Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’

funfair mechanic

funfair mechanic (Photo credit: casper.tromp)

Remember those Saturday’s when your uncle or other male counterpart was constantly”fixing” something? Maybe he was replacing a blade on his handy, dandy, “don’t fail me now” lawnmower that is rolling on it’s last wheel. He could have been changing the oil in his truck, fixing a leaky radiator hose or any other thing he thought needed fixing! He always had a toolbox handy that had his basic necessities inside, didn’t he? Now, I’m not knocking today’s generation of women who can fix things. I make that attempt myself, although I usually do it the easy way by consulting “Google” for my easy fix!

I love the DIY (Do It Yourself) web sites and love to do the crafty things like refinishing old furniture because I see that it can still be used. I recycle! Don’t throw away what you think may be junk, may turn out to be a nice furniture piece for your parlor! One day as I was scouring the DIY pins on Pinterest, I found a unique coffee table made out of old wooden wine bottle crates! But sanded down and stained, they actually gave the room a modern but rustic ambiance to the room itself. It’s definitely on my list of “To-Do’s”! You can view the step by step here: I heart this website! Such great ideas, especially if you like that “Vintage Chic” look 🙂 You can also follow my Pinterest page on the left sidebar at the top there is a button! Just click it and see what kind of stuff I have pinned! Pretty cool if I say so myself!

Okay. I think I have rambled endlessly about DIY stuff and that’s not what you thought you’d see coming to a genealogy blog now is it? HA! I fooled you! But seriously, back to the topic of the genealogy toolbox!


Toolbox (Photo credit: 60 in 3)

I have in my own toolbox, several apps I use and thought I would share with you the two that I use for today’s post. More to come next Monday!!

KINDLE~ OMG! I absolutely love this app! I use it on my iPhone4, yeah I don’t have the 4S with Siri who talks to me, but hey, who needs her when I have all these other apps that I love? I don’t need you Siri-sorry! But since I am a lover of reading and books, but also the more frugal “cheap” type of girl, I look for free or low cost books first. I have several genealogy books stored in my “cloud shelf” that I can read anytime I like. The Kindle app is free just in case you didn’t know. In my Kindle app, I have genealogy books that I downloaded for free, many creative writing books, some marketing, books about faeries and the fey, thrillers, and romance! My latest great read I want to share with you- the book is titled, “Forbidden Romance” and is cleanly written by Clinton Getzinger. You can check out the book and my review here:

Evernote~ Add new notes when you get great ideas or if you want to remind yourself to make that ancestral chart for your great grand aunt that you forgot to do yesterday~ OOPS! I use this app frequently. I have created notes on genealogy blog topics I would like to read about, genealogy correspondence logs, you name it and it goes in there. What is so cool about this app to me, is the fact that you can sync the app on your iPhone to your home computer! Ahhh! How great is that? That’s not all! You can add photos to your notes to give you that creative spark that you had at that particular time, on that day. You could have been walking your dog in the park and an idea just popped in your mind that you don’t want to take the chance that you may forget later. This is why I use this and guess what? IT’S FREE!

What genealogy apps do you use? Please comment below! I would love to find a new app that I haven’t seen or heard of!

Thanks for visiting and “Happy Monday” to you!!


USS Missouri (Ship Desk)
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial via
Copyright © 2011, Kelly Vial

As a genealogist and family history researcher, you would think I’d be a little more organized! I am overwhelmed with emails of new information and document attachments! Now, what is the best way for me to sort through these? I think I need another filing cabinet! A filing cabinet just for my genealogy research! When I started my research I didn’t really need but just a little space in the back of my filing cabinet. Since I really didn’t have much as far as documents, except for the packets of information that I received from a family member oh so many years ago! Now it looks like my research is going to have to take up residence in another location 🙂

My handy, dandy printer just decided that it needs new ink cartridges! So what’s a girl to do with her digital documents when she can’t print them out right away? No CD’s either! What has my office world come to? Looks like I’m running out of everything, doesn’t it? I guess I need to make a trip to Costco and Office Max!

So I guess since I’m out of ink and I have no CD/DVD’s to make a genealogy back up disc, that I will have to resort to Evernote and then export all my documents into my Family Tree Maker 2012 software. There is so much that needs to be done! Did I mention how much I hate clutter? I can’t stand it when my computer files are all out of whack and not in their proper folders! Yes I did do that! It’s all my fault, just being lazy I guess!


Re-stock my office supplies (make a list)

Organize my hierarchy mess of file folders on my laptop

Scan more photos (Oh so tedious; I think I have over 2000!)

Organize my file folders in my real world office (which happens to be my bedroom currently, in this tiny apartment)

Organize my file folders in my email account (Ugh..that should be tons of fun!)

Create a filing system that works wonders! (Is there a program out there for that?)

