Tag Archives: Discovering Your Past

Discovering Your Past Episode 3

The third episode of Discovering Your Past is available today. This episode highlights the benefits of the Family History Center. Dan interviewed the past and current managers of the Nashua Family History Center. Check out the episode for some great tips for genealogists of all skill levels.

Copyright © 2016 Deborah Sweeney

Monthly Update – September

It was been a very busy month for me! School started last month and I am juggling lots of responsibilities at school, including being in the classroom for the first time in almost ten years. Because of my heavy workload at school, I am not taking on any new clients until November 1st when one of my assignments ends.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverBook sales continue to be slow and steady. I just received a large shipment of books. I ordered extra books in anticipation of my upcoming lecture this week. The books arrived last week and I was heartbroken to realize that the whole lot was badly printed. The pictures were all streaked and grainy. I even received one book that had been printed with an extra 50 pages. Fortunately, CreateSpace really stepped up. Within 24 hours, the company emailed me back to notify me they were sending a new shipment, and all I had to do was print a label and drop off the messed up books at my nearest UPS store. The new shipment of books arrived yesterday and today, and they look great.

I am looking forward to November when I have scheduled to begin work on the second volume of letters. I anticipate publication of the next volume in February or early March. I think I may have settled on the name of the book, but I am not quite ready to announce the new title.

If you are interested in purchasing an autographed copy of the book, send me a private message through the contact page. Or you can follow the link on the sidebar to purchase a copy from Amazon. For anyone who has read the book, I invite you to post a review on Amazon. I currently have seven reviews and I am trying to reach twenty to boost my rankings.

Sacramento Library

Genealogy Program Why GenealogyThis weekend is my big speaking debut. I am presenting my first lecture at the Franklin branch of the Sacramento Library at 2:00. My presentation is titled Why Genealogy? I will discuss six reasons why everyone should be working on their own genealogy now. Once I survive this presentation, I have several other lectures that I would like to prepare. I am working on fine-tuning my speech this week, and trying not to wander off-topic! I do so much better when I stick to my script.

As for future speaking engagements, I took the plunge and submitted a proposal to next year’s Jamboree in southern California. I am looking for more opportunities to speak in Northern California over the coming months. Contact me if you are looking for a new speaker for your society or group.

My monthly Ask A Genealogist sessions are also going very well. In August, I helped a patron find resources for Italian genealogy, assisted another patron with identifying dates for her collection of photographs, and jump-started another patron on her online tree research. I am having so much fun meeting fellow genealogy enthusiasts and researchers! To sign up for an appointment, contact the Franklin branch of the library.

Discovering Your Past

The second episode of Discovering Your Past premiered earlier this month. Dan conducted a family interview with his mother, and discussed tips for setting up a successful interview.  I talked Sue through writing a research plan for her Noble ancestors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The video on my end was a little wonky, and I made a slight error in my Revolutionary War history. See if you can catch it! I can’t wait until we start working on the next episode. In the meantime, Dan and Sue did some exploring in North Berwick, Maine, to discover where some of Sue’s ancestors were buried. Check out Dan’s blog for the first part of their cemetery adventure.

Fashion Moments

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyI have written over a dozen Fashion Moments posts this summer. I am amazed by the popularity of these posts. I will continue to write this weekly series because there definitely seems to be a need for fashion education for genealogists. I welcome any ideas or suggestions for future posts.

To view previous Fashion Moments posts, check out my board on Pinterest. I have boards for every decade of the nineteen century with examples of real clothing. Or go to the Blog tab at the top of this page, and click on the sub tab for Fashion Moments.

Personal Research

My own research has slowed down quite a bit this month. But I have taken a little time to explore Ancestry’s new will and probate databases. I have found some great documents but have also been disappointed by many of the gaps in coverage.

Some more family videos have been digitized, including more of Gladys and the children during WWII. The following video is about ten minutes long and includes snippets from 1942-1944. Amazingly, these clips are in color! There is even a very, very short clip of Roscoe and Gladys together at the very end!

May the genealogy and ancestral winds be in your favor this month!

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/16/monthly-update-september/

Monthly Update – August

My brain is currently scrambled. The last month has been crazy. This year I accepted a position to share a contract with another teacher in a fourth grade classroom. It has been almost a decade since I was actually responsible for a class of my own! Last week was the first week of school. I survived three teacher in service days and two days in the classroom. Lots of new faces, new rules, and beginning of year assessments. And of course, this year my school is implementing a new reading/language arts program so everyone is super crazy trying to figure out what it is exactly we are going to do! My genealogy writing has been put on the back burner for a few months, but I am still managing to work on several projects.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Dear Mother, Love Daddy cover

Book sales have been slow and steady this summer. I am about to order a new shipment of books in anticipation of my lecture in September. I have three copies left if anyone wishes to purchase an autographed copy directly from me. Please use the contact form to message me privately.

