Sunday, September 28, 2008

Election Years

Something I would like to know about my ancestors is how they felt during the US Presidential election years during their lives. How did they feel about the candidates? How did they feel about who was voted into office, and then later how they performed?

During my lifetime, so far, there has really only been one US President for whom I voted and who also did what I felt was a good job after winning the election. More and more it seems futile to care about who is President.

I would not be surprised if my ancestors felt the same way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Family Reunions

The primary family reunion for my family occurs every three years. Last time, there was a terrific connection among all of us. We did indeed feel like a family. It's time this year to have another reunion. Many of us aren't going because 0f the price of gas or other obligations. While I still feel a kinship with my relatives, I haven't communicated with but only a very few since the reunion.

The Internet Geek in me wants to say that the answer lies in communicating over the Internet. That is, they say, the most common use of the Internet: email and chat, communication. However, I have also heard it said that computers and the Internet don't connect people, they separate them. This is in reference to the texting, the instant messaging, the emails, the chat, the forum, and the blog. People are using electronic communication more than in-person or on-the-phone communication.

It will be interesting to see how these two different phenomenons play out. Since balance has been a common key to health of people and societies for generations, I suggest that we balance the use of how we communicate. It is very helpful to text someone if you are not sure if they can take a call, but why not a text that says, "Is this a good time to call?" Then call them. Keep the person-to-person communication while utilizing technology for its best use.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ

I just read an interesting set of comments to this blog post at On Faith with the Washington Post. Michael Otterson wrote about the resurrection of Christ, and the comments to the blog post included praise and hope, and contention about whether or not Christ rose from the dead with a body or as a spirit.

Here is my comment I placed on that blog:

The question whether the resurrection of Christ was as a spirit or with a physical body might be perplexing. What does it matter? It certainly matters to others who have commented on this blog in different ways. Perhaps one view is easier to believe than the other. I'm not sure that is it. But I am also not sure as to why individual people feel answering this question is so important. Whatever your reasons, why not set aside the squabbles as to who is right? Why not share to help each other rather than argue over differences?

For myself, believing in a physical resurrection makes the whole idea more real. Maybe it does seem like science fiction to some. I say it’s true. I don’t have empirical evidence, but I believe it enough to live as if I did have that empirical evidence. This is why I find family history important, if we are going to be together in our life after death, then why not get to know those who have gone before—since we will one day meet them.


Consider Paul’s preaching of the resurrection of Christ:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,
which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye
are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have
believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which
I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day
according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then
of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred
brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some
are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all
the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one
born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am
not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was
bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore
whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now
if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that
there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no
resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ
be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have
testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that
the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are
yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ
are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are
of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man
came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as
in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:1-23

I believe in the literal, physical resurrection of Christ. I believe we will all take up our physical bodies again, on some day. I do genealogy to prepare for that day. Because of this belief, my heart has been turned to my fathers (my ancestors).

In addition, doing family history has motivated me to connect with people. In realizing that what we can take with us when we die are not treasures like gold and silver, but treasures like what we learn while we are here, and the relationships we make along the way. We here on the Earth need to connect like the brothers and sisters we are rather than fighting … like the brothers and sisters we are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bring the Digital World Together

I purchased my membership last week, and I have fallen in love with the site. It does the research for you! Sort of. The collaboration with other people's trees and the searching of historical records is automatic. You are given the opportunity to accept changes and additions. Some of my mentors have cautioned me though. It seems that there needs to be great caution in accepting information on the Internet, mostly because the great number of people involved. The chances for human error are great.

I also signed up for, using my LDS information so that I can see if Temple Work has been done for specific individuals. At the suggestion of more than one of my mentors, I have my own PAF (Personal Ancestral File) program which I consider my authority. Before putting information there, I will make sure I have a primary source citation.

This means I now have three versions of my family tree! So I asked around and read other's blogs and this is what I've come up with as a temporary strategy:

Use to grow my family tree, do research, and find those ever-important primary sources (historical records).
Use PAF to store my family information that I am more (most?) sure of.
Use to check for temple work (LDS-specific-ask if you want to know more).

