Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm back - kinda. First I have to say where in the world did August go? I can't believe it has been over a month since my last blog post. Granted I was away on vacation for 2 weeks without internet access but that still doesn't account for the remaining weeks. The time just flew by but at least I can say I wasn't sitting idle just watching it go by. I actually spent many hours constructing another blog to promote a fundraiser I am organizing for my son's school. You can check it out here. As part of the fundraiser I am doing a class on genealogy. So I have also spent many hours preparing for that. This will be a beginner/introductory genealogy class and I'd actually like to get some feedback from you for it. (Hopefully I haven't lost too many followers through my absence LOL). I'd appreciate it if you could leave me comments on what you think would be the most important thing to teach in a beginning genealogy class. i.e., citing your sources, how to search the census or bmd records, what information can be gleaned from a birth, marriage, or death certificate, etc. Or, if you follow my blog but haven't really done a lot of genealogical research what would you like to get from a class like this if you took one. I'd really appreciate some feedback as preparing for a class like this is certainly not easy. I have an hour and a half for the class and have realized that it will not be enough time to teach everything. So your feedback will help me streamline the class and cut my 10 hours of material down to the time I have alloted, LOL.

On another note, my time away from the blog has helped me to realize something - I need another blog, LOL. No seriously, I returned from vacation to find out I had been 'tagged' several times (and I'm apologize to everyone for not having responded to the tags yet) and I love my friends dearly for thinking of me but I also realized that this blog perhaps isn't the right venue to respond to these tags if they have nothing to do with genealogy. In the past I've tried to adapt the tags to be relevant but I have now decided that I should have a 'personal' blog also. So, although I haven't created it yet I will be setting up a blog to document my 'personal' scrapbooking, cardmaking and photography endeavors and will be keeping this blog for anything family history related. I hope to have the new blog up within the week so I will let you know when that is so if anyone has an interest in my other endeavors you can follow there.

In the meantime, thank you everyone for understanding my absence and please leave some comments about the class that I will be doing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I've Been Tagged

So after returning from camping last week and catching up on my blog reading I discovered I had been tagged - more than once! Being tagged means you:
  1. Collect the book that you have most handy
  2. Turn to page 161
  3. Find the 5th complete sentence
  4. Cite the sentence on your blog
  5. Pass it on (tag) 5 other bloggers

So the book I happened to have most handy was one I started reading at camping. Being a genealogy buff I'm naturally interested in history as well. I picked up "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" at the thrift shop and thought it would be interesting both from a historical standpoint and because my great-grandfather was a licensed victualler. He ran the Crown & Thistle in Rochester, England for a number of years in the late 1800's. So far this has been a very interesting book. The author talks about how beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola have had an influence on human history. The L.A. Times calls it "As refreshing as a cool glass of beer on a hot day and as stimulating as that first cup of coffee in the morning...there aren't many books this entertaining that also provide a cogent crash course in ancient, classical and modern history" and I have to agree.

So on to completing my tag. My sentence is: "Such was the impact of his work that Newton is widely regarded as the greatest scientist in history."

Now, being the rebel that I am, I'm going to change things up a little. I'm going to tag 5 fellow genealogists and ask that you either choose the book you have most handy or a book that you have really enjoyed or would recommend to other genealogists and give us a short review of that book as well as quoting the sentence. Let's find out what our fellow genealogists like to read and maybe we will find something new and interesting to add to our own libraries.

BTW, on another note, I did find some inspiration and get some journaling done on my 'This Is Me' album while I was away camping so I will be posting some of my work soon. I didn't actually take my scrapbooking supplies with me and thought I would scrap when I returned home. I didn't know I was going to be returning to an unusually HOT, HOT, heatwave. At 10:00 am this morning out house was already 30 degrees celsius or 86 degress fahrenheit. Last night it got to 36 degrees celsius or 97 degrees fahrenheit and it's supposed to get hotter over the next few days. Considering our average summer temperatures are around 22/23 degrees celsius (75 fahrenheit) this is unbearably hot for us and needless to say I don't feel much like scrapbooking. I don't feel much like doing anything in this heat actually. I may have to find a local scrapbook store with airconditioned cropping space to get anything done.

