums and I refer to the experts on this. I hope to one day completely get it, but right now I am still getting my feet wet with this journey. Although I have assisted in adoption reunions, I did it the old fashioned way. This opens a whole new door for anyone looking to make that leap, doing a surname project, or search for their heritage.

So to add to the journey, on the advice of CeCe Moore  aka the Genetic Genealogist, in her recent lecture for the APG – since I am an adoptee with unknown parentage it is better for me to “fish from all three ponds”. So I am diving into the pool at 23andme to see what surfaces.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on the DNA testing, have you done it? was it a success for you? would you consider it?

With the lowered pricing that is available now for all three of the “ponds” Ancestry.com ; FamilyTreeDNA; and 23 and Me Kit Welcome23andMe; it is very fee sable for someone to do this research on their own lines. Each one offers different specialties and regions they test or have tested. Although they are moving forward quickly in receiving many more donations which means many more matches. In addition, some of these companies are letting you share the reports from the others to intensify and compare your results. I just recently did this with Ancestry to Family Tree and the results were two fold what I had found on Ancestry.

So Stay tuned for future posts on the Journey in the Gene Pool!

Remember…..all it takes is One Leaf at a Time!

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Where do you “hail” from?

old treasure map  Migration studies have long been a key to studying genealogy. So much so, there are classes, lectures and book series written about it. Animals are not the only creature that migrate. Learning where someone is from, where they traveled and why is key to opening more doors in your genealogy research.

Today in the New York Times – an article on the US migration was posted and I found it very interesting, and thought I would share it with my readers.  The map display is more current and only covers since 2010, but very interesting when you look at your home state and where you or your fellow neighbors came from. Do look closer at the article, as there is a link of maps of migration since 1900 that may or may not help you in your own research.

I for instance live in Southern California, and although I have lived in a few other places, am a California Native. I thought I was one of the few left. According to this research, I am in the majority!

Where do you live – were you a transplant? or a native to your state?

One Leaf at a Time!

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TGIF – Feel like a Weekend Warrior?

Well it is Friday and you have a whole weekend ahead of you. What do you think you can accomplish in “just a weekend” – don’t say just – a weekend is 2 whole days 48 hours (who needs sleep) – what can you accomplish This weekend! This is going to be a feature each week this year, on a weekend warrior type of challenge but family history related. Each weekend, I will be posting a challenge for you that can be accomplished in just one weekend, to help further you along your path of branching out those trees. As it says in the name – we will accomplish this all One Leaf at a time – and in one weekend you can easily find/handle/file/archive One Leaf!

SMART GoalsWeekend Challenge: Friday JANUARY 9th – Sunday JANUARY 11th

Make out your goal list for the year of research

  • What problems do you want to solve?
  • Is there a particular question you want answered in your history?
  • Is there a GG Grandfather that has been eluding your research?
  • Is there a brick wall in your way?
  • Is there something you want to compile or organize this year

Write these all down, and keep them where you can see them on a regular basis. Goals are no good if they are hidden away and you only review them at the beginning and end of the year. That’s it! Can you do it? I know that you can. I will also be doing the Weekend Challenge each week and sharing my results in the feedback……I would love to hear yours as well.

It is time to rustle up the One Leaf in your tree……who or what will it be?

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Obsess Much? I Think I Do!

Back to Tuesday’s Secret – my obsession with BLOGS (and Pinterest and Podcasts and Movies and Books and Family History). OK so maybe I am a bit obsessive, you have to be in this profession though don’t you?!?

Often times we think we don’t have enough time in the day to get things done or do anything for ourselves. Believe me, I was there once too. Most of my “reading” back then, was done via audio books in my car on my commute to and from work. But now that my family is grown and I am not the Choir, Soccer, Youth Leader, Sleep Over and fund raising mom anymore, I have found a bit of time to reevaluate what is important to me now at this point in my life. This is part of my regular every day – work day! Awesome right? Well, I think so.

Please don’t picture me eating bon-bons and sitting on the couch with my IPad reading blog after blog, it doesn’t happen that way at all! I have a few favorites that I review when there are updates – thank goodness for RSS subscriptions – and others that I check for news and happenings in the genealogical and regular world too. This is my relaxation before bedtime moment. At the end of the day is when I get all caught up – on a perfect day that is!

So I thought I would share some of the Blogs and Podcasts that I read and listen to. These can help you and me both along our genealogical journey as well as entertain us at times too. (This is NOT an exclusive list, NOT even close!) and please note, occasionally I may introduce you to something or someone that is not necessarily involved in the industry.

Have a look, next week I will be sharing educational websites and blogs so you can learn about specific techniques or software that can help you along your journey.

Remember……all it takes is just One Leaf

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