Tuesday, July 2, 2019

This is What I Have Been Waiting For!

I have been given a wonderful gift!

This past Saturday, I was a presenter at a Family History Day at Cleveland Public Library.

My genealogy colleague and friend, Sunny Jane Morton also happened to be speaking, and pulled me aside to show me something.

I was gobsmacked!

Sunny had been updating me on a book that she was co-authoring with Harold A. Henderson, and told me it would be released this summer.

And, it is a book that is definitely needed in the genealogy community!
That's right!

It's a book on finding your family's history using Church Records.

Now, why would this be so needed, especially when current polls point to a downward turn in religion?

Because, our families relied on churches to anchor them and their families, and to turn to for comfort when times became bad for them.

I have taught a Church Records course with the Rev. David McDonald at GRIP, and I wish there had been something like this to help me as I put together my presentations. There have been so many divisions and break-offs from core religions that it can be difficult to trace what you may need back to its original beginnings.

This book can help you do that.

It covers the major American religions, and what you may expect to find as you search their records. To quote from Chapter 1, "What's In Church Records?", just look at what you may find when you delve into denominational records?

  • Births
  • Relative's names
  • National origin or ethnicity
  • Baptisms
  • Confirmations
  • Marriages
  • Memberships and migrations
  • Deaths, funerals, and burials
And, these are just snippets of what you will find throughout the book.

This is a one-stop place for researching all of these religious denominations that would have you going from place to place on the internet.

I commend Sunny and Harold for writing this book. And, I am really grateful for the advance copy Sunny presented to me as a surprise. I had classes ahead of me to teach that day, and the only thing I wanted to do was go into a corner and peruse this book.

This book belongs in any serious researcher's toolkit, and will be kept within arm's reach at my own desk.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A New Chapter in My Life

There have been a few people who have figured out why I am in Salt Lake City for two weeks.
I am now part of the Ancestry ProGenealogists team!
This decision did not come easy. After one of my presentations at #RootsTechfour years ago, I was approached by one of the founders, who gave me his card, telling me to contact him if I ever wanted work.
But, it would have meant moving to Utah.
So, time kept moving forward. I saw on their FB page they were looking for specialists in southern research. I clicked, filled out a couple of lines, decided no, and backed out of it.
Then, I received an email. Then, a phone call.
After about 2 1/2 months, I decided this would be a very good thing. And, I said yes. And, it's all because I can do it remotely from Ohio.
My first day was Monday at the headquarters in Lehi. That whole area is undergoing tremendous technology growth. It is lovingly called "The Silicon Slopes".
The moment I walked in, I was greeted by people calling out "Hello, Peggy!" How in the world did they know me. Even the man grilling chicken in the cafeteria knew me.
Today, my training was in SLC, and it continued to be wonderful and thorough. Again, people were calling out their greetings to me like they knew me. I met many friends I hadn''t seen in awhile, and some I only knew from FB.
And, Mr. Kerry has totally supported me in every move I have made. He made it clear this was my decision to make, and that no matter what I decided, he was behind me all the way.
Now, will I still continue to do presentations at conferences and teach at institutes? Yes. I will still do webinars. It will come down some. For instance, I did 73 last year. This year I will do 53, and am not apt to accept any more for this current year...unless you beg. I don't think I have to worry about that.
The people here are wonderful, and they treat each other well. As a new employee, they have made me feel welcome and valued.
I happened to ask why in the world they would ever want someone like me at my age. He said, "You are exactly what we want. Many people today only know how to research using technology. But, you have been in the trenches of cemeteries, courthouses, libraries, and archives."
So, I am beginning a new chapter in my life. It took me awhile to make the decision, and I dragged my feet a bit.
But for now, it's the right thing.

 Ancestry Headquarters, Lehi, UT

 Ancestry ProGenealogists Headquarters, SLC, UT

 Ancestry ProGenealogists Front Desk, SLC, UT

 New Employee Strategic Training, SLC, UT


Our Mascot, SLC, UT

Friday, January 18, 2019

Gifts for the Russians

I have decided something. I have decided that people from other countries are much more giving than I am. I need to work on this.

In 2005, Kerry and I went to Russia to be with Erik Lauritzen at the end of his mission. As we were getting all of the visas, passports, and everything else we would need in place, our travel agent suggested we take gifts with us to give to the Russian people, for they would be giving them to us.

I had no idea what to take. I heard that they love Levi jeans, but I couldn't pack up a suitcase full of them, not knowing the size of anyone.

I tried to think of something "American", and my mind was blank.

Finally, the agent suggested something that the Russian people love that they can't get in Russia -- Lawry's Seasoned Salt and Kool-aid.


She assured me they would be loved by the many people we saw. So, I went to Big Lots, and loaded up my cart with as many as I could find. Then, off we went.

They we were warm and welcoming. And, as we would leave each home, we exchanged our gifts. I gave them salt and Kool-aid. They gave me Russian nesting dolls, hand-carved boxes, handmade lace, tablecloths, crystal bowls, fur hats, etc.

I was mortified!

But, they really did love my gifts. They would open the salt, take a whiff, and just moan. They made the Kool-aid, not even adding sugar, and drank it with gusto! Their version of the drink was using what was left in the bottom of a jam/jelly glass, and adding water to it.

Today I received a beautiful gift, and I am always stymied at what I can do in return.

Salt and Kool-aid just seems to lame...

What we gave...

What we got...