I'm going to try to find someplace cool now (maybe Tim Horton's for an Icecap) so good luck to all whom I tagged. I'm looking forward to seeing what your reading interests are.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day with Mom at the Walter Draycott Library and a Chance Meeting

Yesterday I took a break from camping and met up with my mom to go the the BC Genealogical Society's Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. The library is free to the public this week so mom and I decided to go and check it out. For a small space they sure have a lot of resources packed inside, over 13,000 books, periodicals, CDs and microfilmed records! Everything was extremely well organized and if you are looking for genealogical resources this would be a great place to go. You can join the BC Genealogical Society for $45 and use or check-out their resources anytime they are open, or you can go and use the library for the day for only $5, however, you cannot check-out books unless you are a member.

The best surprise of the day though was meeting Diane Rogers. Diane was one of the first followers of my blog, a fellow member of the Scrapaholics scrapbooking Meetup group I belong to and a fellow member of Genea-Bloggers, but I hadn't yet met her. It was so nice to finally meet Diane and I know I will be seeing her a lot more often as I intend to make good use of the library resources in the future. Diane and I had our picture taken outside of the library and you can check it out on her blog, CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Avoidance, Procrastination, Etc.

So my excitement about the "This Is Me" workshop that I signed up for very quickly became a challenge which then turned into....well, let's just say I've been avoiding the task!

Have you noticed my new look on the blog? Yes, that was me avoiding the workshop. I got totally stuck on the first few topics: My Views on Fufullment; My Role Models; My Habits; My Fashion. Have I mentioned how much I hate journaling, even though I constantly preach about how important it is. Well, I've discovered I hate something even more - journaling about myself! I always envied friends who had diaries or written journals from their ancestors. Now I consider those items even more of a treasure for I'm sure that most of our ancestors felt much like most of us do when it comes to journaling. So if you have any diaries or journals from your ancestors, treasure them! I know I've said it before, but after this exercise trying to journal about me I cannot say it enough.

Anyway, I wasn't totally idle this week. I did get my BBQ Recipe Pages and Christmas Cards done for my Scrapaholics Swap tomorrow. (Yes, I did say Scrapaholics - and no, there aren't 12 steps - we don't need help, we're perfectly happy the way we are LOL) I also got my cover page done for my This Is Me album. My challenge is an 8x8 album and for the cover page we were challenged to use hand stitching in our title. This is the first time I have ever used stitching on one of my pages....and probably the last. It took way too much time for my liking. Perhaps next time I'll try with a sewing machine.

I've also decided to skip the first few pages in my album and come back to them later. Some of the topics this past week I think will be much easier for me to tackle: My Music; My Significant Other; My Friends; My Animal Friends; My Hobby. I don't think I will have any problem journaling about these subjects and once I get going maybe I will get inspired on the other topics. I'm going camping again next week so I'll have some down time to reflect on these topics and perhaps get over my writers block.

Here are some pictures of what I did accomplish this week.

Thanks for stopping by

Friday, July 10, 2009


Hi everyone. Sorry about not posting for so long. I was away camping for a few days after Canada Day and I'm just starting to catch up and get back into my regular routines now. I just spent the last couple of hours over a cup of coffe catching up on all the blogs I follow and I found some awesome blog candy giveaways. I've posted them to the left on my sidebar. Be sure to check them out and enter for a chance to win. Nothing like some new supplies to get motivated into more scrapbooking of my family history!

In the next few days I'll be blogging about how the workshop "This is Me" has been going. Because of camping I have to catch up a little first. This has been a slightly difficult but, so far, very rewarding workshop. I've had to do some deep thinking on some of the daily topics and because a lot of it is journaling, and like most people that doesn't come easy to me, it has been challenging. But then that's why I signed up for this workship because I wanted to be challenged to do something different. However, I can see that when this is done, if it survives down the generations then future descendants will have a wealth of information about the real me, not just pictures. How I wish I could have some of that information about my ancestors. Some of you may be lucky enough to have something like that in the form of a diary or scrapbook that an ancestor made. If so, treasure it, it is unique!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are all having a great summer. We've been having some great weather here, a little unusual for us, but I love it. It did rain our last day of camping but we're back to sun today so I've popped up the tent trailer and am drying it out ready for next trip - hopefully next week if the weather keeps up. Next time I'm going to a campsite with plug ins and maybe internet so I'll be taking my scrapbooking with me and I won't feel like I'm so far behind when I get back. I know, this is not really camping LOL. As I tell my friends, it's a vacation but my hotel just happens to be on wheels!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ancestry Half Price Until June 30, 2009!!!!!

