Category Archives: Geneameme

Jill Ball’s Accentuate The Positive Geneameme 2021

I always love geneamemes popping up, so was very pleased to see Jill Ball’s 2021 Accentuate the Positive questions appear.
Here are my answers:
1. I got the most joy from: completing my one-place study of St. Dimitry’s Church of Udol & Hajtovka, Slovakia, the ancestral home of my paternal grandmother, Julia Scerbak Sabo. So many of those families emigrated to Passaic, New jersey and founded what is today the Cathedral of St Michael the Archangel, a Byzantine Catholic church.
2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to: sit and focus on completing the project described in Question 1 and to complete my U.S. digitized county histories project.
3. I managed to attend a face to face event at: nowhere, as my local societies are 100% virtual and we haven’t ventured far from home.
4. My main focus this year was on: my two long-term projects, as I spent  6 months in total, full time 7 days a week on them.
5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was: certainly not mastered by any stretch of the imagination, but I learned just enough of the Cyrillic alphabet to decipher most of the church entries from 1851-1857 in my St. Dimitry’s Church project.
6. A geneasurprise I received was: Santa brought me a book I had wanted for a while – Andy Warhol’s Religious and Ethnic Roots: The Carpatho-Rusyn Influence on his Art.
7.  A Facebook Group that helped me was: I don’t use Facebook very often.
8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was: Aside from my blog, I don’t use social media.
9.  A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was:  The White Ship by Charles Spencer, detailing English history, both pre-and post-reign of Henry I.

10. I was impressed by: both the Texas Genealogical Society state conference and the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society’s annual conference. Both used a virtual event platform I’d never heard of – Whova. It made communicating with other attendees both easy and fun. There were numerous chat threads and participants could start as many new threads as they liked. I learned a lot at both virtual conferences because of this format.

11.  A great journal or newspaper article I found was: The English Origins of Walter Tybbot, of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and His Wives and Daughters by Chase W. Ashley in the current issue of The Register (NEHGS). I love when scholarly articles about my ancestors pop up in journals! I feel very fortunate when they do.

12. I got the most value from this subscription: AmericanAncestor.org For anyone with early New England roots, it is invaluable.
13. I progressed my DNA research with:  one of my husband’s cousins, as we figured out where yet another surprise relative fits in the family tree.
14. I taught a genimate how to: navigate the FamilySearch catalog.

15.  A blog post that taught me something new was: No single post pops into my head, but there are a number of bloggers whose posts I learn from: Genea-Musings, Climbing My Family Tree, The Legal Genealogist, Genealogy Jude, DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy, A Family Tapestry, Writing My Past, Fortify Your Family Tree, Genealogy Pants and more. I know I am leaving out some favorites!

16. A DNA discovery I made was: None, as I’ve yet to find anyone closer than 3rd cousin who I can’t identify.

17. A newly found family member shared: No new family contacts this year.

18. I finally found ……… six feet under: Over the years, I’ve tried to find elementary school classmates who grew up with me in Passaic. I found one this year, as their family attended St. Michael’s Church. There were six siblings and the eldest was my age. We were in the same class up to 6th grade. I was quite surprised to learn that this child was a stepchild and the siblings were actually half siblings AND that this classmate, aged 15, changed their surname to that of the birth father. This family always seemed so close, so the surname change, especially in the middle of high school, would seem to indicate some family stress. Even more sad was learning this classmate passed away in 2007 – way too young.

19. I splashed out and purchased: a last minute registration (at full, expensive price!) to the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society’s virtual conference. I learned a lot and, now that I am aware of this conference, I’ll register for the Early Bird price in the future!

20. Another positive I would like to share is: It’s been a good year for genealogy, the best thing about 2021. May 2022 not only bring more genealogical successes, but also worldwide recovery from this pandemic.

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2020

Australian blogger Jill Ball has challenged us all to take part in her end-of-year 2020 geneameme.

Here are my answers:

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was – not one, but two, sons of my New Brunswick, Canada Loyalist Robert Carlisle. Robert Jr. and Daniel migrated westward and settled in Kent, Ontario, Canada.

2.  A great newspaper article I found was – the obituary of my grandfather, George Sabo, who died on 27 November 1936. I had to wait for the Passaic Herald News to be added to a digital collection to access it!

3.  A geneajourney I planned but didn’t take was – a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

4.  I located an important record – No single record pops into mind. I found many important records on various family lines in 2020.

5.  A newly found family member shared – several distant cousins added lots of knowledge and background information to people in the family tree.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was – a heartfelt email from the descendant of a person in one of the vintage photos I save and send back home to family. He had never seen a photo of his great grandfather AND his sons have now started working on the family history after seeing the picture of their 2X great grandfather. It is the best feeling in the world to know that someone now has an original photo of his/her ancestor that I was able to save and gift to them.

7.   My 2020 social media post that I was particularly proud of was – keeping up with all my blog posts. I don’t do much else on social media.

8.   I made a new geneamate who – with the pandemic, no new geneamates, but made contact with some distant cousins.

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was – Gutenberg blocks for WordPress. Definitely NOT mastered, but I dabbled.