When I said organization is key in another blog post, I really meant it! It would have saved me so much time if I had accomplished everything like I was telling you how to be more organized! Ha! You remember that saying your mom may have told you at least once in your life? “Do as I say and not as I do!” That’s the way I at this moment! Here I am  writing about organization tips and not even doing it myself! All I can say is I’ll try to do better and not be such a sloppy genealogist 🙂

Title: Deep in Memories
Creative image #: 143176334
License type: Royalty-free
Photographer: Maria Pavlova
Collection: Vetta
Credit: Maria Pavlova

For several years, my interest in genealogy has escalated from being just a hobby to pass the time, into a full fledged passion to learn everything I could about my ancestors lives. Before becoming a city girl and moving to metro Atlanta, I was a barefoot country girl and where I lived if you wanted to have access to the internet, you had two choices, you could have dial up or dial up! There wasn’t any such thing as high speed internet, I’m sure there really was but not where I lived 🙂  So annoying, the wait time! If I were to wait for dial up to connect to the internet for everything that I do today, I would be lost! Who wants to wait for 30 minutes to check their email only to lose their connection and have to wait yet again and again?

Today, I am back in the city, I have my T3 internet bandwidth going full speed ahead! Normally T3 is mainly used by businesses for their high speed capabilities and they offer very fast, data transfer rates. I guess this girl got lucky didn’t she? Having T3 in my apartment, how could I not be ecstatic? Life in the fast lane as they say! So much to do and only so many hours in a day to do it in. 🙂

Everyone seems to be on social networks these days, your everyday person, non-profit organizations, businesses and so on. I for one, am on not just one social networking site, but several! You can find me on LinkedIn for business networking, Twitter for my genealogy interests and followers, Facebook to stay connected with my own family and friends and I love the fact that even though I am so far away from my family we are able to stay connected to one another by sharing our photos, videos and what we are currently doing with one another, so it almost feels like we just seen each other last week. Sort of!

Being so interested in my family history, I decided to create a Facebook page called “Fans Of Genealogy” which is  dedicated to my research findings and connecting with family members and others who are interested in this topic, in a totally different way than just having a Facebook profile for just myself. It’s a place where we can all share our family memories, stories that were passed down from one generation to the next and to share photos of our past ancestors. I am sure everyone has a story they would like to share, and for me, this is the best part of learning about my heritage. What social networking sites do you utilize for your family history research?

Have you created a fan page or group on your ancestors? It’s a great way to not only stay connected but to also document your research and what you found out about your family for your children and grandchildren. One day they might be interested in what you are doing in terms of genealogy and family history. They may one day want to know where they come from, what their ancestors looked like, or even read some of the stories that were passed down oh so many years ago!

It’s time to get crackin! Time to become the genealogy sleuth and discover my past! I’m going from life in the fast lane to life in the past lane!!

Happy Hunting 🙂


Image representing Woot as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

What’s good in the genealogy neighborhood? Lots of things I am sure but that’s not what is on my mind right this second. Weird yeah? I thought so too! Considering I usually eat, drink, sleep and dream of genealogy most of the time! This post isn’t all about genealogy, but about the friends, family, and colleagues you meet along the way.

Since switching from Blogger to WordPress, I am truly getting more feedback on the articles I write. I don’t know why that is, it just IS. Maybe I am doing something different and just don’t realize it yet. Who knows? But I am loving the fact that I can correspond and talk to my readers, who by the way, leave good insight to my blog posts. Thank you all for this! 

Have you read any good books lately? I haven’t read as much as I used to; I now read more blog articles, tweets, Facebook posts on the “Fans of Genealogy” page and trying to connect with my followers there also. So many social networks and did you know there are many Facebook pages and groups you can join, dedicated to the topic of Genealogy? I think I belong to about 4 different ones plus a writers workshop, and this is just on Facebook! Have a Twitter account? Ha! Me too! It’s not so much a personal Twitter as it’s more related to genealogy and other writers. If you happen to find me on Twitter, just a warning: Don’t SPAM me, because I will block and report ya! Thanks, Management…

I have been reading this really good book that I ordered through and OMG I was hooked within the first two pages! Great writing style and the topic can’t be beat as it could really relate to anyone. It’s a book in the historical fiction genre set back in the 1870’s in Virginia, called “Forbidden Romance” by Clinton W. Getzinger 🙂 Don’t recognize this author’s name? You probably won’t! This is his first novel and he just so happens to be my cousin! Woot!! Woot!! Kudos to him for making his dream of becoming a published author, a reality! 

Clinton W. Getzinger’s book is available on your Kindle or in paperback form. It’s a great read and I highly suggest reading it! Pure awesomeness if I say so myself! I can’t wait to see what kinds of stories he comes up with for his next “novel” idea. No pun intended there 😉 It is also located and listed in GoodReads right here on this website! Take a look and read it; you won’t be disappointed!

Here is the link to the book:

Happy Aloha Friday!

