Sunday, September 29, 2013


For those relatives just finding out that I've caught the genealogy bug (after being passed the link to this blog by someone else in the family - probably my parents), I thought I would set out my current plan of attack for the family research and for the blog. I say "current" because I expect both will evolve over time.

My current plan of attack for the Family Tree (from me up) is to approach it from right to left, as it were, or starting with the maternal side (and the maternal side of the maternal side [thus far: Hartman, Wonsetler/Whonsetler, Diehl, Meyers, Zimmerman, Speicher; Erwin, Conley, Craig --I'm back to the early 1700's- late 1600's with a couple of the branches], then moving to the paternal side of the maternal side [thus far: Snyder, Bailey, Pink. At one point a Snyder marries a Snyder -- different families but both tending to John(s), & Phillip(s)] - yikes!) and going to the paternal side (with the maternal side of the paternal side first [thus far: Bennett, & Gregor] and then to the paternal side of my paternal side (thus far: Henn, Wilcox,Currier]. I intend to do four basic passes through the whole thing (1) fill in as much as I have in the  tree type documents Mom & Dad gave me - mostly Dad's side; (2) explore all of the little hint leaves that pop up on after the first pass through and add all the documentation I can (which makes sense) from those hints; (2.5) take anyone I don't have documentation for off the tree [I might get them back later but they only get to stay at any given point if I can support them being there]; (3) next go outside Ancestry seeking additional sources of documentation on just about every aspect of life specific to each person on the tree, and see if I can get further back in the family tree as well*; (4) go through and research cultural context for each generation an person: what's going on in the world then, in that state, that county, that city; how much are milk, fuel, clothes, etc.; and attach contextual essays for each person (or at least each generation).

I've done step 1, largely (I have more stuff I got from Mom & Dad that aren't trees that I intend to use to spark research inquiries and verify research with, in later steps). I've started step 2, although I'm still on the maternal maternal side. While I'm doing this I'm also reading up on and watching YouTube videos on how to conduct genealogical research, because I really don't know how yet. I just like research (I always have) and I have a wide ranging curiosity and lots of patience (as far as research goes). In amongst my research into doing genealogical research, I've discovered that my plan of attack is "wrong" if I were to aspire to doing it like a professional. Evidently I should be doing each person and each branch until its done (while realizing that there's always the potential for more, as more historical documents come to light in the world). I have no desire to be a professional and I'm not going to do it that way. I have too many readers who are looking forward to seeing what I turn up when I get to their side of the family, so doing it in layers seems fairer. Although there will be overlap, likely; particularly if I get interested in a person and extra info is easy to find -- see my first Ancestor Highlight post coming tomorrow, well, later today. This will all take time. I've got at least 9 years to go before I can retire, so I can't afford to do this more than weekends because I have a tendency to stay up too late doing it. And, frankly, this is looking like a rest of my life project if I do everything I want to with it. Then someone can inherit it and see if they can improve on it!

As for the blog, I intend to post at least one (1) post general a week updating folks into what I've been researching this week, and one (1) highlighting some ancestor -- some of those will be more detailed than others, some may not be very detailed at all, and there may be repeats as I find more stuff for a person. There may also be occasional posts on something I found to be quirky, cool, or neat. I might do some posts just for fun as I figure out how to do it  - some of the other genealogical blogs I follow do a themed puzzle on weekends If I can figure out how to do it I might join in. Also, if someone sends me a question, I'll try to address it if I can. I don't expect most posts to be as long as the ones I have been writing. These are just setting the foundations.

I'm doing the blog to (1) keep family informed of what I'm doing, (2) let others who might be researching the same surnames know what I'm finding - the blog is google-able and searchable if I set it up as I intended, and (3) to maybe get pointers from others who read it. And to make friends interested in the same sort of stuff.

Oh, and if anyone has anything that they think might be helpful for my research, but they don't want to give it up (understandable!), please take a picture of it and email me the picture (this includes documents & pictures), and give me an explanation of where/how you got it & what it is. Thanks!


  1. Hi Jo Allison, welcome to Geneabloggers. I am also on their newbie list this week and am looking forward to this new blogging challenge (and sometimes, it is a challenge!). It would not appear that we’ll ever be researching the same people or places, but my reasons for blogging are very similar to your own, so I thought I’d follow along.
    Best of luck,
    Dara (

    1. Thank you for the welcome, Dara! I was looking over your blog and I like how you write. It's very interesting, and I've signed up to follow you. Family rumor has it that once I get back far enough on some of my family lines, I may end up in Ireland. We'll see!


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