Posts Tagged ‘family tree’

White and Purple Flowers, taken on September 8, 2012, Hawaii
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a part of my husbands family reunion here in Hawaii. It was a beautiful, but hot day with little breeze. As we entered, my husband signed us in and grabbed our name tags that stated what line we were descended from. There are about 11 different family lines that stemmed from one common ancestor. I took our trays of food to the outdoor kitchen where there were many hugs and kisses going around, and new introductions being made. I don’t think I’ve hugged and kissed that many people in one day EVER! You could definitely feel the close bond of a loving Ohana (family). We made our rounds saying aloha to the family sitting down at tables or sitting on benches underneath the palm trees. 

After speaking and saying hello to all the Ohana, I decided to take some photos of the boards on display of the Meyer genealogy tree! Huge! It was stretched out over 3 or 4 different display boards. Another 2 or 3 boards also displayed old family photos of generations past. One looked like a collage, and the others were more formal looking with  8×10 photos with the ancestors name below them. Very nice!

There was a straw hut I guess you could say, that had members of the Ohana giving out goodie bags to the keiki (children). The children’s games were all set up- putt putt golf, a pinata swinging from the tree above, and many others. Some of the older kids were tossing a football, the younger ones were chasing each other around trees, blowing bubbles, blowing their little plastic horns which sounded like a high pitched whistle. The band under the tents sounded wonderful, playing local style music and just seeing everyone so happy, dancing around, doing hula and just having some good ol’ fun was just one of the highlights of the day. 

Before enjoying the food that our Lord had blessed us with, we had Pule Ho’okuu (opening prayer).  There was an abundance of food brought to eight banquet tables, laden with all the food you could possibly envision. Anything from fried chicken and hot dogs to Pork Adobo and spinach salad with tofu (which was my favorite), potato mac salad, beef curry, pies and chantilly cake, doughnuts, mini muffins,  and brownies; you name it and it was there. 

After the potluck lunch, there was a presentation given on the history of George Kahelelani Meyer, our common ancestor. Group introductions of the descendants by lineage were then asked to go on stage in front of everyone. Everyone snapping pictures of each generation and one person to speak and say how they were descended from this one man. After all eleven different family lines had their turn on the stage, we all gathered around in the biggest circle I ever seen, holding hands with one another while everyone sang “Hawaii Aloha” which was written by Reverend Lorenzo Lyons. This concluded all ceremonies of the day, but this didn’t stop me from playing with the keiki’s, chasing one little girl around trees, blowing bubbles with a 3 year old cutey and passing a football to one of the other boys. Mind you, I don’t have a football arm! But it was all in good fun and I had the best anniversary day with my husband and his extended family, that I truly enjoyed being a part of! 

Before we left for the day, my husbands grandmother, Evelyn was acknowledged by the entire Ohana as being the oldest living descendant of George Kahelelani Meyer. She had a beautiful framed picture box type of photo frame, where on display at the top, were two crossed bats that was an emblem of sorts and had a group photo of her grandfather as a member of the local baseball team. What an honor for her! Love you grams <3! 

Hawaii Aloha Song Lyrics by Reverend Lorenzo Lyons

Gum tree & footpath to Baldwin

Gum tree & footpath to Baldwin (Photo credit: Ben.Millett)

Why do I write a genealogy blog of all topics in which I could choose from so many other topic choices? I could be writing about some of my favorite hobbies like cooking or photography, but I chose genealogy. Always interested in learning new things, why not learn more about the family I never really had the chance to know? This was a perfect choice for me! I feel that writing this blog about my family, in turn, allows me to connect with the members of my family in a way I can’t describe altogether. After all, I am researching dead people! I love every moment and breakthrough I get. I have written many different articles on different family members, and in my lifetime I will never ever finish my research. There are way too many people to do look-ups on in my family tree for me or any other family historian to ever be truly complete. There is so much history in our Cornett family and I’m only just getting started really.


