Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 7 - Hot Topic?


For our final challenge, Alex Beadon, asked us to write about a controversial or 'hot topic' in our field, then express our opinions about it. Being a non-controversial sort of person, I couldn't really think of anything I wanted to bring up or expound upon.

I have been a member of the genealogy community at large for several years, now. When I started speaking at Family History Expos, one of my expectations was to be welcomed into the national scene. I was really looking forward to getting to know other people who love and enjoy genealogy on the same scale as I do. It didn't really work out that way.

I met a lot of wonderful people during that time; presenters and guests to the events. I got to teach some fun classes and attend some fun classes. I wasn't trying to become famous or rich, I just wanted to flock with birds of like feathers. It was fun and I wouldn't trade the experience, but it didn't get me a bunch of new friends.

So, I follow blogs and get newsletters and try to stay up with what is new and exciting in the genealogy world. These things supplement and complement the basic, old-school techniques. That way, from a distance, I am still a part of the larger community. I can share what I have learned at the local level and enjoy helping others fuel their flames of interest in their families.

There have been some controversies in the community, but I like to believe that the family history community is just that - a community. I have benefited, and for that I am very grateful! I will try to pay it forward.

Happy Hunting!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 5 - Food for Thought

"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future." -- Gail Lumet Buckley

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 4 - Ten Things

The blogging challenge today was to share ten things that other people may not know about me. But, since this blog is more about family history than it is about me personally, I don't feel the need to create such a list.

I've been pretty open on the pages and in some of the posts about my love for this hobby/passion/obsession. And, since starting this challenge just a few days ago, I've come to realize more than ever that this blog is really for me. I like to write about my genealogy experiences, about my people, and share some of the things I've learned. And, I like to do that here.

That said, I can think of a few things:
  1. I like feedback (I don't get much)
  2. I miss public speaking (it was so fulfilling!)
  3. I wish I could do genealogy 24/7 (you could probably guess that one)
  4. I picnic in cemeteries
  5. I talk to dead people ;)
Not ten, but if you're a genealogist, you can probably relate. See you tomorrow.

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 3 - FamilySearch Hints

Did you know you can search the historical records at FamilySearch without having an account? It's true!

Using the Search function at the top of the page, you'll be taken to the Search Historical Records page. Enter your search criteria and be awed at the number of results returned. Without being signed in, you can view the extracted information. One of the perks of having an account, is the ability, in many cases, to see the images of the actual records.

That type of search will crawl through the indexed records on the site for anything that matches the search terms you entered. But, did you know there are thousands of records on FamilySearch that haven't been indexed, but can be browsed?

From the Historical Records Search screen, scroll down below the blank search boxes and click on Browse All Published Collections.

You will see this screen next:

Notice that some of the collections have numbers in the Records column. Those have been indexed and are searched when you use the search functions.

The other collections have the phrase Browse Images. The images in these collections have been uploaded, but not yet indexed. 

Another way to access these browsable collections is to click on the map on the Historical Records Search screen, select a location from the pop-up menu and click on Start researching in [your location].

Then, you will get a screen where you can enter search criteria, again. Below that section will be a list of the collections for that location that can only be browsed.

No matter how creatively you enter your search criteria, you will get no results from these collections. These collections must be browsed through. Most of them are categorized either alphabetically or chronologically. Don't overlook them! Once you feel you've exhausted the traditional search options, take a look at what else is buried in the collections list. What you want may well be there. I have found some wonderful treasures using these collections! I hope it helps you, too.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 2 - What matters?

strong and barely controllable emotion.

Given the challenge to consider my passion, I actually felt a little guilty for a moment when "genealogy" was my first thought. Shouldn't it be my family? 
Wait .. my involvement began with my family.

When I was little, I was fortunate that my grandparents lived next door to one another (yes, my parents are the boy-and-girl-next-door). My Grandpa Epps was six-foot-three inches tall. He was my 'big grampin.' My Grandpa Hoyle was about five-foot-seven; he was my 'little grampin.' I know I spent a lot of time with them, but my little grampin died just before my fourth birthday. Sadly, and I have cried about this (true confession), I have absolutely no conscious memories of him. So began my quest for family information.

I always say I 'cornered' my grandma for answers, but, in truth, she loved to tell me stories about my grandpa. The bonus outcome, which I don't think I fully appreciated at the time, was that she also shared stories about her family. I still have handwritten notes I made as she was telling me, as well as several letters she sent me after I was married with bits and pieces of family trivia that she remembered after we had talked. These are precious to me. My conversations with her fueled my passion.

Many years later, my passion for learning about the family that lived before me, and cleared the path for my sojourn here on Earth, continues to expand. Never, never have I found enough about that family to satisfy the yearning.

In pondering the 'passionate' side of this *obsession,* I think there may be a more basic underlying desire to know everything. That might take me a while. :)

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Feel Good Blogging 7-Day Challenge! (Day 1 - what was I thinking?!)

I haven't spent much time here during the past year, or so. Just today, I became aware that Alex Beadon has issued a seven-day challenge to bloggers. I'm gonna do it! Not over-thinking, just typing.

As a re-introduction, I am Joleen Aitchison and I love genealogy and family history; all aspects of them. When I'm not doing all the things I must do, I'm doing family history. And, some of the things I 'must' do are genealogy, too. So, I get a lot of it! I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near some family and very far from others. 

When I first started this blog, I was actively speaking at various family history events. I did that for about two years and absolutely loved it! I got to work with great people, meet new people and learn lots of things. In fact, much of what I learned during that time has been extremely beneficial since. I think, at the time, I hoped this blog would be a vehicle for sharing my own research and interests, as well as sparking some interest in those who were dabbling. I also wanted to be a part of the larger community of genealogists, some of whom I would call friends. I also planned for it to be a place where family members could learn more about our history. I even thought it might drum up some business for me, which it did - some.

One of my favorite blogging endeavors was my series of Backward Glance posts. Each one was about an ancestor of mine. They were extremely satisfying to compile and share. A cool thing about those posts, too, is that those ancestors are also the ancestors of many other people. Sometimes, one of them contacted me and expressed their pleasure at finding the information. *One of these days,* I will compile them into a book for my family. Trouble is, I'm never done with finding more.

Over time, I've realized this blog is for me. You, and all your friends, are welcome to have a gander. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you'll find something that interests you. I hope that maybe, if you aren't already familiar with your own family history, something here will prompt you to learn more. There is a completing, peaceful feeling that comes with learning who those people were - people - with lives!

This challenge has already helped me relax about the blog. It will be easier for me to share when I don't worry about whether, or not, anyone will be impressed. I'll continue to share may progress, exciting finds, articles I read and - well - whatever fits and strikes my fancy. 

See you tomorrow!

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