Betsy Cross

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

From Anger to Love

In census, Edward De Zeng Kelley, Family History, Fishing, Genealogy, Kenny, Regrets, Stock Broker, What Matters on June 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

(Before you read any of my posts, consider that you and I may experience death differently. I see it as a continuation of life where my loved ones grow, learn and share with me who they were in this life and what they’ve learned and are learning. I never mean any disrespect with my sense of humor about or exposure of what I consider to be the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences that every human being has had or will have while roaming this place called Earth. In fact, I know that my ancestors are tickled to be remembered, and never feel disrespected, but are very pleased to have had someone see their lives as worthwhile to those still living. Enjoy!)

I know he’s dead.

My mom remembered the other day how and where.

“My dad and he were on a fishing trip and he died. He was about 59. And as I recall (not her words exactly), fishing was like everything else…not much fun.”

Edward De Zeng Kelley was born in Connecticut in 1874 to Thomas and Estelle. By the time he was 32 he had a wife and two children, a boy and a girl. Actually, I learned from a census record that there had been three, but the first had died before my grandfather was born. How did that affect him?

I haven’t written a story of my ancestors in a while. Maybe a couple of weeks. I haven’t checked. Edward, my maternal great grandfather has been on my mind. I’ve felt a lot of judgement about him. I have been feeling melancholy since Sunday morning and have also been wrestling with thoughts about him, being patient, waiting for his story to unfold. This morning, as I searched again for a record of his death- an obituary, death certificate, newspaper article-anything to prove where and when he’d died, I felt his frustration with me.

He’s dead. That’s not his story.

He died while fishing with his son. I thought that was his story, or the story I’d tell.

“Just tell it, Betsy!”

How do you come to terms with the feelings of regret even they are someone else’s? How do you tell the truth about someone when it doesn’t sound so nice?

I honestly felt (feel) him pleading with me to lay it out there even though it sounds like a judgement. Why? Because there’s a lesson? Because he needs freedom? Or is it all about me?

Help me as I let it unfold while I telling you what I know.

Edward is a very hard nut to crack. He seems to have been an only child. The 1890 census was destroyed in a fire in 1921, so I can’t tell if there were more children born to Thomas and Estelle Kelley. Estelle died in 1899 before the 1900 census where I would have searched for the two columns, “number of children”, and “number of living children” and learned more about Edward as a teenager.

So, I’m left with a few records and one story- the recollection my mother had of him dying while on a fishing trip, something he did often (fishing not dying) with his son.

I’ve tried to focus on what type of person it takes to be a stock broker on Wall Street, and what it would mean to lose a child and all of your material wealth a few times during your lifetime, managing to rebuild it from scratch. That’s part of who he was. I don’t know what drove him. But I feel like he was very driven to succeed materially above everything else. I’m okay being wrong about that. Those are just feelings I get when I look at his picture, review his life, and sit and ponder.

But I keep going back to the fishing trip. His time was up and he didn’t know it.  His life had been lived. And the spirit of his life was passed down in that story.

Right now the feeling I get is that the truth of who he really was isn’t what really matters. What matters is what we leave-  the essence of who we have been to the people whose paths we’ve crossed while we were living. Edward may have left contradictory stories and memories with family and friends. But the one that I feel like he regrets the most is the impression he left of being stressed out, type A, difficult, and somewhat stern. Not pleasant.

Is that the truth? I think it is in part.

Does it really matter what made him that way? Sure. But understanding him doesn’t give him back moments of time where he had choices to leave a legacy of joy, contentment and happiness.

I know that Edward has moved past those regrets-the ones where the relationship with his son and wife may have been strained.

But, I’m alive right now, wondering why he won’t leave me alone.

Maybe it’s the kind of day where you trust that the stuff that you think matters and is weighing you down because it has to get done, isn’t the stuff that matters at all. Maybe it’s the kind of day where you know we’re all doing the best we can and love shines through regardless of how imperfectly we think we’re interacting with those who matter most to us.

Today might be the day to forgive those we love as well as ourselves for not measuring up to impossible expectations.

Perhaps it’s the perfect day to take the walk that my 6-yr-old Kenny asks me to take all of the time- the one “to nowhere, for no reason.” And while walking I’ll tell Edward thank you for doing the best he could and for inspiring me to look at my emotions and how they influence those I love for good and bad. Just a thought.