Until June 30th memberships at are half price. If you get the worldwide membership it will give you access to all the Ancestry sites. Half price for the worldwide membership is 77.70 pounds which works out to approximately $132.00 Canadian. This is a great deal! Go here to see the webpage offering the half price memberships. You can also get half price deals on Essentials and Premium memberships if you only need access to the UK Ancestry site.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Is Me!

So I just signed up for my first online scrapbooking workshop. I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I'm always talking about how people need to remember to include themselves in their scrapbooks and family history but I often fail to follow my own advice. Today I read on Stacy Julian's blog about a workshop starting over at Big Picture Scrapbooking called The Challenge of Me. This is a four week workshop with Lisa Day and is described as follows:

"Reflecting on who you are can be a challenging and transformational experience. In creating an album that celebrates who you are, you will have an opportunity to explore, discover and create a record of what you care about, what touches you, and where your passion lies. In the process, you may discover new insights about what matters most to you."

Can you imagine if you had an album like that from one of your ancestors? What a treasure that would be. I decided to do this workshop in the hopes of creating a treasure for my descendants. I'm looking forward to Lisa's daily prompts to help me tell my story and to her challenge's to use new techniques and to "use my stash". (I think my husband will like that last part the best LOL).

After registering I was asked to fill out a survey and based on my answers Lisa will assign me my first challenge in the workshop - to create pages in a new format! I haven't yet received my format but I suspect based on my answers it's going to be 6 x 12. This will definitely be a challenge for me, but I think I'm up for it. I will keep you all posted on my progress and upload my album as I go along. You can check out this workshop here if you're also interested in taking it. The workshop costs $25 but you can get a discount if you use the code summer2009 when you checkout. Although the workshop started today registration doesn't close until July 1st.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Speldhurst Inn, Speldhurst, Kent, England

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Step Closer To My Dream

A couple of years ago I came up with an idea to create a home-based business putting together kits to help people scrapbook their family heritage. As genealogists we are often so busy with our research that we don't have the time to also create meaningful albums to pass on to our descendants. I felt there was a niche for creating kits that would supply everything needed to quickly create 2 or more scrapbook pages. Each kit would include coordinated paper and embellishments along with a sample sketch layout. If someone was extremely busy then the pieces of the layout could even be pre-cut. This was where I originally came up with the name Scrap Your Roots. Well, I'm now one step closer to realizing my dream. This past week I put together my first sketch and layout! Now I just have to complete my website and figure out how to make it all work and I'm set to go. If only it was all as easy as I just made it sound, LOL.

The best thing about accomplishing this was that I actually got a layout done about me. A danger for us scrapbookers and family historians is to forget about ourselves. We spend hours on our family members but seldom on us. If we are not careful to make sure there are pictures of us (we're usually behind the camera not in front of it) and to document our lives our descendants will know lots about everyone else but nothing about us. How sad is that. Make sure you include yourself in your research and your scrapbooks!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saving An Old Journal

First let me apologize for leaving so long between blogs. We have been having glorious weather here and since we don't always know how long it's going to last here in the Pacific Northwest, I must confess I have been taking advantage of it and neglecting my blog!

Today I want to respond to a question I was asked about how to preserve an old journal. The first thing to remember is that two of the biggest contributors to the deterioration of old documents is acid in the paper and the oil from our hands that can transfer dirt onto the paper. Light and storage conditions, such as humidity, also contribute to deterioration.

To protect your documents from the oil in your hands I recommend wearing clean white cotton gloves. If you absolutely cannot find a pair of cotton gloves then make sure you wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your old journals or documents.

The first thing I would do is make a copy of the journal. If you can open the journal flat without damaging it then use a flatbed scanner to make copies and preserve it digitally. If you cannot lay it flat enough to scan then enlist the help of a friend and take photographs. Have your friend gently hold the journal open as far as possible without damaging it and take photographs of the journal pages. (Make sure your friend wears cotton gloves or has washed and dried their hands thoroughly before starting) You may need to use a camera that has a macro setting in order to get clear pictures. Experiment with different camera settings and lighting to find what works best. The idea here is to have a backup that you can use for reading or scrapbooking to avoid excessive handling of the original.

