This has been a quiet year on the blog – but a busy year of genealogy. Here’s a look back plus a sneak peek at what’s coming in 2023.
SLIG Course – I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy‘s Advanced Genealogical Methods class in January. It was supposed to be an in-person event but they changed it to a virtual class due to COVID. That was hugely disappointing but the class itself was pretty good. I have a better appreciation now of what real genealogy is all about. I am trying to up my game when it comes doing reasonably exhaustive research and citing my sources. I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming certified and this course gave me a good idea of the level of work that would be required: A LOT.
Scan-a-palooza – I have been scanning like a demon all year long. Over the last 35+ years, I have accumulated piles, files, folders, and boxes of documents, photos, family histories, funeral cards, correspondence, scrapbooks and more. There is no way that anyone coming after me would be able to make sense of all this mess. And it inhibits my own research when I know that I have a relevant document but can’t put my hands on it. So this was the year to tidy it all up and I’m pleased to report that I’m nearly done! I started out with four file cabinet drawers stuffed full, the equivalent of about five banker’s boxes, and over a dozen three-ring binders. I’m down to one file cabinet drawer (of stuff to keep) and one banker’s box (haven’t started on the binders yet). Here are the rules I’ve been using for organizing all this stuff:
- Unless the document has historical value in its original format, I scan it to PDF and file it in the relevant surname folder in my “References” subdirectory.
- Anything that’s a photocopy, I have scanned it and then thrown it away. The scanned version is actually more useful anyway – my scanner software has optical character recognition so I end up with a searchable PDF. These are also filed in my References subdirectory.
- All photos have been scanned with the originals stored in acid-safe boxes. I’m up to 16 boxes now, I will probably accumulate a couple more before I’m all done.
- Oversize photos and documents are in two boxes, one for Dale’s family and one for mine.
- Funeral cards, wedding invitations, birth announcements and other small-format original documents have been scanned but the originals are in acid-safe sleeves in two boxes, grouped by surnames
- Most newspaper clippings that have come down to me are undated and I don’t know what newspaper they came from. In almost all cases, I have scanned them and stored them as JPG files in my genealogy program, but I have tossed the originals.
- I got two large-format scrapbooks from my Aunt Florence. I used a lightbox to capture a JPG image of each page. After the photography was complete, I pulled out the wedding invitations and other original documents and filed them with my other small-format originals. I’ve kept the scrapbooks for now – don’t know how much longer they will last, they are literally crumbling away.
I’ve promised myself to hold off on original research until this project is complete. I’m hoping to have it all wrapped up in January.
SAG Workshop – I attended the Swedish American Genealogist Workshop in Salt Lake City in November. This will become an annual event for me (I’m 3/4ths Swedish); it was just amazing to spend a whole week immersed in Swedish research with experts available to answer questions and translate documents. My main research project was to definitively refute the Johan Hultman myth (I did) and figure out who Isaac Hultman’s father really was (I did that too, a blog post will be forthcoming!). I also found some stuff about Gustafva (Johansdotter) Brodd’s ancestry – we have a Swedish sailor in the family! More about that in the coming weeks as well.
Donated Collections – As I’ve sorted through my accumulated genealogy stuff, I felt like I had two collections that needed to be in professional hands and not in my closet. Both of these were donated to the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. I will write about this in a coming post.
I have lots of genealogy plans for 2023.
Y-DNA Course – I’m enrolled in a three-week Y-DNA for Genealogy course that starts in January. I’m hoping I’ll learn how to leverage Bruce’s Y-DNA test to break down a Fraser brick wall. There are already some tantalizing leads, I just need to learn how to follow them.
Rademacher Book – Dale really wants us to publish a family history book with Joseph and Josepha Rademacher as the focal point for both ancestors and descendants. Hope to have it done in the fall so family members can purchase copies for Christmas next year.
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – this is a that program encourages weekly blog posts and provides suggested prompts to spur your creativity. I might opt for the “12 Ancestors in 12 Months” version of the program but in any event, I’ll be posting more regularly on a variety of themes.
SAG Workshop – this year’s workshop will be October 22-29 at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Research Projects – I intend to pursue a number of projects the year. Here’s what’s on tap:
- Hultman Ancestry – based on the research I completed at the SAG workshop in November, I’ll be writing up a blog post and an accompanying research paper that corrects the record with respect to the parents of Isaac Hultman (1782-1827)
- Gustafva Johansdotter Ancestry – again based on SAG research, I’ll document what I’ve learned about Gustafva’s great-grandfather Sven Häggblad.
- Dill Ancestry – finding the parents of Peter Dill (d. 1839) has been an ongoing project. This year, I will try to figure out the relationships between the various Dill men living in and around Augusta, Georgia during the colonial period up to about 1835.
- Lola Timmons Female Lines – I need to research some of Lola’s female lines: Nancy Dyer, Lydia Bennett, Susannah Jemison and Emily Patton. My cousin Sara Frasier did a lot of research on these lines, I need to validate her findings and see what the possibilities might be for extending lines further. I’ll be starting with Lydia Bennett.
- Timmons Follow-Up – I did some good research on the parents of Peter Timmons (1839-1879) that I need to write up in report form with source citations.
- John Fraser Ancestry – as noted above, I’m hoping that Bruce’s Y-DNA test will give us some clues.
See you in 2023!