Since researching, I have found many great genealogy blogs out there in the internet world. Made some great contacts along the way too. Who knew they were my cousins? I sure didn’t when I started! Being on the topic of other genealogy blogs, there are many that are abandoned and dead to the rest of us historians. They may have started out with a great purpose in mind, but they are just taking up space. Nothing is updated. The links are bad and go nowhere! What about the citation of those resources? Umm yeah…non existent! That’s not a good thing and it definitely isn’t what I have in mind for my blog. I intend to keep it going as long as I am able to do so. I consider it my baby, being my very first blog I had ever thought to keep updated, it’s almost like my own personal family journal. Writing the stories of my ancestors is my main goal. Not to make money, but to keep their memory alive through words, photographs, and documents I find.


Tuesday’s Tip: Don’t get discouraged! Stay on track with your research. When you least expect it, your research will benefit from all of your hard work and you may find the information you have been seeking. Keep looking! The documentation is just playing a little game of hide and seek, just waiting for you to discover it and bring it back to life.






George Parks and Vinnie Testerment

George Parks and Vinnie Testerment-Parks (date unknown)

So you have started searching your ancestral roots and you have accumulated documents, papers, genealogy forms, birth and death records from one or multiple surnames. How do you stay organized? How do you know what documents belong to which ancestor? Do you just throw everything into one file folder labeled “Family Tree Stuff”? Haha I did that! But I’m trying to change that right now! 

Some ideas that may help are:

In your filing cabinet, you have all these folders where some are labeled and some are not. Okay! So it’s time to sort through all that mess. Because the more involved you become in the subject of genealogy, the more paperwork and photos you are going to accumulate. Believe me, it’s not pretty! So first off, you are going to want to gather all your files together, separate each document by surname and put in a folder. This is where you want to start labeling each file folder- you can even color code each surname if it makes it any easier for you to distinguish one folder from the next. I love this idea! You don’t necessarily have to label the folder by surname; you can label by couple, maternal or fraternal grandparents and so on. I just think it’s much easier to label by surname to limit any confusion. As you probably already know, there are hundreds of names in one person’s family tree. In my own research, I have come across names in my Cornett ancestry that include but are not limited to Carrico, Sutherland, Delp, Canute, Canutt, Anderson, Livesay and so on. There are plenty of others, so this can get confusing if you don’t organize what you have already.

Organize your hard drive on your computer! Recently, I have scanned two separate sets of paperwork on my family’s tree- mind you, each set was approximately 30 pages! Create a hierarchy of folders that are easy to find on your hard drive. Adobe Acrobat is a Godsend as it creates one PDF file of multiple files. Saves you space! 

This is what my files look like, with everything labeled and in its’ respective folder. So easy to do! 

Do you have hand written notes in notebooks? I did! I think I had two notebooks at one time with names, dates and events all written down with no general sequence. They were just randomly written and sporadic and just a bunch of clutter! Well pull out your shredder and get rid of all that. Create a word document of all your notes so you aren’t throwing away any vital information and all that clutter. 

You could create an ancestral timeline that shows when your ancestors lived and for how long. 

Prepare and fill out the pedigree chart of all your known ancestors. 

I hope these ideas help you in some way. There’s nothing like a messy, unorganized work space! 

Links to Genealogy Forms- Free To Download

Free Forms To Organize Your Research

Free Genealogy Forms


Image Source: Stack Of Files

Thank you! I have made contact with family members I didn’t even know existed. By researching the Cornett/ Sutherland heritage on the web site, I have connected with others who are researching the same family as I am and what do you know? They’re actually family. This is very exciting! The branches of my tree have become so tangled and intertwined, but in such a good way. What a great way to share data gathered through web sites such as Ancestry, and being able to share that knowledge with your own family, is priceless.

Image Source: Family Stories
Photo Credit: Andrew Bret Wallis

I was just talking to my oldest son, John, who was recently asking about our ancestry. He has become somewhat curious about who his relations were back in the “old days”. I was so excited that he even asked, that I think I may have bored him with my rantings of our family tree and what I had found so far. When I was his age, I “tuned out” my family when I heard the stories of ancestors past. Now I’m kicking myself for not paying attention! I went into my own little world of music and television so I didn’t have to listen to boring stories that related to history of people I never even knew. Today, I really wished I had recorded their stories in some way. Now that the older generations in my family have passed on to a better place, there is no way I can get that history, or even the stories back. The stories seem to have died with them. 