Once you have made a copy the next step is slow down the deterioration caused from acid in the paper. To do this you need to deacidfy the paper. You could also get a ph testing pen or ph testing strips to test if the paper really is acidic but usually if I haven't purchased the paper myself and know 100% that it's acid free then I assume that the paper has some acidity to it. If there are already signs of yellowing and deterioration then you definitely want to deacidfy it. The best way to do this is with a product called Archival Mist from EK Success. This is not a cheap product but worth every penny when it comes to preserving handwritten journals or documents from our ancestors. A small bottle goes a long way and if you can't find it at your local scrapbook store there are lots of places online to get it. The materials in Archival Mist are non-toxic, non-hazadous, non-flammable and odor free. The solvents will not dissolve or affect inks, colors or adhesives, however, I always test a small area just to make sure the inks will not be affected. Follow the directions on the bottle and let the pages dry thoroughly before continuing.

Once you've made a copy and deacified the journal you want to store it safely. Keep old journals and documents in a cool, dry, dark place. In the case of something precious like a journal I would also place it inside an archival safe bag first. Again, if you cannot find archival safe bags locally then a search for "archival bags" on the internet will find several suppliers.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, June 1, 2009

Data Backup Day

Geneabloggers has designated the first day of each month as Data Backup Day and all genealogists are urged to backup their files. I'd like to encourage everyone who treasures their photos to participate, not just genealogists. Have you backed up your photos and genealogy research data lately? What are you waiting for, a major data loss disaster to strike? If you haven't backed up recently I urge you to do so as soon as possible. If you are up to date on your backup congratulations! Now I'd like you to consider how you are backing up your photographs. Do you use CD's? Did you know that new research indicates that DVD's have a much longer shelf life than CD's. For this reason I recommend that any photo storage you have on CD's should be transfered to DVD. However, this does not guarantee complete safety for your photographs as DVD's can also break down over time and there is no consensus on how long a DVD will last. Some manufacturers say 100 years, other experts say no more than 20 years. For this reason I also use an online service to backup my photos. I use Photo Express, a local photo/scrapbook store that provides unlimited online storage. You can check out the Foto Depot section of their site here for uploading and backing up photos, you will have to sign up to access their services though. Don't rely on only one backup source for your most important photographs. For more information on backing up photos to DVD check out this Epic Edits blog.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Junk, Treasure, and Scrapaholics!

Wow, has it really been a whole week since my last blog! I can't believe how this past week has just flown by. We have been having unbelievably good weather here and my husband had this past week off from work so we took advantage of the weather and did some major cleanup around the outside of the house. We managed to clean out 20 years worth of 'junk' from our shed. We actually have room on the shelves and can easily access our bikes now, which is fabulous now the weather is good enough for a bike ride. Unfortunately, I didn't find any 'family treasures' hidden away -- nothing but a truck load for the dump and a truck load for the thrift shop. Still, maybe someone will pick up something at the thrift shop and count it treasure. You know what they say, "One man's junk is another man's treasure'.

Needless to say I didn't get any genealogical work done this week but I did get some scrapbooking done today. Today I went to my first scrapaholics crop. Scrapaholics is a meetup group I recently joined made up of - you guessed it - Scrapaholics!! They have a monthly crop meetup and also do swaps. It was great, I did the Birthday Card and Ribbon Swaps this month so I now have 12 yards of different ribbon and 12 wonderfully made Birthday Cards - thank you everyone! I also got a great start on a wedding album I'm making for a friend. Maybe these will become a family treasure one day for her descendants. I've posted a few pictures below.

Oh, I did also manage to find time to go to a local scrapbook store that sadly is closing it's doors in a few weeks. They have everything on sale so I thought I would take a look. I picked up another great book. (Did I mention I love books and magazines ;o)!). It's called Modern Memory Keeper: A New Approach to Scrapbooking Your Family Legacy by Ronee Parsons. We must have been cast from the same mold because her approach to scrapbooking her heritage is the same as mine. Her introduction says "Long gone are the days of accenting precious heritage photos with bland papers and embellishments. It's time to shake things up by honoring your family's life and times with a colorful new energy." Although I love the muted tones of heritage colors I have long believed that the colors of today should also be used in our albums. I like to mix things up and I let the photos decide how. Sometimes those old victorian posed photos call for a traditional style layout with muted heritage colors but sometimes using some of todays brighter colors and fabulous paper choices that we have can really bring out the photo. Especially those ones of the unsmiling, prim, older victorian people - you know the ones I mean. It's amazing what a little color can do to add some personality to these pictures. Try it sometime and you'll see what I mean. As Ronee says "Toss out the rules of heritage scrapbooking and embrace a new beginning."

