Monday, November 26, 2012

Catching Up After A Busy Couple of Weeks

It's been nine days since my last post. Things have been hectic, with Thanksgiving at our house for fifteen, and watching our granddaughters most of the week, I am a little behind. Today I was talking on the phone with a friend and she asked me if I was enjoying a quiet house. Until that moment I had not realized I was home alone for the first time in many days. While working in solitude I can make enormous progress on genealogy projects. That is why I often work late at night, so my train of thought can flow freely, uninterrupted.

On the 10th of November I taught two classes for our Family History Center Fair. Those are the last of my classes planned for this year. My calendar for next year is starting to fill. The first class on using familysearch.org was filled with over fifty people, and we had an extra fifteen minutes before the class was due to begin. To fill the time I shared some of my family history highlights of the week. 

One story I shared was about locating a researcher in Poland to help someone I have worked with for some time. He previously hired another researcher in Poland, but feels there just might be some other resources with clues to finding his unknown ancestors. The process involved reviewing researchers listed on the Association of Professional Genealogists website. There were three good possibilities and we contacted them all for a proposal and suggestions. We finalized the connection with the one who seemed most likely to meet the requirements.

The researcher reviewed the scanned files sent to her by email and then made some phone calls to see where records might exist. On Thursday, while we celebrated Thanksgiving, she traveled to the Archdiocese archives and reviewed the records. The results came by email this morning and unfortunately she was unable to find the desired information. It will be up to the client to decide if he wants to pursue this research further. I feel great compassion for people who have ancestors from areas where records have been destroyed. There is hope that someone may yet discover some type of records that will open up these areas for research.

The second class was on the War of 1812, with a smaller group attending. This is one of my favorite classes, as it focuses on the 200- year anniversary of the forgotten war. During my studies this year, I have come to appreciate the impact of this war on the families who lived in the United States, still a very young country. For me, Thanksgiving encompasses far more than just a one-time celebration. Our ancestors are European, thus they immigrated leaving their homelands. My appreciation for their dedication to sacrifice so much is due reason to celebrate annually at this time of year.

As we prepare to celebrate the Christmas holiday season, this is a good time to slow down and truly focus on the things that we are blessed with. Take a moment to record your family events, either in writing or by recordings. Time passes quickly and memories are fleeting. Keep the stress levels down, do things that bring relaxation and meditate on the things in your life that really matter. Every day is a keepsake.

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