Family stories casually chatted about at the dinner table, or told again and again at family gatherings can parallel great epics or notable short stories. The memorable stories of our lives and of others in our family take on special importance because they are true, even if everyone tells different versions of the same event. These tales are family heirlooms held in the heart not in the hand.

So knowing that I lost those memories forever, how do I continue my research into a quest for family stories that relate to my family? Any suggestions?

English: Pine tree on Pentridge Hill at sun-se...

English: Pine tree on Pentridge Hill at sun-set 2 Slightly different angle, beyond tree to left one of the family dogs is searching for anything to chase. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you ready to throw in the towel? Have you come to, what seems an endless brick wall? Are you looking at the big picture or just an element of that picture? If the wall seems endless, are you able to go around it? No? Then climb over it! There’s always a different way to approach an obstacle, than the one that seems to be right in front of your face. In my experience with my family tree, I have faced plenty of obstacles! But there has to be a different resource to utilize right? Have you thought about seeking out classes on Genealogy? You can do this online, if you aren’t the type to be on campus with the younger generation of students. Which is okay; you may be younger, older, and wiser, or already have your desired degree. Nobody says that you have to go back to school again, just to be fulfilled with your family tree results and research. So what will your next step be and where will it take you?

You may just want to organize what research you have already accumulated; or you may want to research your family to pass on to the younger generation, namely your own children or grandchildren one day. But for whatever reason, the online classes may help you. It sure couldn’t hurt right? One day, you may find your perfect family treasures!

Below you will find a link to the classes that are offered. This isn’t your run of the mill mini-course!
There are four different sections, the first section is more or less your introduction and leads into other topics as you go. So in this first section, there are 14 lessons; in the second section there are 31 lessons! I won’t drone on about each section here because you can view it for yourself!

I am seriously thinking about starting this course too! Can’t have enough knowledge right? What are you waiting for? Let’s DO this!

Online Genealogy Classes~ Click Here To Learn More!


Rizinus (Photo credit: flöschen)

Today, I registered for a free mini-course that was offered by Family History Quick Start. I want to share a little about this course and my experience with the course itself. This post will be the beginning of a series of posts in relation to the course offerings. This site helps you by giving you tips and step by step guidance that will aid in your research. Organizing all the data you have found on your family is a great start; something that sometimes I lack in doing properly. I only say this because there is so much information that I have in my possession already, that having to re-organize the paperwork can be a somewhat painful process. I have absolutely no problem organizing my digital files, thanks to my Graphic Design background.

 Being able to locate the correct documents and images is very important. I am hoping to gain oodles of knowledge from this course to help me organize the findings I have so far, into something that will be easy to read. Not like some of the family tree websites I have visited, which only seem to confuse the viewer even more. The hierarchy of the set up on some of these web pages is a little hard on your eyes. If it’s not a busy, color clash of graphics and font usage then it’s how the tree is displayed and sometimes that just takes away from what you are trying to understand as far as the hierarchy of the family tree itself is concerned.

I’ve been to a lot of different sites on genealogy and family history and the only one I have found so far that breaks things down for you into manageable bites, is the Family History Quick Start web page. The first course in the series is all about getting organized; organizing your computers file folders, tips on creating digital files from paper records, how to’s on saving, naming and backing up these files for easy access later on, and last but not least, is the correct way to cite your sources! When writing, whether it’s a blog like this one or a term paper for a college class, you have to give credit where it’s due. The people that write the many different articles have already completed their research, so don’t steal it and try to pass it off as your own work. It’s very easy to cite a source and only takes a few seconds! Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t seen this website yet! Here’s the link for you to try it out yourself.
Citations Quick and Easy

Tomorrow I will be completing Day 1 of the mini course, I will then post my experiences and thoughts on the subject matter. Until then..good luck in your own search!