My top 4 things I can’t live without at #RootsTech

This is my third year going to RootsTech in Salt Lake City, so I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the overall experience. But this is my first time as an Official Ambassador, which is a thrilling addition and requires some extra planning.  Part of what I’m expected to do as an Ambassador is to promote what I’m seeing and build excitement about the conference overall. So I need to have a solid plan of what my days are going to be spent doing. Today I went over which workshops I wanted to try to attend. And…

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“Valentine” CHALLENGE – #52ANCESTORS

My mother used to like to kid with me and tell me that Valentine’s Day 1965 was the worst Valentine’s Day of her life. Mom was heavily pregnant with me, her fifth child. She had horrible lower back pain. Her ankles were swollen. She had constant heartburn. She hadn’t slept well in weeks.  I was digging into her ribs and not particularly in any rush to make an appearance since I was several days late already. Mom said having a baby at age 37 was a lot different from when she had my oldest brother, Chuck, at age 24. February…

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“FAVORITE NAME” CHALLENGE – #52ANCESTORS

In 1926, Mrs. G. J. Wilkins of Atlanta Georgia wrote to the Office of Indian Affairs, “My great-grandfather on my father’s side was a full-blooded Indian with tribal relations with the Cherokees of Georgia.” Mrs. Wilkins was referring to Abraham Helton, known by his family as Young Chicken Chetiganete. He was born in 1843. He is also my 5th great-grandfather. Finding Native American ancestors is a boom for genealogists. It can be difficult to prove on paper.  It can be more difficult to prove in your DNA…even if you have the paperwork to prove it. I vaguely recall my grandmother…

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“Invite to Dinner” CHALLENGE – #52ANCESTORS

What would Hattie say? I’ve mentioned  Hattie Potter Chase before if you read my earlier blog post,  The Shameful Secret of David Edgar Chase. She was left a widow at age 45 in 1900 when her husband, David, put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger in their upstairs hallway while she was eating breakfast down below.  No one seems to know exactly why. Oh sure, I’d like to invite David to dinner and ask him that “why” question. Trust me, I would. But I can’t help thinking of Hattie in all of this. I’d like to have Hattie over…

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LONGEVITY CHALLENGE – #52ANCESTORS

My grandmother never liked to talk about her father, Charles  Comp. When I became interested in our family history when I was 15 years old,  I would ask about him when we visited her in Beavercreek, Ohio.  She would simply say that when she was 13 he disappeared. And then she would change the subject. The story we were told Various family members DID want to speak about it. They wanted answers, even if my grandmother and her sisters didn’t. It was a mystery that left my great-grandmother, grandmother and her sisters deeply affected for the rest of their lives.…

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