The sun’s out.

Thank you Edward. I got it.

What about you? Do you live in such a way that the legacy you leave is the one you deliberately choose? Will it be one of a positive influence? How do you make that shift?

Family History Sunday Series 1:9 Lessons From Geese:Find Your Flock

In Family History, Family History Center, Flock, Genealogical Societies, Genealogy, Lessons from geese on June 3, 2012 at 9:31 am

 

There’s a rejuvenating, empowering energy in groups where people share a common vision or passion. I can be quite reserved and introspective. For years I hung out in dance studios and art rooms, doing my thing. Neither required much talking, but there was massive communication going on. I always knew that I’d learn something by being around people who were learning and creating. I’ve always needed that balance between isolation where my ideas are born and community where they are challenged to grow.

This week find a Family History Center near you to drop in on, visit your local genealogical society, or search for genealogy/family history related blogs on Twitter. Make a phone call to some relatives and ask about an ancestor. Get around some people who can inspire you.

That’s what’s on my mind today. That’s it.

Get out of your comfort zone and find your flock.

I Ain’t No Mind Reader!

In Ancestry.com, census, Family History, Family Search, Family Tree, Genealogy, Legacy Stories, Talking Photos on June 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Thursday night was painful. At least it started out that way. You know that feeling of being brain-dead and tongue-tied while someone has just professed their undying confusion and their eyes are pleading with you to fix their problem, but all you want to say is, “You lost me at ‘Hello’”?

What do YOU do?

I smile and silently pray my guts out that we both don’t go careening over the embankment into the “She Has No Idea What She’s Doing” ditch. It works every time, as long as I keep asking questions. But not too many. That could be annoying. It’s a slippery slope.

Here’s what I learned. You are confused. Family history/genealogy can seem overwhelming, especially for us older folks who resisted technology until we couldn’t any more, and are in the process of rewiring the circuits in our brains- the ones that come with the newer models like my 10-year-old daughter who can see the same Facebook game that I see for the first time and knows immediately how to play it, whereas I feel like all of my clicking is going to make something REALLY bad happen.

Second thing I found out about myself? As good a listener and smiler as I might profess to be, I ain’t no mind reader! And I’m not on speaking terms with Alexander who “knows all”, or Zoltar , his brother, which I established in a previous post.

And neither is your computer. If you are going to enjoy genealogy and family history you have to know what you can find to help you on the Internet and what you can’t.

Not everything about a person’s life will be searchable on the WorldWideWeb (unless you blogged about it or added it to LegacyStories.org). I might be able to find out when someone came to America, but not when the tooth fairy collected her first installment of baby teeth from my 4th great grandfather. And that’s important to know!

It took about 10 minutes with each patron to get an idea of what they were seeing when they thought of genealogy so that I could give them a new picture, one that made sense and would never confuse them. Honestly, I felt like I was cutting new paths in the Amazon Rain Forest.

One had gaps in his ancestor’s lives that he wanted to fill with facts. Facts from documents. Facts from documents that may or may not be digitized or put on the Internet, yet. He had to figure out not only what his question was, like, “How can I find my great grandparents?”, or, “Did they own land in the 1800′s?”, but he also had to have a basic understanding of how to map a life and know what type of document would have the answers he was looking for.

I’ve said it before, but here goes again. Timelines. You can read and return. I’ll wait. Once he understood, his searching was a piece of cake. (Exaggeration!)

The other man was dealing with overwhelm. Well-meaning people had given him software that was taking too much of his time to figure out and was leaving him too tired to focus on what mattered to him.

While sitting and talking with him I felt a quiet desperation. When he walked in the door at the beginning of his session I heard him say, “I’m confused, overwhelmed, and disorganized.” Most of us, when faced with those feelings get in our figurative car and drive in the other direction. But he also said ,”I need help. I want to leave something for my children when I’m gone.”

THAT was the motivator. That was the goal. THAT was what I kept bringing him back to when I knew his brain was on overload. We agreed that he needed to simplify and focus on writing his ancestors’ stories sooner than later. And he had to remember to share his works-in-progress, whether it be a family tree or a story.

