Blog Housekeeping

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, 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!


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!


GourdsI hope everyone is enjoying their time with friends and family! And I thank you all for joining me in my research both in person and from afar. This blog is both to keep me motivated and to bring people together and from my point of view it is working. Thank you for all your kind comments, stories, and support!

This lovely fall shot is from our Traverse trip in 2009 taken in front of Chateau Grand Traverse on Old Mission Peninsula.

Have a wonderful holiday!


Blogiversary2Today is my actual blogiversary. My ‘Hello World” post went live two years ago and I’m still writing… not as often as I want, but hey, I’ve managed to keep it up and I’ve had fun doing it. I’ve also had a lot of neat experiences that I think are a direct result of the blog and the people I’ve connected with through it.

I’ve been invited to speak (and write) for what I consider my home genealogical society—WMGS, at the annual Abrams Family History Seminar hosted by the Archives of Michigan, and most recently at the Ionia County Genealogical Society. Thank you all! Each was a fabulous experience!

I’ve also become one of the genealogy resources at my workplace and have a couple of programs in the works for them in the winter—which is kind of neat for a Readers’ Services Librarian.

And, as I’ve noted before, this experiment has helped me identify problems and holes in my research, helped me connect to new friends, relatives, and fellow genies in a new and fun way, and it’s kept me seriously working on something that both excites me and pulls me out of my comfort zone.

So, thank you all for a fabulous two years!

Happy hunting,


For Mom… Thank you, for more than I can say!!!

Mom & Jess, 1978

I had to be under the age of two in this shot. Mom was probably a good 10 years younger than I am now, which is a little funny to get my head around.

And again it’s one of those shots where nothing looks the same anymore if you were to stand in the same spot and take a picture–I’m not even sure if the house behind my parents’ is still yellow.

Happy hunting,


The Splits, c.1984I feel like I’ve loved to dance forever! This isn’t really proof, as I’m about seven in this picture, but it hits on a few recent topics of conversation.

First, I still dance and I’ll be performing in a show on Saturday which is why I’ve been very quiet here on the blog for the past month or so.

Second, I recently had a chance to look at my niece’s progress report from her Preschool teacher in which she stated that she “wants to be a ballerina”—I know it’s a common “girl wish” but it’s still thrilling to hear when she takes such joy in coming to see me dance. And it makes me wonder about how the “creative gene” gets passed on.

Third, this shot was taken in a studio in the upper floor of a converted church in Haslett, Michigan—which in itself was cool!—but, coincidentally, the mother of one of my current fellow dancers has recently occupied the same space with the fabulous and inspiring small but mighty arts. For all you ladies who have been borrowing space there to make costumes… the upstairs workspace was my first dance studio.

And, yes, I can (barely) still do the splits.

Happy hunting,


Welcome all to 2013!

Another year has passed and I am thrilled to have made so much progress on various lines—largely inspired by maintaining this blog.  I have challenged myself searching out different (fabulous and informative) record types including trying DNA testing for the first time (more coming on that soon). I have hit a point where I have to use my almost non-existent German to work on one of my maternal lines (though I’m not quite out of the country yet). As for trips… it’s been mostly short hops though one was out of the country to learn more about the Alison’s and their allied families. And my professional clear has started to blend into my genealogy as I started co-teaching genealogy classes for my library. All that and I have met new friends and gotten to know some better over this endeavor.

And as I noted this time last year it’s the perfect time for a little goal-setting and I have a few in mind:

I will be doing Saturday research at the Archives of Michigan—when my job permits me—and you should too! Starting January 5th the Archives will be open 10 am – 4 pm. I have had fabulous success with the Archives and found (more often than not) that they had a resource I thought I had to travel farther to get.  If you live in the area please consider supporting the Archives efforts to increase accessibility.

My Roadtrip wish list is long and varied but I’m eyeing trips to ACPL‘s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, the Burton Historical Collection in Detroit, and back to Fort Wayne in the Fall for FGS 2013.

My current research focuses are Dad’s African-American line and Mom’s German ancestors—which I have come to find equally hard to research just based on regular name variations. So, in the back of my mind Arkansas or Ohio/Pennsylvania field trips are being planned as well.

Plus, I’ll continue doing a little presenting. I have been asked to continue our genealogy classes at my library and will be presenting on African American research at WMGS’s February meeting.

I’ll keep up the posts and let you all know what I’m working on.

Happy Hunting!


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