Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gettin' By With Help From Our Friends~Sir Leprechaun Rabbit

Today's Tips come from Sir Leprechaun Rabbit writer of the blog "Your Roots Are Showing, Dearie"

Genealogy is a challenge; a journey of remembering and discovering a lost (and most times) unknown past, BUT it should never jeopardize the potential to create memories of the present with, and for, the future. I know when I started, 44 years ago (yes, I'm old!), involving my family never went beyond chauffeuring me to libraries or cemeteries and the barrage of questions regarding their parents, grands and other favourite relatives. If I knew then what I do now, a few things would be different and done a lot sooner! (1) Share (bedtime) stories! Who read to you when you were small? What stories do you remember? I recall Winnie the Pooh and Paddington. Did you read to your little ones? I remember reading the Berenstain Bears to my niece, many years before I married and started a family of my own. And when my lads were small, Thomas the Tank Engine was a favourite; and I made certain to introduce them to my "willy-nilly, silly, old bear" too! Perhaps, your littles read to you? My eldest son, Junior, had severe problems reading in school, so one night before bed, he chose his favourite story: The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. I then told him I lost my glasses and asked if he'd read to me instead. Years later, he read to his younger brothers, Captain and Chef -- and they had their turns reading as well. Some genealogists collect family recipes and cookbooks. Some preserve toys and dolls that previous generations had. Why not share storybooks? And just maybe, somebody has a photo of you being read to, or you reading to another. Include them, don't forget the stories. Share them. It can be the foundation or common ground that binds them to you and their past. FYI: Junior is now 25 and clearly remembers reading his favourite story among others. He also told me that my glasses were sitting on top of my head that first night! (I don't remember that.).

(2) To aid you in organization, do not be afraid of colour! MiLady Rabbit gave me the idea after she saw my research boxes overflowing from my side of our bedroom closet, under the basement stairs and from the overhead compartments in the boys' rooms! My preference is a colour for my grandparents' families like bright red (HALLIWELL), deep blue (MOREAU), lime green (ATKINSON) and canary yellow (HEMMINGWAY). Information on my in-laws (MiLady's family) are located in purple folders, my late spouse in army green, while family of my ex can be found in black. It may take some getting used to, but colour organization will simplify your research. And it will help when non-genealogists want to assist. "I need the clear bin with the red folders in it, please." (3) Back it up! Please! Photograph and scan everything you have and keep it safe. I have lost photographs of my parents' wedding, my father fixing aircraft while he served in uniform in the 1950s, his father's UK 1902 birth certificate (twice), death certificates from Quebec, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, etc. The sad thing: I know more is missing, I just don't remember who or what as a large amount I had not yet catalogued. Some disappeared during an unamicable divorce, but most were lost during the many moves while I served in uniform. Don't lose your family after you've found them, save them. Okay, how many is that? Three?!? (0.0) Oh, Dear! (4) If you get an opportunity to attend a seminar or conference, GO! Even if it local, GO! A wealth of information can make things so much easier. I have been blessed to have one-on-one time (however brief) to ask "What would you do?" or "How would you solve this?" with the likes of Lisa Louise Cooke, Gena Philbert-Ortega, Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, Brian Gilchrist, Fawne Stratford-Devai, Ryan Taylor, and Paul McGrath, among others. Some are no longer with us, but I recall our conversations and follow-up friendship in correspondence and apply what they shared. (5) Take a break. Seriously, push away from the table. Shut down the computer. Genealogy is an addiction, yes, but don't let it consume you. Make it about more than just collecting dead people! If you are married with kids, spend some time and show some interest in their hobbies. Make the next batch of memories Hop to it! SLR


"Gramma Rabbit" was my paternal grandmother, who introduced me (I was 9) to The Family one summer during numerous picnics in the various cemeteries in the Hamilton, Wentworth County and Burlington, Halton County of Ontario. This came about after a failing grade on a school assignment: the family tree was not a 15year-old Maple in Mum's garden! A respect for the preservation of cemeteries, the art of stone masonry and a love of military history led to the desire to learn what my forebears accomplished and contributed in the building of this nation they called home. Sorry, no formal training, just a lot of trial and error. Some day maybe.

Thanks for the great tips, Sir

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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