Well, I am starting this blog in hopes of documenting my research and the joy I have in performing that research in genealogy. I have never blogged before and I hope to be able to keep up with this thing. With that in mind…
I began my genealogy research about, oh, 20 years ago or so. Not sure why I started it other than I simply like to do research. I had no idea what I was doing nor how to go about it, so, like any other fool, I just started.
I began with what I knew. My parents, grandparents and some of my great grandparents. I began to look through books and then I discovered that wonderful thing called Federal Census Records, but you know what? All my family were still young enough and the latest census records were from 1910. Still I persevered.
One day, after learning about and figuring how to use the soundex system I decided to peruse through a microfilm. I found my great grandmother, Gladys Marion Wilbur, listed on it. All I can say is the elation I felt after seeing the name of a family member on an official record from 70 years prior, well, it was unbelievable. Even after all these years and literally tons of records and thousands of hours of research that very first find still steals my breath and makes me feel giddy.
Now, after starting from scratch several times due to lack of documentation (something I will discuss another time) I have 2036 people listed in my family tree. At one time I had over 5000 but after deciding to start over (for lack of documentation – see above) I now have all of the people well documented and where they belong. I have been able to document at least four grandfathers who fought in the War of Northern Aggression (they were Confederate if you didn’t know) and one grandfather that helped settle Texas by coming with Stephen Austin in 1831. I also have a lead on another grandfather that may have fought in the Revolution and died at Valley Forge, but that is an ancestor I am having a difficult time documenting.
My love for the hunt of my forebears led to the name of my website and has fueled research for other folks. There are currently 10 family trees I am working on for various people and I also do research for others who just need a little help. My goal is to eventually become a Certified Genealogist, and one day I will be.
With the research skills I have developed over the years at the University of Hard Knocks I decided to help others out. I work on documenting cemeteries for FindAGrave.com, help find family members of those who have died at Unclaimed Persons, transcribe records for Family Search, am working on getting the Conroe Community Cemetery recognized as a historical cemetery as well as clean it up and restore it, and I do volunteer research for many people across the country.
I have found that people who do genealogy research are all just absolutely wonderful, helpful, insightful, and always a professional to others who are also doing research.
Join me as I reveal this wonderful world of family research, some of its problems, some solutions, and just plain neat things.