20151227_165455The holidays are a (mostly lovely) distraction from my research, writing, etc. but they also lead to so many questions. Are you still doing genealogy? How far back have you gone? Are we really Irish?

Yes, I’m still doing genealogy.  Yes, I’m still working on your part of the family. If I could work on all of them at once I probably would, but I do tend to jump around in the branches. How far back depends on the line. And, yes, the Packers and Sheas are definitely part Irish but with a healthy dose of English and Scottish… you know those Packers came straight from Kent, people—you can’t be all Irish.

But as the dust settles, I find myself reviewing the years’ work and, yes, trying to formulate goals for the new year.  Here on the blog I was relatively quiet but it was a good research year for me. My only real research trip ended up being a big one—my first trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah where I happily immersed myself in British records to deepen my understanding of my Alison family and slave and Reconstruction era Arkansas in hopes of breaking down a few more brick walls surrounding my Bradley County families.  But the release of large digital collections at places like SeekingMichigan.org and Ancestry.com  gave me more than enough to do from home.

Throughout the year I connected with fellow researchers and distant family. I took a number of great classes, and taught a few too. I donated research time for a local Family Center’s annual auction and had a blast working with the winner. I continued to work as a volunteer indexer for one of my societies and “consulting librarian” for another. And I took a little time for crafting to share some of my findings with the family. All and all 2015 was a good year.

So, what will this year bring? Hopefully more of the same with a little more travel. New York and Arkansas are on my radar, though the latter might have to coincide with the next reunions in 2017. Salt Lake is a definite possibility.  We’ll have to see. Regardless, I’m starting the year right with a lot of ideas, leads, and friends and family.

Happy New Year and happy hunting!


CheersSo, looking back over the year despite strange ups and downs, I have accomplished a lot of my 2013 goals. I was honored to be asked to present at a number of genealogy events this year including for WMGS and ICGS  and for the Archives of Michigan.  I’ve made interesting in roads on a few of my lines—some inspired by the results of DNA tests and some by good old-fashioned library and archival research. I even managed short hops—to the Archives of Michigan and Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library—as well as a few trips to ACPL (including FGS).

I also had a few surprise requests come in as the year unfolded and my summer project became a hunt for my great aunt’s family who found their way into Michigan by way of Illinois from the south—Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. She and her family have been fabulously appreciative but I keep trying to tell them—I enjoyed myself! You Snow descendants have a fascinating family and it was a nice break from our shared lines. That said, one of you needs to start writing down Aunt Donna’s remembrances if you haven’t already… she had family stories to share once I jogged her memory with the facts I had unearthed.

For 2014 I have plans for more of the same:

  • Continuing my education… Checking out what my area societies and councils have planned such as the Abrams Seminar featuring Michael LeCelerc, Chief Genealogist at Mocavo.com, in July and WMGS‘s Annual Seminar featuring Dick Eastman in October—plus, I have my eye on GRIP on the Road.
  • Continuing to share my experiences both online and through talks around the area—starting “at home” with three sessions for the Capital Area District Libraries in February.
  • Hopefully, getting farther out on the road to do research—I’m still pondering the feasibility of Pennsylvania or Arkansas research.
  • And branching back out beyond “Not Quite Wordless Wednesday” which has been the one post I have tried to make consistently this year. There’s so much more to share and I’d like to get back to it.
  • I also have lots of mini-goals on my various lines.

So here’s to goal-setting and celebrating a New Year of research and fun!

Cheers, salud, and happy hunting and thank you all for following along!


Welcome all to 2013!

Another year has passed and I am thrilled to have made so much progress on various lines—largely inspired by maintaining this blog.  I have challenged myself searching out different (fabulous and informative) record types including trying DNA testing for the first time (more coming on that soon). I have hit a point where I have to use my almost non-existent German to work on one of my maternal lines (though I’m not quite out of the country yet). As for trips… it’s been mostly short hops though one was out of the country to learn more about the Alison’s and their allied families. And my professional clear has started to blend into my genealogy as I started co-teaching genealogy classes for my library. All that and I have met new friends and gotten to know some better over this endeavor.

And as I noted this time last year it’s the perfect time for a little goal-setting and I have a few in mind:

I will be doing Saturday research at the Archives of Michigan—when my job permits me—and you should too! Starting January 5th the Archives will be open 10 am – 4 pm. I have had fabulous success with the Archives and found (more often than not) that they had a resource I thought I had to travel farther to get.  If you live in the area please consider supporting the Archives efforts to increase accessibility.

My Roadtrip wish list is long and varied but I’m eyeing trips to ACPL‘s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, the Burton Historical Collection in Detroit, and back to Fort Wayne in the Fall for FGS 2013.

My current research focuses are Dad’s African-American line and Mom’s German ancestors—which I have come to find equally hard to research just based on regular name variations. So, in the back of my mind Arkansas or Ohio/Pennsylvania field trips are being planned as well.

Plus, I’ll continue doing a little presenting. I have been asked to continue our genealogy classes at my library and will be presenting on African American research at WMGS’s February meeting.

I’ll keep up the posts and let you all know what I’m working on.

Happy Hunting!