Wednesday, August 18, 2021

GenFriends Genealogy Chat Show: Q & A with Cheri Hudson Passey


The panel puts me in the hot seat for this episode! Melissa Barker, Bernice Benett, and Dan Earl ask questions about becoming a professional genealogist, stories of my ancestors, how GenFriends came to be, and more.

Watch as I answer question about how I became interested in searching for ancestors, which ancestor I would like to interview, and what my favorite records are to research. I also talk about my Repatriation work for the US Army and taking part in helping to bring our missing Soldiers home.

Some of our regular panelists weren't able to join due to other commitments.

Read their questions and Cheri's answers below:

Laura Hedgecock asks:

f you were to start your business over, what would you do differently?

 Cheri's answer:

I would start sooner! It's been a wonderful blessing to be able to help others connect with their ancestors. Going professional lead me to the Repatriation work with the Army. It's very rewarding to help bring our Soldiers home.

Terri O'Connell asks:

How can others get started in helping with the repatriation process?

Cheri's answer:

Build your skills in traditional research and finding living people. In order to find living relatives for a Soldier, you need to be able to build a tree for them and look for people who are still living. Sometimes you have to go up several generations and them come back down to find someone. As many of the closest relatives of our missing Soldiers are beginning to pass away due to the passage of time, often we are looking for 1st, 2nd, or even removed cousins. Then look for jobs posted for repatriation work on professional genealogist message boards and announcements. APG is a good place to look. You can also do a search for companies doing this type of forensic work and send a query about opportunities to work with them.

Mary Kircher Roddy asks:

What has been your most exciting find?

Anytime I find something I didn't know before, it's exciting. I can clearly remember sitting at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah in the early 1980s and putting my first microfilm on the reader and seeing my great grandmother as an 8-year-old on the 1910 Sumter County, SC census. Her sister Kate was the keeper of information on the family and had recently sent me a family history she had compiled.  I was thrilled to see the names of those I had met and heard about for years. The whole day was filled with finding family in the census records. It was my first research trip to look for records. I have been looking ever since for all I can!

Shelley Murphy asks:

What has been the most challenging you have experienced in your research?

Cheri's answer:

Finding the records of my ancestors who were slave owners. The first time it was the Slave Schedules. That discovery brought so many emotions. Reaching out to try to connect with those who may be descended from those that were enslaved by my direct descendants and collateral lines has helped me to do something positive with the negative. 

Do you have any questions for Cheri?

We'd also love to hear your ideas for topics and guests for upcoming episodes of GenFriends!

Contact the Panelists:

Melissa Barker -A Genealogist in the Archives

Bernice Bennett-Geniebroots

Dan Earl-Family History Guy

Laura Hedgecock-Treasure Chest of Memories

Terri O’Connell-Finding Our Ancestors

Shelley Murphey-The Family Tree Girl

Mary Kircher Roddy-MKR Genealogy

Cheri Hudson Passey-Carolina Girl Genealogy


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