I showed him LegacyStories.org where he could create his own family tree website to share with family and friends NOW. He would have to learn how to upload a Gedcom file and I promised to help. I showed him my dad’s talking photo and explained how all of his could be scanned and shared, too.  He agreed and was quite relieved to recommit to his main objective of being able to leave something behind that would matter to his family.

I was so happy for him. He’d reached out for some help and had actually helped me! It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed by people’s confusion and to forget that I’m pretty simple-minded…in a good way.

I’m so thrilled that I can’t read your mind, and I’m more than happy to declutter and refocus yours if you want!

My Battle with Gremlins Where I Won!

In Air Force, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Language, Legacy, Legacy Stories, Michael Carlson, Story-Telling, Talking Photos on May 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Michael Earles Carlson US Airforce 1955-58

So, I’m carrying my laptop, microphone, and power cord, this photo (above), and some cookies,  walking up to the front door of my dad’s nursing home, and I’m wrestling with gremlins.

“This’ll never work”

“He won’t talk to you.”

“There won’t be a plug for your power cord, and even if there is he’ll freak out about the microphone.”

“He’ll get distracted and you won’t be able to refocus him.”

I really wanted to follow through with this new project-attaching a voice 0f  someone reminiscing while looking at a photo. A Talking Photo for my account with Legacy Stories. And I knew that if I succeeded with my dad, anyone after him would be a breeze.

I smiled at the receptionist, went up to the second floor, passed the common room where bingo was in full-swing, made my way around the nurses’ station, said hello to a lone woman in the hallway, slumped in her wheelchair, held my breath as some wonderful smells bombarded me, and announced myself to my dad and two empty beds in room #11, Nantucket Sound.

“Hey, Dad! It’s me, Betsy. I brought you some cookies.”

I jumped right in instead of explaining. I asked him if I could record his voice while I was already half-way through setting up my laptop, and he said I could. That was it. We were off and running in a few minutes. He wouldn’t stop talking! I learned to leave the recorder running because a few times he’d said he was done and then started a new story that I accidently recorded over as I scrambled to turn it back on. Editing can always be done later.

A lot of misinformation I’d believed for years was corrected, and I learned so much more than I ever knew about him. Most of it got recorded over, but now I know I can ask him to retell the stories and he will.

One that was lost was his year at the Adirondack School for troubled boys in upstate New York. “You were a trouble-maker, Dad?” “No, my adopted brother Peter was. He was already there. My mother sent me there when I was in the fourth grade.” When I asked why, he said matter-of-factly,” I dunno. I guess she had things to do. Maybe I was in the way.” My heart sank. He lived there for a year and never went home he said. We’ll revisit that experience soon. I want to know how it affected him. I know his mom wasn’t working. “She was loaded,” my dad told me.

When I saw my two boys out his window, back from the playground, I wrapped things up and promised to come back in the morning to cut his hair. I was curiouse if he would let me record him again, and he said that would be fine. We chatted about the Red Sox game that he’d turned off because it was too boring.

He then admitted that he’s bored every day.  That’s the first time he has said that.

And it was the first time I had to cut the visit short with so much more to talk about.

I walked out of his room and down the hallway, passing expressionless men and women in wheel chairs,  hoping to coax a smile out of them when their cautious eyes met mine. They were sitting at the ends of their roads with thoughts in their heads, most of them memories of happier times. And I wondered if they’d let me sit with them and record one of their stories for one of their loved ones?

I walked to my car happy and a lot lighter, a band of gremlins following forlornly behind. They’d failed in their mission to stop me from trying something new and connecting with someone I love in a meaningful way.

They’ll try again. I’m sure. They’re relentless.

I can’t adequately describe the transformation in our relationship as a result of this simple exercise. It’s more than showing a photo and recording memories. It’s about connecting.

Amazing that he has had all of these stories locked in a vault for the 50 years that I’ve known him, and I never heard one of them. Today I transferred them to a new vault that will not only preserve them but make them shareable with friends and family!

 To see and hear the Talking Photo click  here Keep in mind that this was my first try and I was thrilled that he was even talking! 