I still have three trees, but I am not trying to make all three complete, only my local PAF files.

Why is this temporary? Because there is a new service being released soon by the LDS Church that might make it all more simple. I won't know until I can use it, and it isn't available in my area yet. The New Family Search will combine several databases to simplify the process.

I think I will still use because of the access to historical records, but the rest of the process should be easier because of a connection between PAF and New Family Search. Here is a video that introduces the new system.


This video is accessed via: /

Mastering Family History is a website that offers free training related to family history and genealogy. Take a look at it and see what you can learn. The only thing better would be to have someone beside you showing you the steps you need to know. My philosophy is this: what ever it takes. If reading online and viewing videos works for you, terrific! If you want someone to help you live as if they were next to you, take a look at this page: FamilyHistoryGeek's Phone Training

I'm creating some specific lessons I think people will want to learn. They are mostly the same as you can get elsewhere for free (see above). You choose. I would love to help and earn some money, but I will also provide the links to the free material.

Please in comments let me know the things you would want a Geek to teach you if you had one. I'll add them to my list of lessons (as long as I know the answers or after I learn them.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Connecting With Child Laborers

Here is another example of how genealogy and family history will enrich our lives. I just read about the Lewis Hine Project. This project's goal is to research the descendants of children in photos taken by Lewis Hine in the early 1900's. Hine took pictures of children who were laborers for the National Child Labor Committee.

The project is lead by Joe Manning a retired freelance journalist who found that there were many of Hine's photos available via the US Library of Congress.

To share the connection and influence of this project, let me quote Mr. Manning from his website:

So far, I have located and contacted descendants of dozens of child and
adult laborers. It's been an emotional ride - none more emotional than the
search for Minnie Carpenter, the girl on the left in the photo above. Hine did
not identify the other girl.
This was Lewis Hine's description: "Oldest
girl, Minnie Carpenter, House 53 Loray Mill, Gastonia, N.C. Spinner. Makes fifty
cents a day for 10 hours. Works four sides. Younger girl works
After a month of painstaking research, I obtained a copy
of Minnie's obituary. She died more than 30 years ago, single, with no children.
A nephew, of Gastonia, was listed as one of the survivors. In the Internet white
pages, I found a man with the same name living in Gastonia. I called him,
and he was the right person. He expressed great surprise about the
photograph, and was very pleased when I told him I would send him a copy. I
thanked him, dropped the photo in the mail, and called him three weeks later. He
said excitedly: "I was hoping you would call me sooner. I've got some incredible
news for you. The other girl in the photo is my mother."

This quote comes from this URL: /aboutlewishine.html

The address to the website is: /index.html

I applaud Mr. Manning's efforts. Maybe in your research you might find and ancestor that was photographed by Lewis Hine.

In addition, can you imagine meeting someone in the next life, a relative or no, and hearing them tell of being a kid who had to work 17 hours a day? Can you imagine being able to express gratitude in person to the people who changed and enacted laws that prohibit child labor today? I look forward to that.

Here is a link to the photo blog that helpe me find Joe Manning's website: /

I plan on meeting Shorpy one day. Reading about the children whose photos are part of the Lewis Hine project, and reading about Shorpy motivates me to get involved in my children's schools today. To make a difference, because there are children today that need help just as much as there were in the 1900's.

See how it works? How has reading histories influenced you?

Resource For Genealogical Research

While this blog is mostly about reading family history and how it influences our lives, once in awhile I find a resource I want to share. Here is there link:

Post your Genealogy Research on

This site is free to become a member, and what you do is list the surnames you are searching. Their system provides you with links to other people who are searching the same surnames. Pretty cool. I'm going to be journaling the research on my own lines there, while I will continue to blog here about family history.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Across the Globe and Across Cultures

I just read a review of a book about to be published on March 11th:From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island. I'm looking forward to learning about culture both Canadian and Jamaican. You can read the review here: Bright Stitches of Family History

Here is another must read: Get your parents to reveal their stories, not to you, but to your partner: Passing on a Family History

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