Saturday, April 7, 2012

I'm not your traditional "beginner"

You see, I was giving tours of the local Family History Center when I was 10. New patrons would play along, but were quickly impressed as I was able to actually help them get started.  I remember the look of surprise when I would tell them, "This is the I.G.I. or International Genealogical Index where you can look up your ancestors by surname. That's the last name."

Remember these?
Saturdays throughout my teen years were spent at the center (my mom was the Assistant Director at the Family History Center). Sometimes I would look things up for fun, my mom would give me the films she had already looked through. When I was about 11, I actually found the will for Paul Froman (1783, Lincoln Kentucky, Will Book A) much to the amazement of my mother because she scoured the film already. (Yes, kids CAN do this!)

That's me in the middle, when I was about 10 with my mom and sisters (Stacey - L, Tam- R)
As an adult, I would run the occasional errand to the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake. My mom was living out of state & it was easier and faster for me to look something up locally. When she moved out here to Utah, I asked her to speak to our group at church which turned into a monthly study group. I enjoyed learning and helping the other ladies find and get started in their research. In fact, we had a field trip to the downtown library with the group & I located an obscure book that had citations and evidence that helped a good friend research on a line that had been stuck for years. (As I showed it to her, we were both in tears though we were very careful to keep those tears from the pages!!)

This whole time, I REFUSED to admit I was a genealogist. Tell me if you've heard this line before ...

"I don't need to do genealogy, my **mom has already done it all!" 

**Insert the family genealogist name here**

And I stuck to my guns for a long time. I even WORK in genealogy (I am the administrative assistant for the Utah Genealogical Association) and have been for the past 3 years.

What changed? It was a combination of things really.
  • I had a blast working closely with students in a new course at SLIG 2012 (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) this year, providing records on research problems they were assigned. 
  • My stake (this is a groups of 5 wards or congregations in my church) put out a challenge to work on finding & adding at least 2 new names to add to your family tree (cake).
  • My kids thinkgenealogy. They LOVE going to the conferences (I think it's all the free candy). My own daughter, Bree (12 years old), has been very interested in learning how to index, especially with the 1940 Census.
I finally got around to creating my own account at FamilySearch (yes, I resisted) in January and to my amazement there are actually things to be done. You see, I was married and while some of my husband's side has been researched, it's not all there. And then there's my dad's side of the tree. Beyond that, I thought about the stories that my mom has told me over the years. I want to know those stories. I want to share those stories. I want to be a genealogist. And that's not a bad thing!

I look forward to sharing my story with you as I explore this new world & hopefully along the way I can reach out to others like myself who are realizing this whole genealogy thing is not so bad ... lol!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. "DearMYRTLE's daughter)
www.NotYourMothersGenealogy.com

26 comments:

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    1. Should I create a column in tweetdeck for that?? ;)

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  2. WELCOME aboard Carrie!

    I understand being the genealogists daughter

    I hope you have wonderful adventure as you climb the tree's that Mom had not and the further joy of finding things she hasn't yet :D

    You can find me on the genealogy highway at
    http://www.jayrays.com/Wandering_Roots

    Happy Hunting
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie ... checking out your blog now!

      :)

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  3. Welcome. It has been wonderful for me to have my adult daughter, and mom, Arrion, become my genealogy tourist, finding the thrill of family discover when she and her husband go on his European business trips. You never know where you will catch the g. bug! I look forward to your blog posts! ;-)

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    1. I'm back... working through Thomas' new blog list. ;-)

      Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

      May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

      Dr. Bill ;-)
      http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
      Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
      "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
      http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/
      http://www.examiner.com/x-53135-Springfield-Genealogy-Examiner
      http://www.examiner.com/x-58285-Ozarks-Cultural-Heritage-Examiner
      http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/drbilltellsexcitingstories

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    2. Lol!! I think I was following you around the circuit, visiting my fellow newbies. ;)

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  4. And the students at SLIG last year enjoyed having you send them the records. Hope to see you there this coming January.

    Suzie

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    1. For sure! It really was so fun ... especially when you could hear the desperate plea for help spilling out of the emails! ;)

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  5. Good luck with your blog and your research! I look forward to hearing more about your family stories.

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  6. Ah Carrie! First off - I absolutely love, love, love the title of your blog! You are doing something I have been trying to get my family to do since forever - establish a family tradition.(see one of my attempts here - http://sherifenley.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-quest-to-establish-new-christmas.html)

    Yes, it seems you came into it kicking and screaming - but it appears that you will carry the torch after the others before you are gone. Perhaps my problem is that I have all male offspring, hmmm - gots to get me some girl children!

    Welcome to the wonderful world of geneablogging - I look forward to reading future posts!

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    1. Thanks for the love Sheri! And just keep doing what you're doing. You never know just how much they are actually listening. And I wouldn't discount the testosterone factor ... I know many great male genealogists! ;) I think the biggest thing for me was embracing that I had (and have) a lot of the same interests that as my mom and while I learn tons from her, it's about taking it and making it work for me. Does that make sense?

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  7. Carrie, I keep telling people I've loved genealogy "since I was born," though I certainly never earned the type of bragging rights you are entitled to! I keep hoping my daughter will get the hint, too, but it looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer for that.

    Looking forward to seeing how your blog unfolds.

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    1. Jacqi, Keep sharing with her ... I always SWORE, I would never! But you know what they say, never say never!

      Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Carrie, thanks for sharing your story with us. It inspires all the Mom's out there to keep talking to our kids about it. You never know when they will just get it! You can find me at www.researchingoconnells.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting Terri!! Checking out your blog now ...

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  9. Carrie, I can so see your mother in you and that's a good thing. Love your blog. Looking forward to your journey. You will definitely be the example to give when we get the "we have our family already done back to Adam" answer for why someone is not working on family research.

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  10. So, you've finally been bitten, and bitten hard! Congrats on being the heir-apparent as your family's historian. I'm sure your mom is thrilled!

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    1. Okay, you just made me literally lol!! Yes, my mom couldn't be happier!

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  11. My daughter is following my footsteps in terms of vocation/profession, but now I am trying to get her interested in my avocation - genealogy. Hope she gets bitten by the same bug you did!

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    1. Greta, seems like she's off to a good start so far. She'll only naturally "fall" into genealogy, right? :D

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  12. Great new blog Carrie! Isn't genealogy fun?? I don't think people realize what a blast it can be. It's not the drudgery and boring stuff that people visualize! It's detective work with exciting finds and interesting stories all mixed up together. I got bit by the genealogy bug about 17 years ago. So welcome to the club! I just started genealogy blogging last week. Here's the link to my blog if you'd like to check it out.

    http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/

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    1. Jana ... yes, that is just it. I spent years resisting thinking it was boring, for old people, etc. Really, it's not and it's finding your own niche!! Checking out your blog now ...

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