Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010 through the rearview & a blogiversary

Tiramisu's the traditional 1st (wedding) anniversary dessert, right?  Divina Cucina, Montrose, CA, 2010.
Happy New Year & Happy Blogiversary to me!

Thought I'd check back in after taking time off during the holidays.  It's my second blogiversary, though I only have blogged with any regularity for the last year.  I'm still here, still doing genealogy, still mentally composing blog posts while driving (making the title apropos), washing dishes (often while listening to a genealogy podcast), or doing other non-genealogical pursuits.  But since my brain doesn't have Wi-Fi, I thought it might help if I got back to the keyboard.  So here are some memorable moments from the past year, (mostly) genealogically speaking:

• Receiving the inaugural Rose Blogger award from a researcher I admire, Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, in January, was a big highlight of my entire year, and wonderful encouragement for a fledgling blogger.  Other blogger-to-blogger awards were fun boosts & appreciated reminders that I am actually read and even occasionally pondered.  Cool!

Dad & me, college graduation, Sulphur, LA, 1989
• My dad's death later that month was certainly the most difficult part of the year, but honoring his life, military service and joie de vivre through my blog has been therapeutic.  I've been mostly private about expressing grief, but I'm proud to be his daughter and I hope that shows in what I have shared about him.  A quiet "thank you" to fellow geneabloggers who wrote about their own losses this year; in sharing your grief, you reminded me I wasn't alone.

• I met a "new" (to me) cousin, who found me due to a blog post about Pie Day in Scott, Louisiana. Andre lives not far from me here in Southern California.  We had a lovely brunch on the beach and have become fast Facebook friends.  I keep threatening to hook her on genealogy, and I need to follow up on that soon with a library visit.  We're 2nd cousins twice removed through the Légère family, which sounds distant, but we're not terribly far apart in age (OK, I'm older), know some of the same relatives and have similar food cravings, being fellow "Cajun expatriates" out here on the Left Coast.
"New" cousin Andre Arceneaux & me, Hermosa Beach, CA, 2010, wondering if the curly gene is Cajun...

 • I "met" a few other cousins this year, "met" being in quotes because I haven't yet met them in person.  My term for this is "e-mail cousins." :)  They include more cousins (Guidry, Trahan, Blanchard and others) through the Legeres (I "collect" & enjoy corresponding with descendants of my great-grandpa Constant Legere and other Louisiana Legeres; e-mail me at hallroots [at] sbcglobal [dot] net if that's you), a McBride cousin, and a few Pate cousins.  It's always fun to trade info and/or get acquainted by e-mail or through Facebook w/"new" cousins.  Or to reconnect with cousins you do know.  All you lurkers out there, I don't bite.  (Well, if you're going after the last boudin link, I can't make any promises.)  It was also nice to meet "e-mail cousin" Janice in person this year, my 2nd cousin through the Pate family, with whom I'd collaborated so much I felt I already knew her.

• I published slavery-related records, to warm thanks from bloggers searching for their enslaved ancestors, and to the sound of crickets from anyone not so thrilled that I actually admitted in print that some of my ancestors were slaveholders.  Really, though, if most of your ancestors were white Southerners in the U.S., you probably have at least one slaveholder in your tree.  (And Northern ancestors weren't immune.)  It can be awkward to write about, but by sharing research I've helped at least one person connect the dots to find the likely slaveholders of her ancestors (and therefore resources for finding records of those ancestors), so I think it's worth it.  If you don't feel comfortable writing about that particular skeleton in the family closet, consider contributing the info anonymously via the sites Afrigeneas or A Friend of Friends.

• By ordering a copy of Dad's official military personnel file, I uncovered some real gems, including his handwritten application letter to the Naval Aviation cadet program, high school transcript, a photo of him at age 21 (left), and info on his life for several years after World War II.  I've neglected posting this series lately; I'm being too much of a perfectionist about posting concurrent info or photos from his military career with it, I suppose.  I have info from a few sources and the timeline is a little fuzzy to me.  I've been wanting to clarify it by transcribing the DVD of Dad telling stories of his service, but I wasn't ready to watch footage of him for a while.  I'll probably get back to it soon.

• I attended one day of the SCGS Jamboree, the annual conference held by the Southern California Genealogical Society, and had so much fun I hope I can attend the entire weekend this year.  I enjoyed seminars, exhibits, and especially the people I met, including Elyse Doerflinger, Becky Wiseman, Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Thomas MacEntee, Amy Coffin, George Morgan, Drew Smith, Joan Miller, and several others.  I also took home some goodies I'm still exploring and want to write about.

With Becky Wiseman and Elyse Doerflinger at the 2010 SCGS Jamboree

 Lagniappe:  Contributing vintage family photos for a cousin's cookbook memoir, which I'll blog about soon ... finally making Mom's peach cobbler from scratch (which came out pretty darn great, for someone who is more of a food assembler than a cook) ... visiting the original Forest Lawn for the first time in years ... celebrating our first wedding anniversary ... having fun on the Morgan siblings' (& impromptu Hall reunion) family vacation to DisneyWorld (until the E.R. detour, but thankfully my hubby is fine now) ... and getting cool genealogy Christmas gifts which I'll write about soon.  Hmm... that means I have several things already to write about (besides the backlog in my head and the ones begun in Blogger).  Better get crackin'.

Thank you all for reading and especially for commenting, "liking," and e-mailing!  Wishing us all a wonderful 2011 with piles of rubble where our brick walls used to be--

Photos/text copyright 2011 by Liz Hall Morgan, all rights reserved.