Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's my blogiversary and I'll post if I want to ...

Peach cobbler, suitable for any celebration--or any day, in my opinion!

Hey, it's my blogiversary!  I've been lax about blogging in the last year or two, though I have been continuing to explore my family tree.  No big excuses, I just work more now than I did a couple of years ago (better for the budget, less so for research/writing time), and lately, I've had a tweaked neck (blame years of flute playing and my iPod touch).  

I find the more blogging I do, the less research I do.  So when I have had free time, it's been more about the research.  This year, one of my goals is to blog a little more (another: "desk-cavation").

(Note: You can blog without being an overachiever.  You still get the benefits of the occasional e-mail from a cousin and also the benefits that come from evaluating your research by writing about it.)

So what was I up to in 2012, genealogically speaking?  Here are some highlights:

• I attended all three days of Southern California Genealogical Society's 2012 Jamboree.  I met more bloggers and visited with others I previously met there or online.  I even saw Saturn (courtesy of a stargazing geneafriend) and chatted up Washington Post associate editor Steve Luxenberg.  His book about unraveling family secrets, Annie's Ghosts, is a compelling and moving read, and he was an interesting and entertaining speaker.  Info for this year's SCGS Jamboree (in June) is here.

At Jamboree, I met a Californian genealogist with ties to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Denise Spurlock.  Go read her blog.  I'm a cousin to her Kilpatrick cousins.  Which makes us "almost-cousins," I think.  Yes, small world.  I also met genealogist Kim von Aspern-Parker, who has cousins from my Southwest Louisiana hometown, of all things.  Smaller world!  Go read her blog, too.

• I've gotten hooked on DNA.  I've done more research on my "mystery grandpa" Robert Hall's paper trail (promising but not definitive), but now I'm adding DNA to the toolbox.  Dad's Y-DNA has been in a Hall surname study for a few years now with no close matches, so I got myself a Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA and have been slooooowly putting together who might be related and how.

Since roughly 25% of my genes are from Grandpa Hall (unknown parents), I'm looking especially closely at anyone with a surname list with Hall and/or full of unfamiliar monikers.  This takes a lot of time and patience.  Thank you, Cajun and Acadian cousins, for helping me weed out Grandma (Elia Legere) Hall's ancestry!  Your surnames are easy to spot.  (Trying not to think about Acadian cousins who also have Hall or British Isles ancestry--one problem at a time!)

I got a 23 & Me test for Christmas, and I think I may ask Mom to test, then transfer her results back to FTDNA (for a fee) to help sort out which cousins belong to which side of my tree.  Plus we'll be "fishing in two ponds."  A bonus could be that we extend a few of her lines (the two Smith lines, please? I'm in no hurry to research them!).

• I met another new-to-me cousin in person, a "2nd-and-change" Guidry cousin I enjoyed lunching with, and made a few new "e-mail cousin" friends.  One posted a portrait I think solves a photo mystery (more to come), and another shared some good research on our Hollier and McBride ancestors (his web site is here).

• A Trahan cousin sent me a photo of my great-aunt "Philo," Philomene Stemmans (Stemmann) Weber.  It was the first time I've seen her, at least since I was maybe two or three--I may have met her once.  Thanks!  I'll share it here if they don't mind.

There's more, of course: loads of fun with the 1940 census, death notice and obituary finds on Google News Archive for my McCoys, FamilySearch finds for McCoys and McBrides (updated here) and others, Facebook groups, reading, stories scribbled down from Mom every other time we talk.  I hope to share a bit more with you this year and perhaps next year's wrap-up will then be shorter!

Happy blogiversary also to Thomas and fellow bloggers posting at Geneabloggers--you provide a lot of inspiration and food for thought even when I'm not blogging so much!

And thank you all for reading!

Text copyright © 2013 and photo copyright © 2011 Liz Hall Morgan, all rights reserved.
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  1. Great recap! I think your blog is a terrific resource. :)

  2. I have the same issues with work vs. blogging vs. research. I haven't jumped into DNA research yet due to a lack of male descendants with my surnames, but sounds like it might be worthwhile. Love your blog title. Happy Blogiversary!

  3. HI! Great great grand-daughter to Sarah Cotter Scott here. Thank you for all your work. May I reference your blog as a source for information at There is much work to be done on the Scott and Cotter profiles. -M.Scott Jeardoe.

    1. Yes, of course! Feel free to email me with any questions (address under my photo in the column at right). Nice to hear from a cousin!