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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday
Feb222011

* I've been ancestor approved!

The Ancestor Approved Award was started by Leslie Ann (Ancestors Live Here) to show appreciation of bloggers sharing interesting - helpful - fun content. Jennifer (The Erudite Geneagloist) has passed on the Ancestor Approved Award to me! Thank you so much for the recognition. When given the nod you are asked to share 10 things you have learned about your ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened you. I thought it would be easy to make the list, but I was surprised how competitive I made it for my ancestor's stories! Here are a few of my moments.

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Saturday
Feb192011

* celebrating presidential ancestry: Martin Van Buren

In honor of President's Day, I'm gonna brag about Jalena's Presidential ancestry. President Martin Van Buren is her GGGGG Grandfather! President Van BurenI've known Jalena forever. It all started in 7th grade science class with my purple plastic shirt and Jalena's plastic leopard bag. We've been best friends ever since. Jalena's family has many famous ancestors and we started researching her family hisotory to find out more! I was very interested to learn that her family was somehow related to President Martin Van Buren. Jalena's dad is Stuyvesant Fish Morris V, with a name like that there is obviously a story. There were 3 prominent families; the Stuyvesant's, the Fish's, and the Morris's, all wanted their names passed down to future generations. The name Stuyvesant Fish Morris was born to the son of Dr. Lewis Richard Morris and Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish (Granddaughter of Peter Stuyvesant) in 1843.

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Friday
Feb112011

* writing your family history- benefits and challenges 

I've been traveling this week so I haven't had much time to post, but I wanted to share a few words about my experiences so far with the Armchair Genealogist's Family History Writing Challenge. This was a great idea, a challenge for genealogy bloggers and genealogy enthusiasts to write at least 250 words a day, EVERY day during the month of February. I enthusiastically volunteered as soon as I read about the challenge. But I must admit, I have not been able to keep up with the daily aspect of this challenge. I can at least say I have been THINKING about writing every day! :) Even if I didn't get to actually write I have been brainstorming and developing story lines in my head and jotting down notes.

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Monday
Feb072011

* Genealogy, Ancestry, heritage - what does it all mean? 

So I have this blog highlighting what I call "genealogy marvels" to inspire and share the rewards of genealogical and historical research. In order to for you to truely appreciate my pursuits I want to breakdown what genealogy is all about. To start, what is genealogy?

Genealogy 1. an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms   2. regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor or older form : pedigree 3. the study of family pedigrees 4. an account of the origin and historical development of something

Ancestry 1. line of descent : lineage; especially : honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent 2. persons initiating or comprising a line of descent : ancestors

Heritage 1. property that descends to an heir 2 a.  something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor : legacy, inheritance b : tradition 3. something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth :birthright
(As defined in Merriam-Webster)

 

If you google any of those keywords you will most likely find countless archives, programs, directories, and advertisements just waiting to help start your search. There are sites with thousands of records and free family tree builders, but most lead you in many different directions and aren't goal oriented ((not to mention the impending $$'s)). Without a vested interest or goal most of us will probably have it as a hobby of the month or new years resolution. Many people haven't been motivated to start/continue digging or preserving their family history, even as advances in technology make information so accesible. A fresh perspective of genealogical research is needed.

Below I've shared an interesting video outlining one professional's systemic view of genealogical research. I think it gives a good overview of what comprehensive research entails, BUT there are ways of researching/preserving your family history without feeling like you're writing a research paper.

Before I go any further with what I think, I want to hear from you. What do you think of when you hear the term "genealogy"? What steps have you taken to record the past? Do you feel that genealogy is just a "hobby"? Are you the famliy historian? What obstacles have you faced getting other family members involved in your search? Interested in genealogy but don't know where or how to start?