10. I joined – the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists because I have so many family lines there.

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was – the Kentucky Genealogical Society’s virtual conference. Peggy Clemons Lauritzen did a FABULOUS talk on how ancestors got where they did. Best talk I’ve heard in ages!

12. A blog post that taught me something new was – I can’t choose just one. My favorite blog posts are those where the writer explains the methodology used to solve problems.

13. A DNA discovery I made was – that my Catherine (MNU) Carlisle is NOT a child of a man who never existed – Lt. John R. Starkey.

14. I taught a genimate how to – track down church records for recent family members. She is a distant cousin and a genea-newbie.

15. A brick wall I demolished was – finding Robert Carlisle’s two sons, mentioned in Question #1.

16. A great site I visited was – Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Canada.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was – Calais (Maine) Centennial, July 31st, 1909, compiled by the St. Croix Historical Society. My family was already in Calais by the 1830s – even my mother was born there a century later! My grandparents were small children in 1909 and I am sure they attended the parade. Lots of photos and stories, along with speeches, gave me a real feeling of the celebration that took place that day.

18. Zoom gave me an opportunity to – participate in my California chapter DAR meetings from Tucson.

19. I am excited for 2021 because – I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but I don’t see 2021 being any better than 2020 until millions more people get vaccinated. As of today, COVID numbers are horrific. Arizona currently has the highest infection rate per 100,000 in the world. I feel blessed that I am retired at home, that I have a fun hobby like genealogy to keep me busy and that my family and friends have remained healthy. I wish the same health and safety for everyone else, wherever they might live.

20. Another positive I would like to share is – the pandemic will eventually end! In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy, wear a mask and practice social distancing when around other people.

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019

I love geneamemes and was thrilled to see that Jill Ball has shared her Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019. I’m a couple of days late getting to the party, but as my mom used to say, better late than never.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was: Robert Stewart/Stuart, who married Eliza Grass in Washington County, Maine. I suspected that he either moved across the border into Canada and/or died fairly young. I was right on both counts!

2.  A great newspaper article I found was: the Passaic Herald News in New Jersey. It has been digitized, FINALLY, and during a free access weekend, I was able to save over 100 articles and images relating to my family and our life in Passaic.

3.  A geneajourney I took was: to Salt Lake City to RootsTech 2019. Three friends came along with me this year, which made the trip even more fun:

4.  I located an important record: This is a difficult one, but I’d have to say piecing together the life of Rebecca Blackman in the 1700s in Stoughton, Massachusetts led me to the unindexed town records, which were invaluable in building my case.

5.  A newly found family member shared: No newly found family members shared anything.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was: from GeneaSanta who brought me a great book – The Lost World of Subcarpathian Rus’ in the Photographs of Rudolf Hulka (1887-1961). My father’s side of the family were Carpatho-Rusyn. This book has 200 photos documenting the daily lives of Rusyn people in the early 20th century, which is the time period in which my Nana lived in Slovakia.

7.   My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was: I’m not into social media much and even deleted my Pinterest account this year.

8.   I made a new genimate who: not only loves to takes cruises (like Dave and me), but has jumped into genealogy research with both feet in spite of some DNA surprises.

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was: navigating my blog dashboard on the site of my hosting company.

10. I joined: the Sun City Vistoso Genealogical Society and am now trained to monitor to the room and have volunteered to mentor members.

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was: the New England Historic Genealogical Society seminar held in Phoenix, Arizona last February.

12. A blog post that taught me something new was: many of those written by Roberta Estes on DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy. Her posts are lengthy, but packed full of information about using DNA and excellent methodology as she writes about her ancestors.

13. A DNA discovery I made was: that my husband has only one Y-DNA match at a genetic distance of 7 (!!!) in spite of taking the 111 marker test.

14. I taught a genimate how to: expand his research horizon to include tax records, land deeds and court minutes to find needed information.

15. A brick wall I demolished was: identifying the second wife of John Spur (died 1781, Massachusetts) as Rebecca BLACKMAN, although through preponderance of evidence and no conflicting documentation.

16. A great site I visited was: the Nova Scotia Archives and even had an opportunity to visit Halifax in person last fall.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was: Lost Lives New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar 1650 by Christopher Gerrard, Pam Graves, Andrew Millard, Richard Annis and Anwen Caffell. I have a handful of Scottish ancestors arriving in Massachusetts c1650s and have learned more about the conflicts at home that brought them to the decision to migrate – voluntarily or not – to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

18. It was exciting to finally meet: unfortunately, no one new this year!

19. I am excited for 2020 because: the National Genealogical Society conference is finally going to be far enough west this year for me to attend. It is being held in May in Salt Lake City. 🙂

20. Another positive I would like to share is: Blogging is not only a lot of fun, it is an excellent way to make new geneabuddies AND meet new distant cousins. Many of the comments I get on my posts are from descendants of my ancestors. Try it, you’ll like it!

Many thanks to Jill Ball for bringing back her Accentuate the Positive geneameme.