Here are some of the pages (8'x8') that I did today. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Family Photographs

Yesterday when I was out shopping I picked up a copy of Scrapbooks Etc. Photography magazine. If you're like me you want to be able to take great photos of your family that will become treasured keepsakes for future descendants. I'm always looking for ways to improve my photography, especially when it comes to 'people' pictures. I have no problem with nature photography but I struggle when taking pictures of people. I have a hard time getting the right lighting, the right pose (if I can even get them to pose!) etc. I try the candid or 'surprise' shots but never have great luck with that due to the slight shutter delay you get with digital cameras. I do like the fact that with digital cameras we can delete the bad shots, unlike the old film days where you had to print everything to get that one good photo. Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for tips for improving my photography. If you're looking to do the same without spending a lot of money I would recommend this magazine. It covers everything in very easy to understand articles as well as showing you how to use your great photographs in a scrapbook layout. Although I haven't yet had time to fully devour this magazine I can see that it's going to get lots of use. Two areas that I'm definitely going to spend some time on are in the section on taking better photos - candids and portraits. This week I'm going to challenge myself to get a really good photograph of at least one of my family members using the tips from this magazine. I'll show you the results in a future blog.
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Photographs and Scrapbooks

Hello everyone. In my last blog I tried to give you some ideas for ensuring that future descendants don't destroy all of your precious genalogical papers and hard work. We may be passionate about what we do but our descendants may not be. Karen commented that another way to preserve your papers and photos is to donate them to your local genealogical society. This is an excellent idea if you have a good genealogical society nearby. Your descendants can still look at the records by going to the society's headquarters and the society will make sure that your photos and documents are stored properly and preserved. I think I might do that with my box of documents that includes property deeds, citizenship papers, school records, etc. There's a lot of papers included in this box and I could see a future descendant not wanting to hang onto all of that paperwork. However, I think I'm still going to try to have the Vital Records Binder and One-of-a-Kind Photo Album passed down but I'm going to add to my "Important - Do Not Destroy" label a note to say that if they are not wanted to please donate them to the local genealogical society.

Tracy asked where I got the 3-up Pioneer albums that I use to store my genealogical photographs. I found these at Costco. They came 2 in a pack and were around $18. They hold 300 photos and I like these because there is a space for writing information beside the photos. The only drawback is they are not 3-ring so you cannot add pages or move them around. I haven't seen these recently so I went onto Costco's website and I see they now have 3-ring albums. However, these only hold 200 photos, but,of course, you can add pages. They are $19.99 for a 2-pack which is still a great deal. You can see them on Costco's website.

I definitely prefer to have 3-ring albums. I recently made the switch with my scrapbooks. It makes it so much easier to move things around or add pages later on. I like the cloth ones from American Crafts but there are many others to choose from. The one disadvantage I can see is if you have 2-page spreads that join each other then you would have the rings and separation between the pages. I do 2-page spreads but the space doesn't take away from them so I'm quite happy with these albums. As I mentioned before I keep 2 family history scrapbooks. One for my husbands side of the family and one for mine. The challenge is to tell the whole story but keep them manageable especially as I start to add details of my own life and my children. Which has presented the dilema of which album do I put these in? I'm thinking I may have to start a third album or try to find a way to combine my 2 current albums into one. When I originally started this I had planned to keep no more than 2 family history albums so that it wouldn't be overwhelming for my descendants. I already have issues with my everyday scrapbooking, LOL. I think I now have 10 different albums going. Two baby albums for each of my children, two schoolday albums, a sports album, two vacation albums (with one just for Disneyland) plus one for all our camping trips, a christmas album and an 'everyday' album. And none of these are close to done or up to date! They are all 12x12 albums, so they are large and bulky and don't fit easily on a regular bookcase. As much as my family loves to look at my albums I often wonder if they would really want them all after I'm gone. That's why I've always tried to keep the family history ones down to 2. I do this by not scrapbooking every photo I have. I try to pick only the really special or good ones or the ones that really tell the story. Baby photos, wedding photos, military photos, graduation photos, etc. are the most important. Don't forget photos of old houses, cars, etc. as these really tell the story of the life and times of the people in the photos. I try to include scanned copies of certificates as well. I don't use original heritage photos in my scrapbooks. I scan the photos and have them reprinted. This is also good because you can repair damaged photos and have them printed to the size you want to use.

