Monday, November 28, 2016

Mystery Monday: Heirloom Archaeology - Connecting Family to a Vintage Photo Album

(Courtesy of Chris Hodge)


Heirloom Archaeology finds lost family heirlooms, and through research, returns these precious family artifacts back to their rightful owners. Chris Hodge, owner of Heirloom Archaeology is on a mission to do just that!

His most recent discovery is in the form of a photo album he purchased from an online dealer in Maine. This discovery encompasses a collection of photos which dates back to the late 1800's. The surnames of those photographed include: COLE; LOWELL; YOUNG; SPOFFORD; NEWELL; AUSTIN; CUMMINGS; TURNER; KEITH; and GOODWIN. The mystery is "Where are the living descendants to the people in these photographs?" Like many of us, Chris shares a passion for family history and has set out to unite the living relatives with their respective family photos. Additional details of this story can be found on Heirloom Archaeology's Facebook page. If you are related to these families or have additional information to lend to this research, you can contact Chris at chris@heirloomarchaeology.com.

Happy searching! :-)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Share a Memory!


My family and I are gathering to remember my mother as we approach a milestone anniversary of her passing. It’s hard to believe so much time has gone by, because in my mind it’s still as real as yesterday. Over time we’ve been able to look back without so much sadness but there are those times where that longing for her is so strong. It’s important to keep her memory alive, so remembering her life and sharing her life with her descendants is a great way to do just that.

My mother had a boombox (yes, boombox) that I keep in the house. I hardly ever play it – I guess it’s just there for sentimental reasons – and decoration! I can remember one of my nieces who was about five years old at the time asked if she could have it. I explained to her that she could not because it belonged to my mother and now it is mine. She continued to argue her case as to why I should give her the boombox. I don’t remember everything she said but she ended with something along the lines of “And because I knew her too, she would want me to have it.”

I had to explain to her that she did not know my mother – they never met because my niece had not yet been born. She only thought she knew her because she had heard stories about her. She continued to argue that she had met her before. She went on to tell me all kinds of things about her - even her name and describing what she looked like. The kid was so convincing she had me double checking my math...LOL! I couldn’t help but laugh and thought how nice it was for my sister to talk to her about our mom. Whatever she took away from that conversation, she was convinced that she knew her! By the way, she still did not get the boombox!

It’s great when you can know things about your ancestors and don’t really have to wonder what they looked like, what kinds of things they liked, etc. They are blessed to have people who can give them a firsthand account of her life. So tonight we’re having a memorial dinner to remember my mother and share our memories about her.

If you’re looking for a fun way to keep the memory of your loved one alive, this is a great idea! We may shed some tears but the memory of this gathering is not to be sad, but to fondly remember. I’ll prepare dinner and I’ve picked up a few of her favorite snacks to share with everyone. I also have sheets of paper where each person can write down a memory and we can exchange and read them; I especially like sharing a memory because someone may remember something that you may have forgotten and vice versa. It will be great to have everyone share their stories and to share with the younger generations.

Remember, the conversation of family history can begin with one shared memory!


Happy sharing! :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

That's MY ____________!!!!!!



We've all been in a position where we have been extremely proud of a family member - at a graduation, a performance, a sporting event, or whether they were recognized for some other notable achievement. People shout out things like "That's MY baby!" or "That's MY sister!" so forth and so on. I've done it too. In our eyes they have done something so magnificent, that we want to sing the praises of our family member to the world.

This also applies to our ancestors! Many of you can relate that doing genealogy is such an emotional journey! You began to learn all about your ancestors. They become so real that you can feel the highs and lows of their life's story. Oftentimes, there is always that one ancestor who stands out as our favorite or most fascinating. I have one - he's my 2x Great Uncle! His accomplishments may not be a big deal to some, but they are major to me. "That's MY Uncle" and I want everyone to know! I hope to share some of his story tomorrow for Family Friday!

Who is your favorite ancestor? I encourage you to share their story tomorrow also! Remember to use #FamilyFriday and #ThatsMY*insert relation* when posting!

Happy Sharing! :-)



Thursday, October 20, 2016

Madam Ancestry is taking a break...but I'll be back soon! 11/1/16 to be exact! :-)



Hey everybody! There has been A LOT going on in the past few months - some good, some not so good. With that being said, I have decided to take a little break. Because of my love for genealogy and my love for my GenFriends, I can't stay away too long - so I'll be back in full swing on 11/1/16. I just need this short break to clear my mind and regroup. Please know that I have tons of things to share when I do come back! What this means is that I will not be responding to phone, email, or any social media posts until 11/1/16. Client work is also on pause until that time.

Thank you for understanding and allowing me this time to become better!

