I wrote about the origins of my catching the Genealogy Bug in Part 1, and here continue with the tale.
Articles in the Los Angeles Times, by the respected researcher, columnist, and author, Myra Vanderpool Gormley, in early 1987, inspired me to do the research to find the newspaper articles on the death of my Grandfather William Jennings Wells.
I was so enthused by this success that I continued reading and clipping her articles into the summer.
Over the last couple of weeks I've been going though my stuff, sorting and organizing all the notes, and documents I've accumulated over the last 20 years.
I'd forgotten that I even had kept some of this material! ;-D
I was still living in Pomona, Ca. at the time.
I somehow got my hands on information about the National Archives, and had filled out an order form for a book on researching in the national archives, some brochures about the Archives Microfilm collection, and the various Federal Census from 1790 to 1910.
$49 was a lot to spend, though, and I never did send in the form.
I had sent off for, and received, info on The Kentucky Historical Society, at the time that they had just begun their Staff Genealogical Research Service, and filled out a Query Submission Form with the intent of paying $18 for membership in the Society.
Nothing came of that plan, either. ;-D
I had sent off for, and received, info on The Kentucky Genealogical Society, and planned to send in $10 for membership.
Yup, you guessed it! I still need to send it in. ;-D
I had sent off for, and received, info on The New England Historic Genealogical Society, and had plans to send in $40 for membership.
That still needs to be sent in, too. ;-D
After the death of my Mother, in 1990, my life took several twists, and turns, through 1998, and I left my research alone.
I got a computer, went online, and by 2001 had discovered its usefulness for genealogy research.
That computer helped to change my life.
As the interest in Genealogy, and using the internet in the search for, and sharing of, information among Genealogists kicked into high gear in the late 90's, Everton's Genealogical Helper soon found it had some excitable, and exciting, new neighbors on the magazine shelves of bookstores. ;-D
Why did I buy, and save, these particular issues?
1. In the October 2001 Everton's is an article, by Kimberly Powell, of About Genealogy, called "Breaking Down Walls, Brick by Brick: The Search for Henrietta."
It obviously inspired my few successes in the following years.
Also inside was an article by Peter and Connie Bradish called "It's in your Computer, but Where? ;-D
2. Family Tree Magazine, of October 2001, had an article called "Putting the Pieces Together, by the author of Unpuzzling Your Past, Emily Anne Groom, one exploring Rootsweb, one on Tribal Ties, one on deciphering handwriting, and spelling, and one on using old newspapers in your research, that all caught my attention.
3. Family Tree Magazine, of Dec. 2001, had a list of Libraries of use to Genealogists, an article on computers, one on the Mormon website called Family Search, and one on Cluster Genealogy by Emily Anne Croom.
4. Family Chronicle, of Sept./Oct. 2001, had articles about genealogy for beginners, the Melungeons, the DAR, Brick Wall Solutions, and 20 Top Genealogy Websites Worth Surfing.
5. Family Chronicle, of Nov./Dec. 2001, had several articles on online resources, and articles on GEDCOMs, Brick Wall Solutions, and using Newsgroups, Boards, and Lists.
6. Family Chronicle , of Jan./Feb. 2002, had an article on archiving photos, and one on Ahnentafels, but it was what I had set inside, temporarily at the time, that is of most interest.
I had typed out, and printed in 2001, with intent to mail, requests for copies of the Original Social Security Number Applications (or Computer Extracts of them), of my parents, maternal grandmother and her brother, and an aunt, from Social Security.
2001,2002, and 2005, were the most fruitful years of my research, and when I moved to Orange County I ventured, for the 2nd time, to the National Archives branch in Laguna Niguel, Ca. (The first time, in the early 90's, I had to walk over 3 miles to, and from the bus stop, as opposed to just a few blocks.).
That trip was a productive one because I was able to print out certain census records from 1900, 1910, and 1920.
That brings me up to the present, which finds me re-organizing, and making plans for the future, a future in which I may finally be able to do some things that I coudn't do before.
By the end of 2002 I had organized my research into various folders that, when collected together, fit into one box, had a computer program, and a handful of books.
I even have printed copies of old e-mail corresondence from various researchers who helped me in my research in 2001, 2002, and 2005. ;-D
I have Family Tree Maker 2006, and had used an earlier version, way back when, to print out a Family Tree that I copied and had sent to various cousins in the hopes they would be inspired to add their info, but nothing came of that.
The books I have include the following:
1. Genealogical Source Handbook, An apparently privately published booklet by George K. Schweitzer (1984).
2. Tracing Your Ancestry by F. Wilber Helmbold (1976)
3. Handy Book for Genealogists 7th (1981) and 9th Editions (1999).
4. THE SOURCE: A Guidebook of American Genealogy - 1st Ed. 1984, and Revised Ed. 1996.
5. Genealogy Online, 7th Edition, from 2003.
6. Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 6.
7. Family Tree Guide to Europe, from 2003.
The first 2 books, and the earlier editions of the next 2, were the 1st books I ever bought on genealogy, back when I first began. ;-D
The first 2 are marked up, throughout, indicating that I'd read them, cover to cover, as do certain chapters from both edtions of The Source. ;-D
I went out to the garage, this morning, and brought out old family photos that are in frames from the 70's and 80's, and a couple of extra large photos that are in need of frames, and a watercolor Portrait, based on a 92 year old photo of my Paternal Grandfather, that is unsigned, and undated, but is at least 55 years old, and possibly done by his Step-daughter.
Very soon I will be hanging photos up in my apartment. ;-D
I hope that my story, my Genealogy Blogging, and my growing list of links in the sidebar, will provide encouragement, and resources to my fellow Roots Digger-uppers. ;-D