Below are some of my pages. One is my father-in-laws baby pictures along with his birth certificate. Then there is a 2-page spread of my mother and father in-law. I asked both of them to tell me about their life and then typed up what they had said and included it on the layout. It is important to remember to tell the story. Journaling is just as important as the pictures...but that's another blog. Then there is a 2-page spread I did for my niece when she graduated last year. When I look at these examples I find it interesting to see how much scapbooking has changed and evolved over the years. The 2 pictures of my in-laws were done about 10 years ago. Scrapbooking was a lot simpler back then. I look at these layouts now and think they are rather plain. I think I'm going to have to go through my stash and see if I can embellish them a little before putting them away again. Oh, the woes of a perfectionist scrapbooker LOL.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Up In Smoke

Hi everyone. Well today I will tell you what I found in that letter that I wrote about in my last blog that was so heartbreaking. This was a letter to my mom from a cousin in 1996. My moms cousin wrote that their great grandfather (my great, great grandfather) kept everything in the way of paperwork. Wow, talk about a great genealogical treasure! When my moms great grandfather died it was passed down to her grandfather. When he died an aunt took everything and then when that aunt died the cousins inherited everything. So far, so good. This great treasure is almost down to! But wait, those cousins weren't interested in all that paperwork and they decided to burn everything! Can you believe it? I cried the first time I read that. I would have given my eye teeth to have had all that paperwork. My great grandfather owned a pub just down the road from where Charles Dickens had grown up and was also granted the Freedom of the City. I wonder what gems may have been found amongst all those papers that ultimately ended up in smoke.

Have you caught your breath yet? Go ahead, take some time to wipe away those tears. What a tragedy it is when something like this happens. Some of you may have experienced something similar. But, has this made you think about what will happen to all the paperwork you are gathering as you work on your family history? What will happen to all the hours and hard work you have put into your family line? How will you ensure a future descendant doesn't burn all of your paperwork? It is sad to say that not everyone shares our genealogical passion and consequently we cannot guarantee that our future descendants will want all of our paperwork. However we can organize in a way that will hopefully ensure the more important papers will survive.
  1. The most important documents in genealogy are vital records - birth, marriage and death certificates. I keep these in an archival safe binder separate from all my other paperwork. I also include copies of Parish Registers. The binder is clearly labeled with its contents and I have added a sticker that says "Important Documents - Do Not Destroy". I am hoping that this will prevent any descendants from destroying these. I have also scanned all of these certificates and keep them on a DVD which I store in a different location as back up.

  2. Next I keep all other important genealogical documents such as wills, property deeds, military papers, citizenship papers and school records in a separate archival safe box. I have these papers organized by surname and again I have the box clearly labeled with its contents. I do not have a "do not destroy" sticker on this box. I will leave this decision up to my descendants although I do hope they will see the importance of these documents and decide to keep them and pass them on. I haven't yet scanned these documents and put them on DVD but I do intend to do that in the near future.

  3. I have two scrapbooks for my family history story. One for my husbands side of the family and one for my side. I will elaborate in a later post how I organize these and the type of album I like to use. I do not use original one-of-a-kind heritage photographs in these scrapbooks, I have copies made for the scrapbooks. I keep my original heritage photographs in a 3-up acid-free Pioneer Album and I have a note included that states that these are "One-of-a-Kind Heritage Photographs" and "Do Not Destroy - Keep in the Family". I have most of these pictures scanned onto DVD and stored off-site for backup. I hope that my descendants will want to keep the scrapbooks and possibly continue adding to them and passing them down. If, for some reason, they do not want the scrapbooks at least the heritage photographs should survive.

  4. I have one large "Research Binder" where I keep my Family Record Sheets (printed from my Family Tree Software) and behind each Family Record Sheet I have copies of all the supporting documentation. The reason I keep a printed record is because I don't want a descendant to inherit the Family Tree Software but not be able to read it. Technology changes so quickly and if a couple of generations passes before someone decides to carry on with the research it is a real possibility that their technology may not be able to read our DVD's. As long as no one destroys this binder the information will always be available to whoever wants it.

  5. The remainder of my research and notes are stored in binders, drawers and files. I have a filing system that works well for me and I'll elaborate more on that in future posts.