Family History Sunday Series 1:8 Military Records

In Ancestry.com, Family History, Genealogy, Living Legacy Project, National Archives, National Personnel Records, Story-Telling, Uncategorized on May 27, 2012 at 1:05 am

“The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”
   - Calvin Coolidge

When I find out that someone that I’ve been searching for served in the military, I wake up. When I learn that they died while serving, my heart drops every time. Knowing that someone was probably far from home and friends and loved ones makes the loss harder. Imagining the news of the death as reported to next of kin brings me to that place where those who have grieved always arrive unprepared, sometimes kicking and screaming, and never leave of their own free will.

Searching military records is hard for me, but it’s also exciting and extremely rewarding.

You might not think so, but military records can be full of information that can fill gaps in some people’s history, making a more complete (not perfect or finished!) submission of a family tree to FamilySearch.org easier.

Remember to focus on your living relatives who served or are serving now, too. Recording their memories now will add depth of understanding to their life for future generations. Add their military photos, documents, and stories to your account at LegacyStories.org for family and friends to enjoy.

Links to some of my military related posts:

Tears in Heaven: He Could Have Been My Boy

Father and Son Stories

FYI: I’ve ordered records online (for my father), and I’ve found quite few on Ancestry.com. So as not to overwhelm you, I’ve only included National Archive links in this post.

From the National Archives Website:

  1. The National Archives holds Federal military service records from the Revolutionary War to 1912 in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. See details of holdings.
  2. Military records from WWI – present are held in the National Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC), in St. Louis, Missouri, See details of holdings
  3. The National Archives does not hold state militia records. For these records, you will need to contact the appropriate State Archives.

Links from the National Archives 

Request Military Records

Research Using Military Records

Replace Lost Medals and Awards

Browse WWII Photos

Remember Who You Are

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

When I look at my little morning glory, wrapping itself around the one sturdy, and consistent thing that shares its space to allow for growth upwards, I think ,

 “Remember who you are.” 

Then I see the singular, solitary bloom that exists to make me smile.  In the three days since that blossom appeared I’ve regarded it about as many times.  And again I’m reminded,

 “Remember who you are.” 

Below the magnificent simplicity lie many tendril vines, searching for something greater than themselves. I think,

“Do you remember who you are?”

I tenderly and hopefully wrap them around the first and beg them to

“Remember who they are.”

Walking away from the moment I hear,

“You are the vine stretching towards strength. Offer yours.

 “You are the flower created to offer beauty. Smile for ME. 

“You are the wayward tendril that needs help sometimes and, 

“You are My hands. Use them wisely.

 “You have a work to do. Do it well.”

Singular, solitary, magnificent and simply beautiful, and ofttimes not regarded.”

                                                                                                                                 

Jack Loves #RushLimbaugh! Is Blind, and Has Stories to Tell!

In Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Legacy, Legacy Stories, Living Legacy Project, Memorial Day, Story-Telling on May 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

Do you know how to draw someone’s stories out of them? Do you like to? I’m learning and am always surprised at how eager people are to be known. I’m also becoming more aware of how peoples’ stories teach me and wake me up to the beauty and blessings of my own life.

Two days ago I got a call from a woman who is visiting family on the Cape for a week . She’s here with her husband and sister. She wanted some help with her family history, having unsuccessfully searched for her would-be ancestors in the area.  We did a phone consultation so that I could figure out how I could help her and we agreed to meet last night at the Family History Center where I go every Tuesday and Thursday night.

“Betsy! We’re here!” I immediately fell in love with the three of them, Ginnie, Linda, and Jack, Linda’s husband.

Jack walked in carefully with a white cane, holding  one of Linda’s arms.  His eyes were clouded with a blue-grey film. He was blind. And I was uncomfortable.

We sat down at the computer where we could look at what I’d found for them. I taught them how to navigate the site so that they could continue where I’d left off, and then Linda and I switched chairs, putting me next to Jack.

Poor Jack! He was either going to love me or be very uncomfortable when I was done with him!

I just can’t help myself. I heard the words coming out of my mouth and wanted to kick my nosy twin who resides in my mind and often rules my tongue.

“How long have you been blind?” Did I say that? He’s more than his blindness! Couldn’t I have asked him something else? Something about his vacation? Why, oh why do I say such things without paying attention to that split second of a warning message that says, ” You might not want to know” ?

“Twenty-two years.”

And my overly inquisitive twin continued to dig deeper, ” How?”

