Monday, December 29, 2008

A Year Ends and New Blog Begins- December 2008- My Genealogy Journey

Copyright 2008, Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

My first genea-blog post, a brand new blog- Dec 29, 2008

Another year draws quickly to a close. I contemplate the things I would like to accomplish in 2009; and beginning a Blog seems to be one of them. This is my inaugaral entry into my new Blog, which I hope to keep updated to share with family and friends in 2009. Perhaps this Blog will lead to new friendships along the way?

I hope to get seriously back into my Genealogy hobby in 2009; which has been put on the shelf for many years due to being too busy with "life" to pay much attention to my dead ancestors. Having just moved into a new home, with more rooms, I now have one full room which I can devote to genealogy research and storing of my genealogy books and records. Once I am able to retrieve those dusty files from their storage boxes and get them all arranged neatly in filing cabinets in my new "home office/ genealogy room"; and arrange all those family history books neatly on their display shelves; I will once again become motivated to delve into the past. There are so many discoveries of colorful ancestors who led intriguing lives, yet to uncover. Since I last did serious research about 15 years ago, everything has become available online. I hardly know where to start; the task ahead is both tantalizing and daunting. I did my original research the "hard way", first by sorting through clippings and old photos from an elderly aunt's attic; then piecing it all together one generation at a time going backwards from my aunt's generation. I wrote letters by "snail mail" to genealogical societies in the geographic areas of my known ancestral roots in the early 1900's and 1800's; and worked backwards in time from there. I hit gold along the way, networking with enough fellow "Genie's" who had connections to some of my ancestral lines, that I was able to piece together quite a few generations of my family tree fairly quickly. Then I started writing to the National Archives and State Archives to gather copies of original documents. on some of my ancestors. I now have quite a collection, enough to document my elgibiity to join DAR, Daughters of the Confederacy, and several other Patriotic Societies.

Which brings me to yet another item on my 2009 "To Do List": To actually complete that DAR application and enrollment packet and get it submitted, and start attending some DAR functions with one of the local chapters near where I live in Arizona. One local chapter has kindly had me on their mailing list for over a year now, inviting me to participate in events and functions while awaiting my completion of the documentation to make me an official member. I must get around to doing that this year! I must reschedule a Genealogy Cruise in 2009, to compensate for the one I missed in 2008 for health reasons.

Meantime, my youngest daughter is just home for the holidays from her first semester of college at University of Arizona, where she is a Pre-Nursing student in the Honors College. My eldest daughter, son-in-law and grandkids joined us at our new home on Christmas Eve to celebrate with dinner and a gift exchange. My husband passes his early-retirement hours and days with a daily regimine of crossword puzzles, to try to stave off the ever-advancing stages of Early Onset Alzheimers/ Dementia, that ended his career at age 55 (2 years ago).

Another thing I would like to accomplish in the coming year, is to get the RV out of storage and put a few miles on it, traveling around in it a little bit and maybe getting to some RV rally's and group camp-outs and events. We own land in Arkansas and Texas that we would love to visit in the RV, in the spring or summer, stopping off to see some relatives along the way. From there, we could go on into Missouri, land of my ancestral roots in the 1800's, and perhaps do a little more genealogy research, or even visit my mother's resting place in Poplar Bluff, MO. I am semi-retired now myself, so may have the time this coming year to travel a bit....but would have to do all the driving myself. The Alzheimers has robbed my husband of the ability to drive or to do much of anything these days, much too early in his lifespan. It has robbed me of a companion and provider. He may enjoy getting out in the RV with me to see some country, though.

Other than that, like everyone else we just hope to survive financially intact in 2009. I am happy to see Obama coming into office as the next President. I think that has done the morale of this country a world of good, already.

I will be posting to this blog from time to time, sharing some of my daily or weekly thoughts, challenges, worries, hopes, dreams, accomplishments....maybe even a recipe or a poem here or there. Hopefully I will have the health and stamina, and time, in 2009 to accomplish a few of the things on my To Do list. Here's hoping that all of you who read this will enjoy the same.