Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dear Genea-Santa

I am a bit behind on blog posts as I was lucky enough to spend most of last week at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and am now trying to madly catch up with everything back at home.

Randy Seaver’s weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge was to write a letter to Genea-Santa. Elizabeth O’Neal’s Genealogy Blog Party happens to have the same topic this month. I don’t usually use one post for two separate challenges, but this month, I’m making an exception. I’ve seen several post titles of those who have written their letters and I purposely haven’t read any of them and won’t until I write my own.

Source:; Public Domain

Dear Genea-Santa,

I’ve been doing this genealogy research stuff for a long time – 36 years and counting – and I’ve made many terrific finds along the way. The problem is that there is no end to the possibilities of future discoveries as each ancestor had two parents and today’s technology is making so many records accessible online. It’s really hard limiting my list.

Have I been naughty or nice you ask? I think I’ve been nice. I try to give back to the genealogy community. I teach a genealogy class once a month to a group of dedicated newcomers. I’ve answered queries and requests for help in Facebook groups. I know I’m very lucky to be able to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake a couple of times each year. When I do visit, I ask the ladies in my group if they would like me to look up a request or two that can’t be retrieved online. I’ve even had some of my blog readers leave comments/requests and I’ve helped each of them as much as I could. I’ve always been of the mind that genealogy is to be shared and I’ve freely shared my research. Yes, I do think I’ve been nice this year.

So, what is on my wish list for Christmas 2016? Well, some of my requests are tangible and you could deliver right down my chimney, but for other requests, you’d have to work some real magic!

  1. Mitochondrial DNA test – I haven’t dabbled in DNA testing at all, but a DNA test tracing my mother’s mother’s mother’s etc. line back through time does pique my interest. I believe it would clearly point to Scandinavia, but could also tell me if my ancestors originated from somewhere else way back in time.
  2. Subscription to ArchivDigital – I am determined to discover when Anders Molin died and where he was buried. Anders was born in 1737 in Ystaad, Sweden, on the southern coast. He and his wife and children lived in several villages a bit north of Ystaad, until they separated about 1785. Anders was last found on a tax list in Marstrand, Sweden in 1786. That is over 200 miles from the region where he had always lived. Being a master mason and having sons, I would think the value of his tools alone would trigger a probate, but it is taking a probate court by probate court search of the whole country. A one year subscription to Arkiv Digital would allow me to search all of those hundreds of courts.
  3. Church Parish Registers – for Udol, Hajtovka, Ruska Nova Mes and Vysna Sebastova in Slovakia that pre-date 1825. My ancestors were all poor peasant farmers there and I would dearly love for some earlier church records to be found.
  4. Copies of land deeds discussed, but not cited, by a now deceased genealogy cousin, which he said proved the children of Francis Sturgill and Rebecca Hash, who lived on the frontier border of Virginia and North Carolina, which is partly today Ashe County, North Carolina and Grayson County, Virginia. I have looked and looked and can’t find any deed naming even one of their dozen children!
  5. I’m almost to the bottom of my list, Santa, I promise. I would really, really love it if you would smash through a couple of brick walls. Any brick walls will do – there are lots to choose from like the origins of pre-Loyalist Benjamin Brawn of Maugerville, New Brunswick, Canada, the maiden name of the wife of Loyalist Robert Carlisle, proving that William Sturgell/Sturgion is the father of Isaac Sturgell, identifying the family of Ephraim Thompson, who died in Howard County, Missouri in 1847, untangling Dave’s Riddle family before the unfortunate William Riddle, hung as a Tory during the American Revolution and, well, you get the idea. Toppling any of those walls would make this genealogist very, very happy.
  6. Last, but definitely not least, Santa, please bring health and happiness to my family and friends and genea-buddies around the world in 2017.

Thanks, Genea-Santa!

7 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dear Genea-Santa”

  1. If Genea-Santa grants wishes then I really hope your DNA test helps you with your mother’s family tree. Don’t forget to ask Santa to help you interpret the nuances of your areas of orgin 🙂

  2. A lovely letter – and such reasonable requests! There’s so much we need as genealogists – I guess we just have to tackle one problem at a time. As Anne Lamott says, “bird by bird”…

  3. Your specific list impresses me. It reminds me I need to write out some research goals so I stop jumping from place to place. Health and happiness to you and yours, as well. 🙂

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