Category Archives: Geneameme

Accentuate the Positive 2022!

What a great way to end a genealogy year with Jill Ball’s GeniAus Accentuate the Positive 2022 geneameme! I look forward to this every year.

Here are the questions with my answers:

Remember to Accentuate the Positive

(Please delete the items that are not relevant to your situation.)

1. I was happy to start back up Anquestors, the local genealogy group that I teach months after a Covid absence of 26 months.

2. In 2022 I was particularly proud of writing up and posting family surname sketches for all the Rusyn surnames found in Udol, Slovakia church records. The posts aren’t very interesting for most people because they are abstracted church records, but they will be invaluable for descendants researching the families who attended St. Dimitry’s Church, serving both Udol and Hajtovka, Slovakia from the 1820s to early 1900s.
3. A new software package or web application I embraced – well I haven’t exactly embraced it yet – but I finally downloaded is RootsMagic 8 and I plan to import RM7 gedcoms when I finish my family tree clean up project.
4.  My sledge hammer did great work on this brick wall . . .there wasn’t really any single brick wall that came down. However, I was successful at piecing together more of the stories of my Wilson family from Campobello Island, Canada and several of my husband’s Scots Irish families who migrated from the Carolinas to Tennessee and Kentucky.
5. A new genealogy/history book that sparked my interest was Hunky by Nicholas Stevensson Karas, an historical fiction book about the lives of Rusyn immigrants to America. I can imagine my grandparents and their families and what they went through assimilating to a very new life.
6. A geneasurprise I received was  – thanks from three recipients of my re-homed vintage photos and postcards that went back to descendants of the original owners. Hearing how thrilled these people are absolutely makes my day. The most recent was a Christmas card that came a week ago thanking me for her grandmother’s photo.
7.  In 2022 I finally virtually met a number of new Rusyn friends. I even met the cousin of my 7th grade science teacher. I had no idea she was Rusyn.
8.  Locating  the Augusta, Maine state hospital records of William Tarbox online gave me great joy, even though it was a very sad end to the last 20 days of his life.
9.  I am pleased the Covid situation caused me to change my travels. As much as I love to see the world, it’s been a wonderful respite being at home. I have plenty to keep me busy every day.

10. I progressed my DNA research by not much. I just don’t get any close matches and have solved no family tree mysteries this way. I’ve taken both the autosomal and mtDNA tests and my husband has taken those plus Y-DNA.

11.  An informative  journal or newspaper article I found was, in general, The American Genealogist, a scholarly publication with excellently researched genealogical and historical information.

12. I was pleased I could contribute to/answer questions from several distant cousins needing research help and/or clarifications for “facts” they had found. I always answer blog commenters or people who email me directly within a timely manner – a few days – whether I feel I can help or not. There’s nothing worse than being ignored when genealogy questions are asked, so I always respond.
13.  I’m not a techie person and sometimes need help fixing tech issues. My blog host, Site Ground, taught me how to fix small issues that appeared after plug in updates. That’s a huge achievement for me!
14. I got a thrill from opening someone’s eyes to the joy of genealogy by returning those old photos and postcards to family members. One man said it has totally gotten his sons into wanting to learn more about the family history.

15. The best value I got for my genealogy dollars was Jill Morelli’s Advance Swedish methods class on the relatively new Applied Genealogy Institute.

16. A DNA discovery I made was – well, my husband’s cousin actually figured out how a pretty close DNA match with a young lady fit into our family trees. It was a NPE with a long deceased person in the 20th century.

17. I enjoyed my first post Covid face to face event because Anquestors (see Question #1) members had a great time catching up. We had not gone virtual, so it was a lot of fun meeting in person.

18. A fabulous event I attended was the virtual RootsTech 2022 conference. I had the opportunity to hear many new speakers and the variety of topics was broad.

19. I’m happy I splashed out and purchased both a new desktop and a new laptop computer. With some great Black Friday offers, my slower than molasses laptop was replaced and my desktop, which crashed last month (but started up again, thank goodness, has also been replaced. We’re in the midst of moving everything over to the new technology.

 19. I got the most joy from sending those photos and postcards to descendants. I know I sound like a broken record, but it warms my heart to see these family mementos returned to descendants.

20. Another positive I would like to share is that many brick walls aren’t really true brick walls, just stumbling blocks. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE research possibilities and you might be surprised at how many unexpected answers you will find.
Thank you, Jill Ball, for creating this fun 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: 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.