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In a week of frozen roads, feet of snow, and sub-zero temperatures I am trying to visualize summer. This shot from a summer family outing keeps coming to mind.

Under the hat and behind the DS is my niece. Her parents, brothers, my mom and I were queuing for one of the kids favorites, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, at Meijer Gardens Amphitheater in Grand Rapids, MI in August. Miss Fiesty was focused.

I’m missing that sunny day this week.

Happy hunting!

Jess

Trotter SistersI have two aunts who are fabulous and have been great in helping me in my genealogy research. This is a photo of both of them from their childhood in Detroit. And one of them (the young lady on the left) celebrated a birthday this week!

Happy Birthday, Dear Aunt! I still fully intend on coming to talk to you about pictures sometime soon!

Jess

CheersSo, looking back over the year despite strange ups and downs, I have accomplished a lot of my 2013 goals. I was honored to be asked to present at a number of genealogy events this year including for WMGS and ICGS  and for the Archives of Michigan.  I’ve made interesting in roads on a few of my lines—some inspired by the results of DNA tests and some by good old-fashioned library and archival research. I even managed short hops—to the Archives of Michigan and Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library—as well as a few trips to ACPL (including FGS).

I also had a few surprise requests come in as the year unfolded and my summer project became a hunt for my great aunt’s family who found their way into Michigan by way of Illinois from the south—Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. She and her family have been fabulously appreciative but I keep trying to tell them—I enjoyed myself! You Snow descendants have a fascinating family and it was a nice break from our shared lines. That said, one of you needs to start writing down Aunt Donna’s remembrances if you haven’t already… she had family stories to share once I jogged her memory with the facts I had unearthed.

For 2014 I have plans for more of the same:

  • Continuing my education… Checking out what my area societies and councils have planned such as the Abrams Seminar featuring Michael LeCelerc, Chief Genealogist at Mocavo.com, in July and WMGS‘s Annual Seminar featuring Dick Eastman in October—plus, I have my eye on GRIP on the Road.
  • Continuing to share my experiences both online and through talks around the area—starting “at home” with three sessions for the Capital Area District Libraries in February.
  • Hopefully, getting farther out on the road to do research—I’m still pondering the feasibility of Pennsylvania or Arkansas research.
  • And branching back out beyond “Not Quite Wordless Wednesday” which has been the one post I have tried to make consistently this year. There’s so much more to share and I’d like to get back to it.
  • I also have lots of mini-goals on my various lines.

So here’s to goal-setting and celebrating a New Year of research and fun!

Cheers, salud, and happy hunting and thank you all for following along!

Jess

Some of you got a preview of a post that will go up on Jan 3rd… Sorry! This is what happens when one forgets to change the year when it’s about to flip to a new calendar. Happy Birthday, Auntie! Ah well, user error at its best.

Happy New Year!

Jess

Johnson Christmas 1979The annual meeting of Grandma Ethel’s family empire was this weekend reminded me of this Christmas memory.

My Grandpa loved Christmas! This is him, William Eugene “Gene” Johnson, myself and the back of my brother’s head. This is from the Christmas of 1979, the year before he died.

I hope you’ve had a fabulous holiday season!

Happy hunting,

Jess

2012 Christmas Cat

My Cousin’s cat reminds us to share the family stories about our furred family members too!

Like the story of the Siamese who brought home a mouthful of baby mice in order to train her people how to hunt. Grandma was not amused… though in the stories the snake was off-putting as well—but visible before Mademoiselle was allowed into the house.

Or my babysitter’s tiny dog that delighted in burrowing in my hair anytime I lay down at the house.

I spent a lot of time trying to photograph this cat at our holiday gathering last year.

Are you collecting that part of your family story?

Happy hunting,

Jess

Iced Tree, 2013No doubt 2013 will be a memorable holiday season for many Michiganders purely because of our ill-timed weather events—freezing rain, snow, more snow and the possibility of wind today—causing countless power outages. But I’m hoping everyone can find some sparkle and shine in their holidays. Stay warm and enjoy the gift of friends and family, in whatever form they come!

Find joy in your holiday season!

Happy hunting,

Jess

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