Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver

Thankful Thursday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that encourages us to express gratitude for a person, resource, or family history tool connected to our family history.

As usual Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings posted a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.  This week’s challenge was appropriate for Thanksgiving week.  He gave us three questions:
1.  Which ancestor are you most thankful for, and why?
2.  Which author (book, periodical, website, etc.) are you most thankful for and why?
3.  Which historical record set (paper or website) are you most thankful for and why?

A.  None of my ancestors had the courtesy to leave behind diaries and letters or any sort of paper trail that is easy to follow.  But Mary Frances Jollett Davis captured my mother’s imagination.  She was my mother’s favorite grandmother; my sister was even named for her.  Mary Frances was very proud of her Jollett heritage, and my mother was so curious about this family name that she began our venture into genealogy to answer one question:  Where did the Jolletts come from?  I am thankful for my great-grandmother because she is the reason for my research and for this blog.

B. This question is easy:  Julia Shiflett Crosswell.  When I was new to the Internet and new to genealogy, I stumbled upon Julia’s Shifflett Family Genealogy website.  Julia didn’t just give me several generations of my family; she gave me some valuable education on how to do research and how to verify information rather than just trust whatever information came my way.  She was the first person to tell me that if I wanted to know my Jolletts, I needed to look at collateral lines.  To know the Jolletts, I needed to know the Marshes, the Sampsons, the Shifletts, the Fraziers.  That led me into the most exciting time of my research when I met others online and collaborated on research.   It was through the Sunday afternoon Shiflett Chat that I met my pal Neva who has been another great source of education and inspiration.  Julia died suddenly in 2006, but her work continues under the careful guidance of Bob Klein.  I am very proud of the work that I contributed to this website.  It is truly the go-to site for all things Shiflet and related families. 

C.  As lame as it sounds, I have to say I’m most thankful for census records (especially on because it’s sooooo convenient).  If I never get the full picture of my ancestors, I at least have names and a little insight into their lives:  where they lived, what jobs they held, whether they rented or owned, whether they could read or write, and even whether they owned a radio.  Sometimes I know their neighbors and what street they lived on.   I hope for more, but I have accepted that sometimes this has to be enough. 

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all!

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