As you can tell there is a large accumulation of paper and although everything is well labeled and organized I sadly realize that it is a real possibility that my descendants may have no interest in keeping all of this work, or they just may not have the room to store it. By carefully keeping original vital records and one-of-a-kind photographs separate I am hoping that these will make it down the line for sure. They basically consist of one binder and 2 photo albums right now. I am also hopeful that my 2 scrapbooks and research binder will also make it down the line. My system is not perfect but hopefully not everything will end 'up in smoke'

I know this is hard for us passionate genealogists to think that someone may literally burn up all of our hard work but the reality is there. Take some time to think about how you keep your genealogical records. If something happened to you today would your descendants be able to identify the really important documents that should be kept from the records that perhaps are not so important to someone not as passionate as us. Or is there the possibility that a descendant could look at all that paper and think "I'm not interested in this" or "I don't have the space to keep this" and destroy everything, including vital records and photographs without even realizing it? If so, take some time today to rethink how you keep and organize your records. Don't let all of your hard work go 'up in smoke'.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feeling Humble

So today when I logged on I saw that I had 15 followers. Wow! I've had my blog up for just over a week and already 15 people are following me...and only 3 are people I know, talk about humbling. I'm absolutely amazed. When I started this blog and my dreams of starting a genealogy scrapbooking business I thought to myself "Who else could possibly be as passionate as I am about genealogy and scrapbooking?" I have many friends who are into scrapbooking and absolutely amazing at what they do (just check out some of the blogs I follow). But only a couple of my friends also share my passion for family history and genealogy. So I really didn't expect to have more that a handful of people following my blog. Not only that, but have you seen Geneabloggers this week. They list 12 new genealogy blogs this week which, if you haven't already done so, you should check out. There are some excellent blogs listed and I am also humbled to have been included in this list. One that I especially liked was the one from Family Tree Magazine. If you are new to genealogy or are stuck at a brick wall there's a good chance you will find answers here.

Now I have to humble myself even more and make a confession. A while ago I challenged you to join me in scrapbooking the saying "Home is where our story begins". So on Saturday I went down to my scrapbooking space to start on this project. Well, before I could start I needed to clean up a few things first. Before I knew it I was into a complete overhaul and reorganization. You see, before I recently joined the local genealogy group and started this blog it had been about 4 years since I had done any real indepth research on my family roots. At the time I had hit a brick wall in my research and reached the point where the only way I was going to get any further was with a research trip back to England . I had gleaned as much as I could from the internet and now needed to get into actual parish registers to go any further. As I could not afford to return to England I had put my own research aside and spent time helping others with their research. Of course, as we all know, the internet grows and changes daily. Realizing this, I am now ready to try again and see what new information I can find, especially now that many parish registers have been put online. One of the first places I intend to start is with the 1911 census which is also now online. One of my brick walls was with my grandfather who passed away when my mother was very young. All we know about him at this point is his name was Thomas Owen and he was born in Wales. That's like trying to find John Smith born in America. Maybe the 1911 census will give us some more information. Anyway, in order to proceed I had to go through some of my old paperwork and reorganize and refocus. Suffice to say I didn't get my scrapbooking project done but I did get some important paper sorting done. While doing so I came across an old letter that my mom had received from a relative many years ago when she was researching our family history (remember the snail mail thing). In it was some news that broke my heart. I will share that news with you tomorrow because it totally changed the way I do my family history work. Brace yourselves fellow genealogists because what I will share with you will break your hearts. Some of you will have already encountered similar heartbreak and perhaps have already changed how you do things but others may reconsider how they handle things after hearing this. Stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snail Mail vs. Internet

So I've been out of commission for a few of days with a bit of a bug, or maybe it was just post playoff depression now that the Canucks are out of the Stanley Cup payoffs :(. Anyway, I did get in my visit with my mom on Monday and she loved her album. That started me thinking about how it was my mom who sparked my passion for genealogy and how much easier it is for me to research my roots than it was for my mom. My mom started tracing her roots back in the 70's shortly after we moved to Canada from England. Back then there were no personal computers, never mind the internet. Everything she did was by snail mail. She would write to the records office in England and then have to wait several weeks for a reply. Many times the reply was 'no record found' and she'd have to start all over again. Can you imagine how tedious that would be? I don't think I'd have the patience. We are so blessed to have the internet

The internet, however, as great as it is in the world of genealogy brings its own problems. How trustworthy is the information we gather from the internet? How do we deal with the mounds of information and paper we accumulate from all of our internet information? How do we back-up and protect that information? How do we make all of our hard work relevant and exciting for our descendants? Over the next few blogs I'm going to write about how I try to deal with some of these issues and maybe I'll be able to give you some new ideas or information that you will be able to use as you pursue your passion to trace your roots.

