Monday, January 3, 2022

Looking Back at 2021


Here we are at the end of another year and what a year 2021 was!

 At the beginning of a New Year I like to take a look back and see what I have accomplished over the past year and develop goals for the new year. Looking back at first glimpse I always believe I haven’t done very much because I have had some big gaps in my blogging over the course of the year but let me see what I have actually accomplished from a genealogy standpoint:

  • My biggest accomplishment ever has been to finally publish Carrie’s Letters: A Glimpse Into Rural Family Life Baiting Hollow NY (1880-1910).  This was over a 10 year project that involved scanning, transcribing over 100 of my paternal great grandmother’s letters and adding sidebars to help the reader better understand the people/topics discussed.  This is probably THE most important genealogical project I will ever accomplish.  I have proudly donated copies of the book to local libraries, etc. to help other genealogists know a little more about life in the area during this time period and maybe even find out a tidbit of information about an ancestor.  As I continue to make connections with descendants of local families and/or distant cousins I am enjoying looking up people in the Index to see if they are mentioned in Carrie’s Letters.  (If you would like to purchase a paper copy of Carrie’s Letters ($35) you can do this by emailing me at  To date I have done a number of presentations in person and this past year on Zoom (for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society and the Oklahoma State Genealogical Society) related to Carrie’s Letters: the discovery of the letters, deciding what to do with them, researching people and events in the letters and about publishing family information in general.
  • I traveled for five months this past year with my faithful, furry companion Harley.  We had fun discovering National Parks, visiting newly discovered cousins and reconnecting with old friends and family across the country.  Yes, and of course some additional research along the way.  Stay tuned for a variety of research finds that need to be written up this coming year.  So much to learn and do!

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:

 In 2021:

17 Blog Posts completed (oops…my goal was 50) with an all-time total of 130,779 page views

Top 5 blog posts last year were:

A tab was added on my blog specifically for Carrie’s Letters

Attended the Alden Kindred Reunion (for the first time) in August in Duxbury, Massachusetts

Article (What are You Wearing to Your Next Family Reunion?) published in the Fall Edition of the San Diego Mayflower Colony Newsletter, The Pilgrim News, page 27

Goals for 2022:

  • Complete 50 blog posts
  • Present on 12 November 2022 for the San Diego Genealogical Society about Carrie's Letters
  • Blog posts about planning my trips to areas my ancestors lived and discoveries from those trips
  • Take a Mayflower Tour in Great Britain
  • Identify the parents of my maternal great great grandparents Jacob Hamman and wife Katherine Hein
  • Complete and publish eBook versions of Carrie’s Letters on Amazon and iBook

In summary, I think it’s been another great year for research despite Covid.  Hopefully, more places will be able to reopen this year for researching.  I humbly thank all of you who take the time to read my stories!  I am grateful for the photos or stories that you remember and share with me.  The questions you ask spur me on to new investigations and discoveries.  I appreciate hearing and knowing what you remember.  It truly is the ‘journey’ that is the reward and you are all part of that.   Off to another exciting year of research!

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

Enjoy the journey,


  1. Forward to 2022. Here‘s to a year of great discoveries.

  2. Hi Debby! I just came across your blog today. I'm descended from Edward and Dolisca Terry, through their son Arthur's daughter Arabella, I believe, and I have a whole album of postcards which were sent to Dolisca largely from her children, but there are a few others in there as well. I've only skimmed your blog so far but it has so much great information on the family! I had started a Tumblr blog a few years back where I was posting photos and transcriptions of the postcards in chronological order, but never finished the project. (You can find that here: ) I have been looking back at the postcards again because I want to make videos about them and the family for TikTok, and to dive deeper into learning about the family. I would love to get in touch and talk more about the family, and to share the materials we have! You can email me at :)

    1. Thank-you Holly! Yes, let's definitely talk more about this. I will be in touch.