Sunday, January 10, 2016

Accentuate the Positive - Celebrating 2015!

Jill Ball who writes the blog, GeniAus, has issued her annual reminder to genealogy researchers to focus on all you have accomplished in the past year. I did this last year and really enjoyed it!  Those who participate in this challenge delete or modify the prompts depending on their personal circumstances so check out all her original ideas of things to celebrate! 

Here's a toast to 2015! It was a great year of genealogy!
On to 2016 and all the new things it will bring! 

A precious family photo I found was this picture of my grandmother, Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter (1922-2002), holding my father, Thomas Robert Carter (1939-__).

An ancestor's grave I found: I actually did more cemetery visits this year than previously. However, locating the Capen Cemetery was a highlight of my year. I knew my grandfather used to visit this small cemetery on private land. My dad lives nearby and talked to the landowners to find the cemetery and get permission to visit. 

An important record I found was the obituary for a student's father. This student had no connections to his family and knew very little about his family's story. He thought he would never be able to find anything because his father was dead and he was estranged from his mother and he had no extended family connections. Starting with his father's obituary, we were able to find 183 records and document 70 relatives. 

A geneasurprise I received was my Christmas present again! My family is sending me to NEHGS at the end of February for the Winter Research Workshop

My 2015 blog post that I was particularly proud of was One Maine Farm in 1860. The reason is that the prompt from Amy Crow inspired me to dig deeper into the agricultural schedule of the census and gain a greater understanding of what life was actually like for my ancestors. 

My 2015 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was Five Daughters Suddenly Gone. I think many people related to it because of similar family stories of hardship and loss in their own trees. 

A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Facebook. Genealogists and bloggers especially are a great group. I enjoy all that is shared - personal stories of everyday life and the challenges of fitting our passion for research around the other demands of life, struggles and successes of research, tips and hints, and many great ancestor stories. 

A genealogy conference I attended and gained much from was NERGC 2015 in April. I saw great speakers, got to meet D. Joshua Taylor, Carol McCoy, and Judy Russell, and connected with many of those I "see" online. 

I am proud of the presentation email interviews I did for NERGC 2015. I was fortunate to get responses from two excellent presenters, D. Joshua Taylor and Casey Zahn.

I taught a friend a group of my students how to research their ancestors. You can read about their findings on my blog here.

A great repository/archive/library I visited was The New England Historical and Genealogical Society. It was an unexpected visit that came about when a school group needed another chaperone for the train trip to Boston. Just ride the train and the day in Boston was mine to do with what I pleased. I chose to spend it at NEHGS. 

A new genealogy/history book I am enjoying is The Great Migration Directory by Robert Charles Anderson. 

It was exciting to finally meet the New England Geneabloggers who attended the bash in September. It was a renewing of acquaintances with most. However, I had not met Pam Seavey Schaffner or Barbara Mathews in person until the bash. It was the first time I was able to attend and I look forward to more meetings in the future. 
Photographer: Vincent Rojo

A geneadventure I enjoyed was a road trip to Massachusetts in June. In one day, my husband and I visited The Balch Housethe Saugus Iron Worksthe Golgotha Memorial in Amesbury, and the Old Newbury Burying Ground and Founders Memorial

Another positive I would like to share is I am looking forward to making more connections with other genealogists and bloggers in 2016. I am going to work on Dear Myrtle's Finally Get Organized Challenge and Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over.  

A big thank you to Jill Ball for this annual tradition! 
Jill Ball's blog, GeniAus Accentuate the Positive Challenge


  1. Thank you Pam and congrats on a fab year. Isn't is great to bask in the glory of your geneatriumphs.

  2. I enjoyed this post and hope 2016 will be another great year of discoveries. I'll have to remember your February visit to NEHGS, maybe we can meet.