Looking ahead, I am beginning to focus on the next volume of letters. One of the first steps is to come up with a name for the second volume. I like the idea of using some of the common phrases that Roscoe used to sign off his letters. A couple possibilities are So Solong, Love Daddy and Lots of Love, Daddy. Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments! Bear in mind that there will be several volumes of letters so I could use more than one suggestion.

Sacramento Library

Genealogy Programs Summer Sac LibraryLast month, I attended the lecture by Jim Walton on Understanding the Logic of Genealogical Research. Despite a bit of technical trouble at the beginning of the presentation, Jim did a great job breaking down the research for his article that appeared in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (which was published earlier this year). I missed the lecture on August 2nd, but there is still time to attend the third lecture in the series on September 13th. Genealogist Melinda Kashuba will discuss using digital maps for tracking the migration patterns of our ancestors.

My Ask A Genealogist session at the end of July went well. I helped three library patrons explore their Chinese, African American and Mexican roots. Two of my three time slots for August are already booked so if you are interested in signing up, don’t delay!

The weeks are getting shorter and I am still trying to put together my presentation on Why Genealogy? The presentation will be on September 19th at the Franklin branch of the Sacramento library. Depending on how well the presentation goes, I would like to do some future presentations, including one on DNA research and/or identifying time periods in old photographs. Right now, I have to write a paragraph for the advertising blurb for my upcoming lecture!

Discovering Your Past

Discovering Your Past - Episode 1I have been informed that the next episode should be forthcoming. Maybe by the end of the week?!?! Due to a technical glitch during filming, I was unable to see my co-host! I basically talked to a blank screen while I heard a voice in my head (through my headphones). During my segment, we talked about putting together a research plan. If you missed the first episode, it is available on the Discovering Your Past YouTube channel.

Genealogy Lady Newsletter

I managed to write a second newsletter this month. If you are interested in signing up, there is a sign-up button on my Facebook page. With my new schedule at school this year, I am not sure how often the newsletter will be published. Generally, the newsletter will feature popular articles from my blog, and other events or happenings.


1079809-Clipart-3d-Green-DNA-Crop-Gene-Modification-Helix-Plant-Royalty-Free-Vector-IllustrationI had some GREAT DNA news this month. My son’s DNA results were finally processed at 23andme this week. It seems like my daughter’s results were done in less than three weeks, but my son’s stretched on for two months. The most fascinating part of doing my children’s DNA is seeing what and how much they share with their grandparents. We are all taught that a person shares 50% with each parent, and 25% with each grandparent, etc. But in reality, past the 50% with each parent, the rest is completely random and does not always follow statistical probabilities. It makes me wish even more that I had been able to test my grandparents. My son shares between 28-29% of his DNA with his maternal grandfather. He inherited his X chromosome from me, completely un-recombined, straight from his maternal grandfather, which means, that my son has Gladys’ X chromosome. It is so neat to really realize that my son has this chunk of my grandmother in his DNA.

The second amazing DNA discovery this month was a new match in my father’s match list. We now have a confirmed 4th cousin descendant of Alfred M. Dicks from one of Alfred’s siblings who did not leave North Carolina. This has been one of my DNA goals. To prove that Alfred M. Dicks was a descendant of Nathan and Eleanor (Leonard) Dicks. Since I published my book on Alfred last fall, I acquired a DNA match with a descendant of Achilles Dicks, who I theorized was Alfred’s brother. Because the Quakers were a relatively endogamous population, I have been nervous about claiming that my proof was completely solid. Having this additional DNA evidence makes my argument even stronger.

Personal Research Update

I have had SO many amazing discoveries this summer. I really am saving the best for last. In the WWII letters, Floyd Yegerlehner made many home movies. My father and I have both wondered if the movies still exist. The answer is YES!!! Floyd’s son, Steve, is in possession of many of the films. We were all curious to see whether they survived 70+ years without being degraded. Some are more so than others. Steve has been working hard this last month to digitally transfer some of the films. So far four have been completed. They are all posted on my YouTube channel. This clip was made in December 1942, and is mentioned in the letters that will appear in the next book.

These videos are a great example of how families can work together to save their shared history. Have a great month of genealogical adventures!

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/18/monthly-update-august/

Extra! Extra!

My friend Dan was very busy this weekend; he finished editing his brand new show Discovering Your Past. The show is all ready and it premiered this morning on YouTube. He conducted an interview with me for the first half of the show, and then I sent him out on a genealogy treasure hunt. Each episode of the show will be about 30 minutes long. In each episode, he will discuss different research problems and our adventures trying to find answers.

So sit back and enjoy the first episode!

