THE NEW FACE OF GENEALOGY

DSC07840 (Copy)Two big projects keep me busy and off-blog. I’m organizing and selling a huge stamp collection. And, I’m completing my mother’s genealogy. Before she died, I promised her I would submit five generations with proofs, that she had worked years to complete, to the Mormon Genealogy Library. It is one of the largest in the world. However, the old days of submitting a pedigree book with hand or typewritten information, following your lineage for five generations, the only amount the library would accept, is no longer done that way. Meet Debra Newcum, left and Jean Oliver from the Family History Center at the Latter Day Saints Church in Murphys.  Debra is doing her Mission in the area for 18 months. Jean is head of the church’s  Family History Center. I made an appointment with Debra over a month ago, choosing what I thought was an open spot in my calendar. I figured three days, it would be done. A vast new world awaited me. Genealogy is done on a computer and uploaded on-line. It is through their free program with multiple tools that can take you back to first recorded records. Jean, for instance,was able to trace her descendants to the 1600’s. Debra had to go to Britain to physically get her records at great cost before this program was available. In the Mormon faith, when multiple marriages were encouraged to increase the clan and colonize, following a family tree is more complicated than most. I was blown away. I suspect I will be spending a year on my project.  I’ll try to make it interesting enough to get you started on your family tree. I also recommend the PBS program, Finding Your Roots which is done with amazing insights into famous people who know nothing, or very little, about their descendants. Last week they found a first. A descendant that was burned at stake for being a witch. More interesting than fiction.

DSC07841 (Copy)Getting my stamp collection organized for sale, I also considered a week at most.  I had forgotten how massive my collection is and how much work I’d left to be done. I kept buying stamps as I was raising kids and living a demanding life, thinking I’d get back to it “later”.  Later is here and I’m stunned. There is much work involved, but I’m enjoying my stamp collection for the first time in years. I’d forgotten how much history there is surrounding stamps. And, how much family and friends seep through from simple handwriting, addresses and post marks on envelopes.

A local store is named “Stories In Stones”.  There are stories in stamps and genealogy both. What an adventure I’m enjoying.

I must limit this entry because I have a tenant moving. Refurbishing it after  seven years of one occupant, driving to Oakland, considering paint, new counter tops, upgraded cabinets and so on. Decisions to be made and attended to. Life is never static. Ciao

 

 

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