I started researching my Family Tree when I was in high school for 4-H. So, I’ve been researching for about 18 years. I remember my grandma asking me, “Why I wanted to do it?” I loved history and learning about my family. It is amazing how much time has changed and that much of the information is digital and viewable on the internet. These past few years have been very rewarding. There still is alot of information that needs to be made digital but we are getting there.
It was very rewarding when I found my 3rd great grandpa Stephens and family in northern Illinois. We thought they were in southern Illinois. I found him by accident because I tried different spellings of STEPHENS. That particular time it was recorded as “STEAPHENS” and other times it was recorded as “STEVENS.” Now, I just need to find his illusive parents names.
I have several family ancestors with the same last names on both my mom and dad’s side or both grandparent’s but I have yet to prove they are related. The migration routes have been different. A few of them are STEPHENS/STEVENS, STAFFORD, and WARD.
A little here a little there is all the information that I might find at a given time. I just keep adding more documentation as it becomes available and my source list has become longer. A few years ago I started using a blog to document so other people could find the information. It has helped me keep track of everything a little better. I also have the blog app on my smart phone so I can document my thoughts on the go or when I’m feeding my new son at 4 in the morning. (I started writing this entry a couple weeks after he was born). I also use Ancestry to build my tree since that part is free. Ancestry also has the free app for the smart phone and is useful for lookups on the go and adding basic info on the go.
I had the blogs divided into several family names but a year ago I decided to downsize the blogs and narrowed it down to 4 on my side and 2 on Jarett’s side.
I’ve been to many cemeteries, libraries, board of health departments, and talked to many family members. I have enjoyed when I’ve been able to get family photos.
I’ve been looking at different Genealogy blogs lately and thinking I am missing a lot of information or stories from my grandparents. I need to record and document more than vital statistics. That is the information I am missing. I need more than the names on the photographs.