The Life From The Roots blog topics have changed several times since I began this blog in 2009. I initially wrote only about the family history I had been working on for 20 years. Years later, I was into visiting gardens, historical homes, churches, libraries that had genealogical collections, historical societies, war memorials, and travel/tourism places. I also enjoy posting autographs and photos of famous people I've met or have seen.

Along with my New England roots, other areas include New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Please check out the labels on the right side for topics (please note, they need work). Below the labels and pageviews is a listing of my top nine posts, according to Google. Four of them pertain to Lowell, MA. These posts change often because they are based on what people are reading.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My New Way of Doing Research

There aren't many times that I get totally excited about finding a new piece of information for my genealogy puzzle.  After 20 years, most of my basic bits of information have been found and celebrated alone.  At this point, I could simply walk away and say to myself, "I really know whom I am," with all the proof and two DNA tests done. 

I keep thinking, what else do I need, other than solve a few brick walls.  Well yes, I could fix up some sources that were done 15 or so years ago...and I do, when I find them.  Within the past several months, I've had a number of people write offering to do this and that for me, including sending me ledger pages with my ancestors names, and several wonderful "new" friends who have helped with cemetery photos and research.  How nice, and I could get used to any help, as long as I help others, it isn't all take and no give.

My new way of doing research has been reading blogs, over 150 now, and I've gotten wonderful bits of information that have helped me.  The most recent help was from Marian Pierre-Louis of  The Symbolic Past.  She posts New England cemetery photos, and I really pay attention to the names as well as all her locations.   Whenever there is a name of a town that sounds familiar, I always check my genealogy software database to see if I have anybody from that area.  One time, I discovered I had a Kilborn buried in a town where she took several photos, and the second time, she posted a cemetery photo of my direct ancestor and, I didn't even know that my Brooks was buried at that cemetery. It turns out there were 3 generations of Brooks there, and I was so excited that my husband and I went to that cemetery the other day to take my own photos.  Marian didn't know she was helping me twice, it was just my paying attention to names and locations that did the trick.

One of the strangest things happened last night, as I posted the piece about The Wedding, which had nothing to with the Clinton wedding, but was about the town my ancestors lived many years ago. sent me a notice that there was a possible match for two of family members. Sure, I thought, since most times I already have the information.  But, not this time.  There were two U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 that I hadn't seen.  One for my great-grandmother and a great-aunt.  And...there were passport photos as well!  I had no idea what they looked like at the ages of 67 and 32. Don't have to tell you how excited I was. My great-grandmother's application is below.

What a nice feeling to realize that my research isn't over, new things are appearing, whether through a blog, a genealogy database or from other helpful cousins.  I can now celebrate these recent findings; it feels good, really good. These methods were not available to me in my beginning years, and I need to get used to it. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.