We'll talk soon! :-)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Grandparents Day - Sunday, September 11, 2016


I was looking for a cool graphic to promote Grandparents Day, and this one that I found (on the app Typorama) stopped me in my tracks. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this picture brings many words to mind. One word in particular that sticks out in my mind is nostalgia. To me, this picture depicts grandparents who look like they are about to ride off into the sunset. Something about the setting of the picture makes me want to hold on to them, memories of them, and to hear so many of the stories they possess.

Grandparents Day was founded by Marian McQuade to recognize the contributions of seniors. This year, Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 11, 2016. Grandparents are the foundation of a family. Doubtless, they’re the reason why your family upholds many dear traditions to this day.

I’ve never had the grandparent experience and it’s something that I’ve always wished I could’ve experienced. All of my grandparents passed away early on in my life. I remember them but I do not have memories of them (if that makes any sense). I think it would’ve been fun to bake cookies together, go to the park or a museum, or have them teach me something cool. I often hear stories about how good of a cook my paternal grandmother was. I wish I could taste some of those cakes and pies – or least have been able to ask for a recipe (smile)! I wish I could ask them about their lives or what my parents were like when they were little. I think I’d always let them know how important they are. Even though I never really got to know them, I still feel as though they are important to me.

I urge you to take time on Grandparents Day and let your grandparents know how important they are, because if you still have them, your family is blessed. Make the most of making memories with them. Sit down and tell them about your life or have them tell you about theirs. Indulge them in something they would like to do - maybe even help them prepare their favorite meal.  

Most importantly, get family history! Let me say that a little louder, GET FAMILY HISTORY! Capture their family stories and advice while you can, because just like the people in the picture, once they ride off into the sunset, they’re gone. It will do them good to share and to know that you actually take an interest in what they have to say.

And if you’re like me and don’t have any grandparents around, find the oldest person in your family, or an elderly neighbor, or even visit a nursing home. There are so many elderly people in nursing homes who have no one checking on them. I’m sure it would put a smile on their face to see and talk to you, or even bring them a nice card.


Happy Grandparents Day!  

Friday, August 5, 2016

My First Book Review: Going Over Home



Those of us who do genealogy are fascinated by the lives of our ancestors and the stories that surround each of their lives. I've had the pleasure to read Going Over Home - the first book in the Wayfaring Sisters Series, written by Katie Andrews Potter. I'm excited to have been invited to write a review for it! I absolutely love stories about families and somehow always feel connected to the events and characters of each story. 

"Going Over Home is a story that many of us can relate to as we follow Maddox "Maddie" Fox (the main character of the story), on her journey to learn about her family's history. Maddie was always curious about where her family came from and knew there was more to it than what she was being told. With the help of her sister and roommate, she slowly uncovers family secrets and begins to connect the dots. Things that were vaguely familiar to her, soon become more keen to her memory; and a surprising chain of events leads her to discover some unlikely family connections! As Maddie sets out for answers, she gets more than she bargained for when she realizes that the outcome of her family's past - and future - rests on her shoulders. Maddie soon finds herself in a race against time as she struggles whether to enjoy the only life she's ever known or walk the path of her ancestors to preserve the fate of her family! This story will take you on a blast to the past - literally! Thrills, chills, suspense, and love - this story captures it all and will leave you feeling like part of the family! I can't wait to read the other books in this series!"

- Madam Ancestry 


Check out Katie's bio below to learn more about her and to get information on how to order these great books! 


About the Author
Katie Andrews Potter

Katie Andrews Potter is a 9th generation Hoosier and has been a genealogist since she was 16. She has her degree in Elementary Education and has always enjoyed writing for children. She is currently pursuing her Master's in American History and a certificate in Genealogical Studies-American Records at NIGS. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Ben, and their two children, Eliana and Micah, who she homeschools. Katie writes for The In-Depth Genealogist, and is soon launching a blog entitled Storybook Ancestor, which will focus on encouraging parents and their children to delve into their family history and write their ancestors' stories. Her personal genealogy blog is www.goinoverhome.blogspot.com.

Going Over Home is the first book in The Wayfaring Sisters Series. Each book follows a different member of the Fox family. Going Over Home follows Maddie, and the second book, Going Over Jordan, released in 2015, follows Ellie. 

Katie is currently writing the third book, Wayfaring, centered around Carrie. The books are set in present and pioneer Indiana, and were inspired by Katie's love for genealogy and Indiana history. Katie's books can be found on Amazon.









Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Join My Book Club!



Hey everybody! I thought it would be cool to launch a book club this month! The way this book club works is that we'll share some of our favorite genealogy books/resources each week. I'm sure we all have resources that we utilize that can be helpful to others who are researching. I'll be posting my favorites each week on my Facebook page and also encourage you to post your favorites. Make sure you're following my page so that you can get all the updates!

Happy researching :-)