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.
"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson
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
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?
Archives.com released their analysis of how innovative technology is leading to"extraordinary growth" within the genealogy and family history industries. This is really interesting research!! I just don't understand- why aren't younger generations as involved with genealogy and family history? Especially since they are actively using/creating/influencing these new programs and technologies! CHECK IT OUT : infographic highlighting the trends as found by Archives.com.....
It's incredible how the smallest detail can bring to life an old family narrative. A recent connection has confirmed and enhanced a well known story of my grandfather's youthful ordeals working in Atlantic City, NJ.
My grandfather hated the beach. My family would travel to see my grandparents twice a year; a gorgeous beach not too far away and I don't think he ever stepped foot in the sand with us. Supposedly his negative attitude was first established after too many summer days working in Atlantic City, NJ for his Aunt Ann. Sunburn was a major issue for him, and as luck would have it, the trait has been passed down.
He would take the train from Camden, NJ to Atlantic City with his brothers to work the beaches of the Traymore and Brighton Hotels for their Aunt Ann. In the morning they would take out the umbrellas, beach chairs, and cabana's, spend the days selling food and beverages to beach patrons, and at the end of the day bringing in and cleaning all the beach furniture. From what I have learned the family business was independent of the hotels- but there were assumed connections with hotel management. They worked in Atlantic City about 1929-1942 and at this time there were many memorable characters establishing business connections. My grandfather specifically mentioned serving Jack "legs" Diamond and my great uncle remembers serving Al Jolson. A sentiment of annoyance was passed down with my grandfather's stories; serving sandwiches on the hot sand while everyone seemed so entitled to be vacationing in Atlantic City, it wasn't worth the sunburn. All 5 Wright brothers would later enlist in the army and soon they were all very far away from Illinois Ave.
MonopolyCity has a bunch of old post card images and facts about the illustrious hotels of Atlantic City's past.
Monopoly: The Story Behind the World's Best-Selling Game
By Rod Kennedy, Jim Waltzer 2004 via googlebooks
I found this book via googlebooks, it mentions The Traymore Hotel and the Brighton Hotel with pictures. These hotels were located in the red section of Monopoly. I now have a new perspective when it comes to monopoly real estate value!