I Love Trees!
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial via
Taken: June 2012- Punchbowl Cemetery, Honolulu, HI

Is the recession hurting your wallet? Do you only have just enough money to pay your bills, have a roof over your head and put food on the table? Believe me, you are not alone! I have struggled so much myself, being an unemployed housewife, dependent upon my husband to care for me, keep this hungry girl fed and keep all of our bills paid and current. Is it hard? Definitely! The cost of living is through the roof and just the idea of going out to eat makes the wallet cringe in horror.

So how can an unemployed, family historian seek out their ancestors when their budget is already stretched to the max? Being a genealogist is hard work, they deserve to be paid for the work they do just like anyone else. But there are some free resources out there that you can access for little or no money at all.

Here are three web sites I have found that I truly have used and like:

  • ~ Look for your ancestors here to start with. You can search by full name or just the surname. Enter all the information you have such as a birth date, death, or marriage. If you know the spouse’s name – even better! It gives you more information to work with later! It doesn’t stop there though, you can search other family trees, view documents, and if you don’t know much about genealogy at first, why not take a FREE class? You can access the “Learn” tab at the top of the web page to learn all you possibly can about this very intriguing subject. But once you get started, you may find that you just want to keep digging to the roots!
  • ~ This website is great because not only is it free but is volunteer driven. The volunteers dedicate this site to free online research, which benefits everyone! Whether you consider genealogy just a hobby or you hope to make a connection with family, this site is a great starting point. Every county and state will have different web sites you can go to based on your own research or where you think your family of ancestors may have lived during a certain time period.
  • ~ I like this web site because on the home page it tells me what new data has been added to the site. But you can always search by state, for me it would be the state of Virginia or maybe even Kentucky as that is where the majority of my research has been found. So I click on the state I need, where does it take me? It takes me to a corresponding page with related links, all free of course! I’m talking about lots of records! Cemetery records, slave records, census records, military records and rosters, maps, Civil War records, WW1 and WW2 records, you name it there is probably a link for it.

Happy Hunting!

A Plumeria Gathering
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial 2012

I lost my motivation today to research family members, so I decided to write about some fun stuff for genealogists and family historians. I had to get away for the day, as I am sure most of you understand where I am coming from. Sometimes a girl just needs a break, if just to get away from it all and focus on the fun stuff! I’m not saying genealogy isn’t fun, but I just wanted to focus my energies on something a little different today.

There are so many ideas out there for the family historian, don’t you think it’s time to have a game night with your children? Dedicate one day a week, maybe even tonight, to a game night that focuses on your ancestry. You could create a word search puzzle with surnames or events that happened during that time in your ancestors life. Word searches aren’t your cup of tea? How about Ancestor Trivia? I always loved playing Trivial Pursuit with my family and learned so much and gave a lot of wrong answers to be honest. But it was fun! You could create question and answer cards in which each player has a turn asking a question about all the ancestors in your family tree. What better way than to get the children involved and maybe even spur their interest in their family’s history?

Maybe you and your family are more on the creative side, what can you think of that you could do in terms of your own family tree? You could create a collage, paint pictures, or create Christmas bulbs in which to include on your tree this year! Wouldn’t it be nice to include your ancestors of the past into your holiday celebrations? You and your children could paint a family members name and birth date on the ornament, add glitter, bows, or whatever you like to make that ornament special to that particular person. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved and they might even like it 🙂

Here are some other ideas you might like:

  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Create a Time Capsule (but in reverse)
  • Make Picture Magnets
  • Create a Tombstone Rubbing
  • Tour a Cemetery

Here are a couple of good sites I found that may give you some other ideas:





Dollar wet ground

Dollar wet ground (Photo credit: ceoln)

As I was catching up on some reading in the genealogy blogosphere, I came across an awesome article that was also a fun read. The In-Depth Genealogist blog site had an article that caught my attention and shed some light on the census records that we all use as genealogists, but just may have overlooked a certain part of the form. The article was titled, “Fun With Land and Property” by Michelle Goodrum.

In this article, she talks about the column with the dollar amounts listed under your ancestor’s real estate or personal property by utilizing an inflation calculator to determine what the value was, but in today’s dollar! I remember seeing this column on one of my own ancestors but didn’t give it much thought. Now I want to go back and check all my census records I have and use this inflation calculator to determine their wealth or lack there of. I never even thought to use this calculator but this could be of great use to the family historian and a wonderful tool.

What a great way to find out just a little bit more about your ancestry. It would give me better insight into how they lived, the value of their land, home, or personal belongings. Maybe they owned a farm, this would hopefully tell me what that property value was worth, say back in the year 1900. Comparing that value with today’s dollar amount, I could probably figure out more about their standing in the community, their lifestyle and even what their cost of living may have been during those times. It’s a wonderful approach to a side of genealogy research that I hadn’t previously thought of before. But in regards to their economic standing and the value of our dollar today, given our economic recession, I would have to take that into consideration as well. Here is the link to the article I read:

Below are a couple of links to different inflation calculators where you can try the one you like best. Compare it to your census records and find out all you can about your ancestors! This is just the tip of the iceberg! Maybe now we can figure out what those numbers really mean!!