Jack tapped his cane on the floor between his legs as he recounted his military service from Vietnam to the Gulf War. He thinks his blindness started after being exposed to chemicals which did their damage over a period of eight months after coming home. He was completely blind by Christmas that year.

I didn’t want to ask, but I had to. It was so obvious in his countenance and body language. “Are you bitter?”

Linda sat back in her chair. I didn’t know she’d been listening. “Yes! Very bitter!” And Jack nodded in agreement.

“Why are you bitter?” That question might seem callous or ignorant to some people, but for a moment, as I tried to immerse myself in his world I  wondered how I would feel being blind after being able to see? Was it hard to be grateful for what he did have?

Jack pondered the question and shrugged as if  there could be no other answer, “Because I can’t see anything.”

It was as if the air from an over-filled balloon had been released. The truth was out. Jack was ticked off. He felt what he felt and wasn’t apologetic for it.

Funny how the truth can set you free. Isn’t it? We had a great conversation after exposing and dealing with the elephant in the room. We talked about his service. He was in Special Forces and wanted to get copies of  his service records. We talked about my dad’s service records that I’d been looking at earlier in the day and how he could order his.

We laughed and enjoyed each other for about 45 minutes, talking about politics and Rush Limbaugh. and how Jack’s diabetes makes Braille difficult to read because he has barely any feeling in his finger tips. He admitted that he needs a new computer with software that would help him stay active in a seeing and feeling world. He has tried everything that I suggested. He really needs help getting to the next level. But he has given up. He’s tired. I get it. There are some things that people need to have done for them. This is one of those things. We’ll keep in touch and see what can be done ’cause Jack has stories to tell, and stories to read. He has an enormous spirit to share.

Jack is a real character. I could talk to him for hours. But my thoughtful twin reminded me that they were there to do some genealogy, so I excused myself and told them I’d be within earshot if they needed me. I hit Jack on the knee and said, “There! They are thoroughly addicted now! Good luck!” I almost felt bad enough to sit back down with him because the two women were engrossed in their searching and Jack couldn’t see what they were seeing. He needed a play-by-play commentary. But that would have been distracting, so I left.

An hour later Ginnie called  for me. announcing they were done. I got teary.  I walked them out after hugs and goodbyes and promises to get together when they come back to visit later this year.

They were so grateful for the help. I have so much more to share with them. They agreed that sharing what they’re learning with family is important to them. But it’s baby steps for now.

I. hate. goodbyes!! I’ll miss Jack. He reminds me of my dad. I’ll miss Linda’s gratitude, and Ginnie’s “Wows!” as new records were found full of new people to research.

I watched them step through the door into the twilight. The sky was so beautiful and the grass was a vivid green. Jack couldn’t see it.  For a minute  I was filled with gratitude that I could see what I saw. And I understood Jack’s bitterness.

I’ve heard it said that when we enjoy our lives we are a gift to those who can’t experience  it as we do.

Today I’ll turn on my radio and I’ll think of Jack.

I’ll look at my family and soak in their countenances, and I’ll remember that Jack has to rely on his memory of his daughter’s and wife’s faces. Ones he hasn’t seen in 22 years.

I’m grateful to have had the courage to get to know Jack, to listen to his stories, and to learn.

Happy Memorial Day, Jack!

Memorial Day: A Flag at Half-Staff

In Ancestry.com, Family History, Family Search, Half-Staff, Legacy Stories, Living Legacy Project, Memorial Day, p, Record Keeping, Woodrow Wilson on May 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

 

“The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives. The flag is the embodiment not of sentiment, but of history.” Woodrow Wilson

“On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.” (WP)

A flag at half mast. Hmm. So symbolic to me. Most things are.

A life lived with ups and downs, a life cut short in death or altered by physical and/or emotional wounds, a life honored and mourned, lives blessed because of another’s sacrifice.

So many memories. So many stories.

I’ll visit my father this weekend, as I do most weekends. His military service is on my mind right now because Memorial Day is coming next Monday. Memorial Day, sad to say, has never been more to me than a day of parades  and cookouts. This year is different. I want to ask my father about his military stories. I want to sit by his bedside at the nursing home that he never leaves and ask him if he’ll tell me some stories. I want to record his voice as he tells me about the one photo I have of him at that time.