BTW...did anyone take me up on my challenge last week to create something based on the saying "Home is where our story begins"? I have some ideas in my head but because of being under the weather this week I haven't been able to physically do anything yet. I'm going to try to have something done over the weekend and I'll post it as soon as it's done. I challenge you to do the same. Good luck and happy scrapping!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there! I hope you had a wonderful day full of treats and special times with your children. I had a wonderful lunch with my family and then treated myself to a desperately needed haircut and color. My mother was going to my sisters house today so I won't see her until tomorrow. I'm going to give her a chipboard album I put together this past week of a trip we made to the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, B.C. back in 2007. It was a weekend trip we had talked about doing many times and just never got around to it. I always felt we couldn't afford it but my wonderful husband finally made me do it saying we couldn't afford NOT to. I'm so glad he did that. I have such wonderful memories of that weekend, and guess what, our budget is still as tight as ever but we never went hungry because of it! I'd love to be able to do it again but I'm not sure if my mom's arthritis would let her. Making time for family is so important, but don't forget to document those times also!

Yesterday was a great day also. My friend Dana and I had tickets to the Third Day concert in Abbotsford. We were so excited. We had scored 3rd row floor seats. It was an excellent show - rockin' and loud - just the way I like it! But what really excited me was before the show we had some time to kill and we stopped by The House of James. I saw a plaque there with the saying "Home is where our story begins". I fell in love with it but it was too expensive for my pocketbook. However, I think the saying really portrays how I feel about the importance of preserving family history. Family history is so much more than dates and names. It's the story of who we are. I think I'm going to try and complete a layout using this saying sometime this week. I challenge you to do the same. If you do, please upload your creation. I'd love to see how you interpret what this means to you. I'll upload mine when it's done also. In the meantime here's some pictures from my weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ugh - Am I really that old?

So I recently found out that Port Coquitlam has a thriving genealogy club. The catch - it's at the senior center. Well, apparently anyone 50 or over can join the senior center and since I turned 50 last year I would be accepted. I have been to 2 meetings now and the butt of many family jokes (my husband has yet to hit the big 50). However, I was pleasantly surprised at how many people are involved in this club. I think there was about 15 of us at the meeting this past Wednesday. And I guess the senior center is just the meeting place, you don't have to be 50+ to come to the meetings. I was happy to see a newcomer who was clearly at least 10 years younger than me at this last meeting! I'm still not happy at knowing I am now old enough to join a senior center. For those that don't know me I will always be 18 in my mind. In fact my theme song at my 50th party was Bryan Adams "I'll be 18 til I die". If there's any doubt just take a look at my profile and my favorite music - several head banging for sure. LOL

If anyone is interested in coming to the meetings they meet the first Wednesday of every month at the Wilson Center in Port Coquitlam. Each month a different topic is covered or they may have a guest speaker. The June meeting will be all about using and getting the most out of and the bonus is it only costs $2.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I've finally entered the world of blogging

Well, I can't believe it, I've finally entered the world of blogging! I've had a lot of fun this past week creating this blog and I hope everyone who happens upon it will enjoy it. If you haven't already figured it out from my title this blog will focus on my passion - family history and preserving our family roots. In this day and age of digital technology it will be even harder for our descendants to know who we were if we don't take measures now to preserve our history. Technology changes daily and what we use today to save our family memories most likely will not be able to be used by our descendants. Remember those big 5" floppy disks? If you had saved pictures on those you would not be able to retrieve them today. Pictures on DVD's may not be retrievable 50 years from now. We live in a great age where we can take hundreds of pictures all the time documenting our family lives but what good are they if only we can enjoy them. Sometimes I regret that I don't have a lot of pictures of my ancestors. Some of them I have no pictures at all. Well this is what it may be like for our descendants if we are not careful. That's why I am so passionate about preserving not only our heritage pictures but the family pictures we take today. Digital is great but we should also have paper records of the more important pictures. We should have back ups and as technology changes we need to transfer our images over to the new technology. My goal is not only to try to trace my family history as far back as I can but to learn about how my ancestors lived and then to document and preserve that information and then add my family information to it for my descendants to enjoy. This blog will document my progress along with my other endeavors and hopefully provide some information on how you to can preserve your history for your descendants to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by.