17 Jan 1845: Alexander Hendry Writes to Cousin Ellen Harper

It’s a cold and wet new year as I write from Liddieville, perhaps similar to the weather my 4x-great-grandfather Alexander Hendry experienced as he wrote his cousin Ellen Harper on January 17, 1845. I’m still excited about finding this letter on eBay, and I spent the last few weeks of 2018 mining it for information and pursuing leads about its recipient. Continue reading 17 Jan 1845: Alexander Hendry Writes to Cousin Ellen Harper

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2019 Index

I’ve joined genealogist Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.  Each week in 2019, I’ll share a story, photo, or finding about one of my ancestors, inspired by a prompt.  I can interpret the prompt in any way I wish — which is likely to lead to some interesting stories as the year progresses!

Here’s an index of my posts in this series and the ancestors featured:

Family Artifacts on eBay: My First Find

Have you considered eBay as a genealogical resource?  Even though I’d read articles and listened to podcast episodes about others’ successes, I never imagined I’d find anything about my tiny hometown, much less my own family, on eBay.

Then I actually searched — and did! Continue reading Family Artifacts on eBay: My First Find

9 Nov 1863: McKaskle Brothers “Left Sick” at Camp in Monroe, Louisiana

Was any American family untouched by the Civil War?  No, most likely.  Among my ancestors, my McKaskle family was especially affected, the oldest four sons of George Washington McKaskle, Sr., and his wife Mary Jane serving on the Confederate, Union — and sometimes both — sides.  On November 9, 1863, two of my McKaskle fourth great-uncles were left sick at camp near Monroe, Louisiana, by their their Confederate unit.  It’s a fascinating story, rediscovered through military records and studies of their unit, the 28th (Gray’s) Regiment, Louisiana Infantry. Continue reading 9 Nov 1863: McKaskle Brothers “Left Sick” at Camp in Monroe, Louisiana

TxSGS 2018 Family History Conference – Recap & Thoughts

45269030_10155404721831377_4011557724285304832_oI attended my first Texas State Genealogical Society conference this past weekend in San Antonio.  Going to conferences was on my “to-do list” for honing skills and connecting with others on this professional journey.  I’m so glad I did!  For too many years, I thought joining Texas and Houston-area societies would offer little value for my research in other states.  However, these organizations focus on methodology and standards — and that’s exactly the information I need as I turn toward professional genealogy.

If asked which sessions were my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to single out just a few — the presentations were that high-quality!  I went to 17 lectures on a variety of topics, including DNA, methodology, and specific record sets.  Most sessions included interesting, and often complex, case studies that applied the topic to real-world research.  Genealogy is about problem solving, and seeing how others bust their brick walls is leading me to find new approaches to mine.

Another benefit of attending TxSGS was meeting others who are serious about genealogy.  I met many interesting people and had great conversations between sessions, in the vendor hall, and over meals.  I went alone, knowing no one, but felt right at home around others passionate about family history.

If you’re on the fence about getting involved in the larger genealogy community, I urge you to jump.  I made a leap in August and have already had rewarding, enriching experiences that have improved my research skills and knowledge.  And now I can’t wait until the next conference!