I was very fortunate to have had a great childhood, sometimes magical. While strict, my parents spent time with my sister and I, took us places and talked to us.
We had a mountain of relatives nearby and visited fairly frequently, both my mother's and my father's families. Don't forget, you're equally related to both your maternal and your paternal families.
This memory resulted in my planting a few potatoes in my little patch in the community garden that I discovered this year. Visiting Aunt Fanny's and Uncle Bus's farm was a favorite visit. I love animals and there were plenty there. But this memory isn't about any of the animals.
One visit, Aunt Fanny asked me if I'd like to help dig potatoes. I have no idea how old I was but old enough that she thought I could be of some help. She explained that you have to be careful when digging potatoes not to damage the potatoes. She would turn an area of the patch with a garden spade then tell me to use my hands to dig into the loose soil, feeling for potatoes and she had something I could put the potatoes into. This process was repeated until we had a pile of potatoes to take back to the house to wash.
I had a great time and the memory of my hands in the dirt, feeling for potatoes, came back to me as I was planting my little garden patch so I planted a few red skinned potatoes and look forward to digging them up at the end of the growing season. They're nearly finished blooming.
Family memories are wonderful. Write them down. Share them.
I haven't upgraded my software yet, just haven't got to it. I'm hoping the chart printing will be improved in the newest version and I can give you charts.
If you contact me for information, here or by email or on Facebook, please tell me how you think we're related, give me a brief family tree that you think connects and specifically what information you're looking for. It's very important to include dates and places, if only approximate.
I will no longer send information without see a tree, at least through your grandparents, with some dates and places. I've spent a lot of years, time, effort and expense collecting all the data I have. I still have holes in various family lines so I need information as well and I won't give it away anymore without getting some back. It doesn't matter if it's information I already have. I'm just tired to sending information and never hearing anything from that person again. Sharing is a two-way street.
The phone app, We're Related, changed very shortly after I wrote about it here and you could no longer search by GPS for people you might be related to. It became completely useless. I can't recommend it. I have uninstalled it and suggest you do the same.
Just a quick overview of the process I've been using (and I've only scratched the surface). If you want to research your family history begin this way:
- Make an outline of what you already now about your families: you, your parents, ALL your grandparents, ALL your great grandparents. Include all dates and places you already know.
- Visit family and ask questions. Start with your parents, then your grandparents, then your aunts and uncles. It's useful to make a list of questions you want to ask so you don't forget something.
- Repeat the last step several times over a year because we all forget things temporarily and asking the same questions several times can turn up memories that weren't there the last time asked.
- There are many web sites that have genealogical information. Some of that information is free. Look at my Links page to find some of them. Email me and ask me specific questions after telling me what you already have.
- After filling out charts I then spent years searching censuses to fill in gaps. I'm a paying member of Ancestry.com so I'm not sure if their census images are free or not but I can do look-ups and will for proven relatives, for others I'm going to have to begin charging for my time.
- My aim is to trace each individual from birth to death. Once you have sufficient information, I can tell you how and where to send for documents like birth, marriage and death certificates. I may have some that I can send copies of, provided we're related. This is where expenses come in. It used to be fairly reasonable to get a copy of any of these documents but costs have increased many times over the decades and vary, from state to state and county to county.
What would you like to see? or read about?
Again, I'm researching the following families (these are the primary bloodlines, there are more): Beismer, Beesimer, Beasmer (and all the rest of the 52 variant spellings I understand exist), Flower(s), Hulse, Hogancamp, Hendricks(on), Mattice, Odell, Oliver, Platner, Vande(r)mark, Wormuth.
If you're related, or researching any of these families, I'd love to hear from you.
I am responsible for all typos and other errors in this blog.