I saw it for the first time on my grandparents’ bedside table at their home on St. Thomas,VI. I remember the cool marble floor under my little girl feet, and the sounds of laughter coming from the  sunken marble bathtub just around the corner to the right of that little table. He was so handsome in his uniform. I felt humbled for a moment as I stared at him, and he stared back at me from 1955-  four years before he was married, six years before I was born.

He was 19.

How did he feel about his service? What were some of his experiences? He’s such a character! I’ll bet he has some fun memories.

When I record his story, I’ll upload it and the scanned picture into my account with Legacy Stories as a “Talking Photo”. Any family member or friend who creates a free account and becomes my friend can then hear the story as my father tells it in his own voice. Isn’t that amazing? And when he dies, and he will someday, I will permanently link that “Talking Photo” to him on my family tree on FamilySearch.org, as I will do for all of my stories and photos of my ancestors. Then anyone who finds him on FamilySearch.org will see that there’s a link to him over at Legacy Stories where there are stories, videos, and photos of him waiting to be enjoyed, learned from, and shared.

When I see the flags at half-mast next Monday, I won’t just think about  my ancestors who served and how important it is to find them, get to know them, and honor them. I’ll think of my father and how he’s still alive to tell me about his life and how grateful I am to have him around to share those memories with him. Those memories are priceless. They are part of the fabric of who he is.

Just like our country’s flag.

And I want to get to know him better.

P.S. I’ll post the picture and a link to the “Talking Photo” as soon as I get it so that you can see and hear it. Hopefully it’ll be attached to my Sunday Series!!

Family History Sunday Series 1:7 “Becoming Real for Always”~ The Living Legacy Project

In Archives, Family History, Genealogy, Generations, Legacy, Legacy Stories, Living Legacy Project on May 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

 

Have you ever read the children’s story, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams? It’s the tale of a toy rabbit’s quest to earn the love of his child-owner in order to become real like the other rabbits he met near the boy’s home in the woods.

I love the story because it’s about love and loss, and the desire to matter -  to be “real” to the rest of the world.

The rabbit is told by another nursery toy, the Skin Horse, “…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

Isn’t that what we all want? To become “Real for always?”

Researching and writing stories about my ancestors has made them “real” to me. I write the stories because I want my family to have them to read and to use as a tool to get to know them as I have.

But what of me and my personal legacy? How well am I doing leaving a record for future generations to learn from? How well are you doing? Do you consider how easily everything could be lost because of natural disaster, like fire and flood, and illnesses like Alzheimer’s?

When I reflect on the times I’ve sat with my children, watching their intrigue as I tell them  stories about my life, or when we look at old photos of me as a child and a young woman in college I feel the depth of the value of telling these stories to them.  We are bonded by the tales I tell them that come from my memory or that are triggered by a photo we find in an album or scrapbook. There is no happier family time than those times when we tell our stories.

“Tell us about when you were little!” they plead. As they listen I see their hearts transform and their minds connect to the new reality of human beings replete with strengths and weaknesses, hopes and desires, successes and failures.

But what happens to those stories and those photos over time? We told them often to our older children. Life has challenged us to remember how valuable those stories are to our younger children. I wonder about the risk I’m taking of having them lost forever to my children and future grandchildren because I haven’t digitized and archived them or the videos and photos that go with them.

Watch this short video and see what I found, or actually, what found me! It’s a miraculous project and I’m honored to be a part of it. We can do this!

Your ancestors’ stories make them “real”.

And you will be someone’s ancestor someday!

Click on the image to learn more. Register and start archiving your memories for free today!!

Introducing people to the wonderful world of family hstory

Family History Sunday Series 1:6 Vital Records and Archives

In Archives, Family History, Family Search, File Systems, Genealogy, Pedigree, Record Keeping, Vital Record on May 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

When the Fall arrives and the chlorophyll production wanes, vibrant colors surface and beautify the trees. I never tire of that phenomenon!

When you think about Autumn leaves I want you to be reminded of vital records that are had for each living person and that add to their story. When you throw the piles in the air be reminded of the documents that may lay piled in a relative’s attic that somebody could use to pull together someones story, filling very important gaps in their history and those that they were related to.

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