Friday, September 20, 2013


I'm a beginner amateur family historian. I've always been interested in family stories. A few years ago I turned my Dad's childhood memories into a small book that I then distributed to family. That whet my whistle for more. After watching "Who Do You Think You Are?" first on network TV and then on TLC, I became intrigued by the idea of family history research. I'm a research geek, so this sounded like lots of fun! On my Dad's of the family I have a head start as there have been family historians in prior generations who have researched trees, and produced books of family stories and memories. (I come by it honest, you see!) But I'd not heard of anyone doing the same on my mother's side.

My first step was to ask my parents on a visit last October what they had in terms of things that might relate to family history. They helpfully pulled out boxes of papers, pictures, napkins with notes,  Sunday School certificates, hand-written memories by my great-great grandparents, and gave them to me. I was amazed and didn't let them out of my hands the whole trip from Texas to New York! I then opened up an account with to try to see where I could get, combining their hints with my odds and ends of family memorabilia. I showed my parents what I'd been doing when they came through on a visit and seeing their interest and excitement made me happy even though I hadn't got much done since I have a full time job, a relationship to nurture, and am a bookworm. Then my brothers expressed an interest in what I was doing, and some of the next generation. So I thought about sharing what I'm doing much sooner than I'd originally planned. 

After much thought, I’ve decided to blog about my research into our family tree as an easier way to keep family informed as to my research than trying to pick out on a chart what might be new, and easier to tell a story about a newly discovered person, or new facts and how they play into a picture.  I will also use it to explain what I’m doing at any given time in terms of the family history research. Hopefully, I will soon figure out how to post pictures of some of the stuff I find. I expect it will also help me keep track of what I’m doing over time, I think, and help me keep track of sites where I’ve looked that might be helpful again in the future. It is my goal to find as many people in my family tree as I can, and document them all as fully as I am able (I expect that will grow over time), and then go back through each level and find out about how it was to live in that time and place and write that up as well so that we can have as full a picture of each person in our tree as possible. Now you know why I warned my interested family members that this was likely to be a lifetime project. I'm 53; I think a good 25 years +/- ought to do it! :-)

I can’t promise daily entries; but I will update at least weekly, perhaps more often as I have more to share.


  1. Hi JoAllison! Welcome to blogging! It looks like you are off to a great start. I too am fairly new to genealogy blogging having been encouraged by Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy (which I recommend to you). My blog started on December 31, 2012.

    I noticed you have become a follower of my blog at Filiopietism Prism and I want to welcome you and thank you for deciding to stop by and then join as a follower. I hope you continue to find things of interest and perhaps of some use to your research and blogging. I know I am indebted to several genealogy bloggers for helping me on my blog. It is a wonderful community to belong to. :-)

  2. Thank you for the kind welcome! I found your blog really interesting, and chock full of things that might become useful if I'm to try to track down the family legend that I'm related to Roger Williams! (We'll see, lol).


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