Happy New Year!

Well, today is the start of a new year - can you believe 2015 has come and gone? It's been awhile since I last wrote. Unfortunately, even as I resolve to keep current on this blog, life always finds a way to get in the way! I am currently not working, which would make you think I would have more time to devote to this, but the reason I'm not working is I gave birth to the newest leaf on our family tree, my son Julian James, in the beginning of December. We are beyond thrilled at our new family addition - like my daughter, who is now a feisty, precocious, exhausting 2 1/2 year old, Julian looks like he'll inherit my coloring - somehow my fair, Northern European genes kick the butt of my husband's dark and supposedly dominant Latino genes - but his features are all his dad's side of the family. Julian is a new name on the family tree - if you know me, you know I am a deep believer in tradition and paying homage to family, but I let my husband pick the baby's name this go-around (with my approval, of course lol). The family tradition concession is my son's middle name, James, which is my father's middle name and a longstanding family name on my dad's side of the family.

I actually have been very busy with genealogy research, some of my own, moreso on my husband's side, trying to make connections to other researchers and their trees, anything to add generations and information because while it's not MY tree, it's the family history of both my children, and it's important for me to know as much as possible about both sides of their family. That's what my grandmother did - she actually had very little research on her side of the family (and sadly, despite my best efforts, that's still the case) but she devoted years of research to her husband's side of the family.

I've also been busy doing genealogy research for clients, which, while not my own family history, has become extremely rewarding. As much as the thrill of genealogy for me is discovering a little bit more about who my family is, I am a Nancy Drew at heart, and the detective work of putting together the pieces of a puzzle, whether it's my puzzle or somebody else's, is just so much fun for me - and the satisfaction of finding the answer, where someone never knew the answer before? Where the research was hard and roundabout and labor intensive? Where you're able to hand answers to someone, even a complete stranger, who was searching for those answers for so many years? There are literally no words.

And the doing research for others fills a genealogy void when I'm not having much luck on my own tree. It's fun. It's been keeping me busy. Too busy to blog? Apparently. I'd like to say I resolve to blog more this year, but with a newborn and a toddler in the house, it might be awhile again before I get this way. But I can ask you this - is there a specific genealogy topic you'd like to read about? Something you've been having trouble with? A particular website or database you'd like to know more about? Do you have any questions for me about a particular problem or ancestor I've had to tackle? Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to make time to blog about it - if and when the kiddos ever nap! :)

In the meantime, I'll make a couple of genealogy resolutions anyway:

  • to try to blog more, despite the odds not being in my favor
  • to try to do a better job of documenting the sources of my information
  • to try to not be just a collector of names and dates - to remember that these people WERE people, who lived lives in between their births and deaths, and to try to record more about what those lives entailed
  • to continue my pursuit of the origins of Jacob Raynor - Cousin April, you know what I'm talking about!

That's all for now! PS, new episodes of Finding Your Roots resume on PBS starting January 5th - check it out to get your genealogy fix!