Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017-A Year of Genealogical Research

I like to use the New Year to take a look back and see what I have accomplished.  I still work full time and can only do my genealogical research in little bits at a time.  By taking the time to look back at the statistics and what I have been able to do I feel more of a sense of accomplishment then I might otherwise feel.

I use Legacy Family Tree software to maintain my family tree.  I have trees in Ancestry and My Heritage but those are not the most up to date trees.  (Sometimes in Ancestry and My Heritage I may collect information from hints and store them in my trees for future research and then discard them if the information is not correct.  I use it as a ‘holding place’.)

From my Legacy tree:

     A review of the statistics in my Legacy tree that I am most interested in:

One of my goals for 2017 was to try and add more people to my 5th and 6th generation gaps.  This has proven to be quite a task since I am researching back in the early 1800s and late 1700s.  Many ancestors are also from other countries and this is proving to be a lot more challenging but I will keep at it.  This is a time period for very scanty records and records in other languages.  I was actually only able to add 2 on my paternal side- Hannah Lupton and Micah Howell, Sr. the parents of my 3rd Great-Grandfather Daniel Howell.  (More to follow this year on them.)

In 2017:
I completed 49 Blog Posts (my goal was 50) with an all time total of 55,911 page views.

I’ve connected with several new cousins and some I haven’t seen in years:
  • 3- 2nd cousins on my paternal side as a result of DNA.  (Two of the cousins I knew about but the family had lost contact with and I have been searching for-SUCCESS!).  I’ve also learned a lot more about DNA this year through major conferences (DNA Day at SCGJ, 4IGG, etc.) with tremendous speakers like Blaine Bettinger and CC Moore.
  • with 3 other paternal 2nd cousins and a 3rd cousin we have started a new tradition of getting together at least once a year.  A great time to catch up on our lives and eat some great food.  Last year three of us met and hopefully next year we get a few more to join us:
Hollie, Debby, Kallie, Suzanne and Marie
  • Hollie, Suzanne, Marie and I share Great-Grandparents John and Carrie Terry Warner (see posts about Carrie’s Letters).  I can’t help but think how happy they would be to see all these girls in the family when they longed for a daughter but had 6 boys instead.
  • I’ve been able to connect with a new 2nd cousin on my maternal side and was even able to surprise her with the news that she, like myself, are descendants of John and Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower.
  • I was able to find several more distant cousins as well how I am happy to connect with as we share information and common ancestral bonds.
  • While finding new cousins it was also important to maintain those new connections from last year too.
I was able to prove with documentation to the Alden Kindred Society that I am a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden, maternal 10th Great Grandparents.  (See post It’s Official-I Proved it)

Goals for next year:
  • Completing 50 blog posts.
  • Learning more how to make those cousin connections using DNA with my research.
  • Continuing from last year along with my research this year I will continue to edit the transcribed version of Carrie’s Letters.  I’m currently working on an index of all the people Carrie mentions in her letters (to date I have about 430 people). 
  • I am scheduled to again be the Presenter at the San Diego Genealogical Society on April 14th to talk about how I researched the people Carrie spoke about in her letters over 100 years ago.

In summary, I think it’s been a great year for research and a great year for people connection (my favorite).  I can’t believe what I have been able to learn about my ancestors beyond their names and dates of birth and death.  They have come alive as the courageous people who worked hard, loved their families and did the best they could.  I owe so much to so many that have listened to my stories, read my blogs and helped me find the missing bits of information that added to my ancestors stories.  As frustrating as my brick walls can be it’s remembering the people I have met along the way and the information I have found that make this so rewarding.  It truly is the ‘journey’ that is the reward!

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. It’s all about making progress each year and you’ve certainly done that Debby. Great job! Those cousin connections are something to cherish. I keep making new ones all the time. Between DNA, our blogs and our online trees, I think the future looks very bright.