Monthly Update – June 17, 2005

This last month has been an absolute whirlwind. I don’t know exactly where to start. I have done so many wonderful genealogy related things.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverI have sent out several copies of the book for review in the last month. I will keep everyone posted when the reviews are published. Additionally, I gave away quite a few copies at Jamboree in Burbank. Hopefully, word of mouth will help increase the book’s readership. The Los Angeles County Library now has a copy of the book. I am not sure if it will be part of their circulating collection however. If not, it will be housed in their genealogy department. The copy that I donated to the Sacramento Public Library system is now being processed. It appears in the online catalog, but it is not yet available for check-out. Pardon me for being a little bit of a book geek, but my book has a call number! 949.7022

Library catalog screen shot

Dear Mother, Love Daddy is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. If you live in the Sacramento area, Trent’s Bookshelf in Elk Grove also has copies available for sale.

Professional Learning = Jamboree

File Jun 17, 1 09 22 PMThe biggest, best and most amazing part of the last month was Jamboree. In case you don’t know what it is, Jamboree is a genealogy conference put on every year by the Southern California Genealogical Society in Burbank. This is a national level conference. Genealogists and speakers from around the country attend Jamboree. I was extremely impressed by the caliber of speakers, the organization of the event, and the dedication of all the volunteers who made the conference a pleasure to attend.

The exhibit hall was filled with booths sponsored by Ancestry, Roots Magic, ISOGG, you name it! One of my favorite booths was NEHGS. They had a vast supply of many of their current publications. I was very good and didn’t buy anything. Everyone was very friendly and willing to share information.

I stayed for the whole conference including the added DNA day. I attended two workshops: Judy G. Russell‘s Order in the Court and Dr. Thomas W. Jones‘ Documenting a Respectable Family History. As well as the two workshops, I attended twelve one-hour lectures over the course of three days. My head was spinning from all the great new resources I have to explore (now that I am home). I have done very little research on my ancestors on the other side of the pond so I was very interested to listen to Michael Brophy‘s sessions on Irish genealogy and Michael D. Lacopo‘s sessions on German genealogy. On the DNA day, I was wowed by CeCe Moore‘s sessions on using DNA to help adoptees. It was also a pleasure to finally see Blaine Bettinger speak in person. I loved his session on using pop culture to teach DNA. Think Game of Thrones with the Baratheons and Lannisters.

In addition to all the knowledge I obtained, I was able to finally meet some of my colleagues and fellow bloggers in person. What a thrill! I attended a meet-up with fellow ProGen alumni as well as connected with Geneabloggers and the NextGen genealogy network. Some of the amazing people I was able to meet and hang out with were:

Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, fellow ProGen 21 group alumnus
Melanie Frick, a fellow BU certificate holder and NextGen genealogy founder
Thomas MacEntee, leader of Geneabloggers and all-around genealogy go-to guy
Jacqi Stevens
Jill Morelli
Linda Harms Okazaki
Sheri Fenley
Elizabeth O’Neal
Kim Cotton
Laurie Desmarais

Several of the above blogged about their time at Jamboree so if you want a different perspective, check out their blogs!

If you missed Jamboree, many of the sessions were recorded and are available for free until July. Other sessions are available for a fee.

File Jun 17, 12 28 07 PM

My conference ribbons!

Local News

The San Joaquin Genealogy Society will be featuring a half day seminar with genealogist Gena Philibert Ortega on July 14th at the Stockton public library. The seminar is free but registration is required through eventbrite.

Discovering Your Past

The biggest news of the month is that I am now the “expert” genealogist for a new show called Discovering Your Past. My friend Dan Young is the host, and the show is produced by Access Nashua. We had our first recording session this morning via Skype. A couple weeks ago I sent Dan out on a genealogy mission. While doing research for my family narrative about Nathaniel Hobart of Holbrook, Massachusetts, I realized that one of his grandchildren had moved to Nashua, New Hampshire. And that’s when Dan entered the picture! He was able to do some on-the-ground research for me. We have been talking about the show for several months now and it is finally becoming a reality. The first episode (which should premiere this weekend on YouTube) features an interview with me about the book Dear Mother, Love Daddy as well as Dan’s adventures answering my genealogy question. I will post an update this weekend when the link goes live.


Me with my ancestor Capt. Finney Leach at Burial Hill, Plymouth.

Me with my ancestor Capt. Finney Leach at Burial Hill, Plymouth.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Society has a feature in their weekly newsletter titled Ask a Genealogist. A perk of being a member is being able to ask the staff questions. And yes, even professional genealogists have questions! NEHGS won’t do specific research (you can hire them for that!) for you but if you are looking to find information, they can steer you in the right direction. I recently submitted a question about finding information on 19th century sailing vessels. My ancestor Capt. Finney Leach was a ship’s captain stationed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I wanted to know where to find information on his vessels and his naval service during the War of 1812. My question was chosen for their weekly newsletter (although I remain anonymous). You can read Rhonda McClure’s answer here.

Before I left for Jamboree, I received my ProGen certificate in the mail. You can find me on the alumni page under ProGen21.

©2015 written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/06/17/monthly-update-june-17-2005/