Friday, December 25, 2015

New Year, New Changes!

So, a new year is upon us - 2016 will hopefully bring much promise for more fun discoveries on the ancestor front!

Also, I plan to give my blog a bit of a make-over. I feel I need to create a more fun, light and airy look to my blog. I think the current theme has served its purpose, but it's time to give it something a little more youthful. Please keep a look out for some new design changes! Again, I design all of my backgrounds and banners with Photoshop, so this will take some time!

Some new and exciting things for the upcoming new year in my life:

Europe - Did I just say Europe??!! - Yes, I am embarking on a nearly 20 day trip to Europe next May 2016. I have my passport, 100 Euros in my pocket, train tickets booked, flight booked. Sadly, it will not be primarily for ancestry searching, but I will nevertheless be stomping similar grounds that my ancestors walked many years ago, especially in London, which will be our first stop.

Joining Online Societies aimed at Younger Genealogists - I view myself not quite the cookie cutter genealogist. I like to tell a story on my blog rather than give the very minute (and mundane) details that some genealogy bloggers tend to get lost in. I want to find like-minded "younger" genealogists who can tell a great story about their ancestry findings and blog about it without making me yawn through the first paragraph.

Do Some Clean Up & Download Important Documents - I hope to spend this year to do some continued clean up work on my family tree that got a little out of hand over the last few years. I also intend to download some important documents from so I can keep copies of them offline as well as online. I have read it is very important since many important documents can easily be removed by whoever uploaded them. However, most documents that are uploaded directly by will likely never be removed, but those are still important to download, as well.

A Travel Blog!! - I have designed a new blog, one for travel. I am looking forward to keeping this blog up and seeing where it takes me. It will mostly focus on California travel and, of course, any travels that lead me out of California. I will post the link on here once I get the blog on its way!

What are your New Year Resolutions regarding your genealogy? - DNA Testing - The Importance of Testing your Oldest Relatives

Grandma Annette's baby bootie hand-stitched by her mother, circa 1928

About a week ago, I sent out my grandmother's saliva (or spit, gosh, no matter how you write it, it still doesn't sound good) to I realize that with the onslaught of Thanksgiving and Christmas DNA purchases, hers will be one of 100's, if not 1000's, of tests that will have to weed through. However, I am very excited what this one particular test will show us!

There may be nothing new that the DNA test will reveal or there may be only more questions than answers - either way, testing my oldest living grandparent was something I wanted to accomplish before she may leave this world (She had many close calls this last year, so I know it's only a matter of time). 

My grandma Annette will be 87 this upcoming January 3rd, and she is not going without a fight. If anything, she's even stronger now that she was a year ago. It's amazing to watch her pick up things off the floor easier than I can. She can still give a strong hug, walk without very little assistance, and if you ask her opinion, you may just wish you hadn't - but she's an old-school dame and still has a lot of spunk! 

Back to topic, I am excited to share her results with her when they come in and hope to bring to light some interesting twists regarding her DNA, which will go back 4-5 generations, which means, her results can go back 2 more generations than my own! 

I cannot stress the emphasis on getting your oldest relatives tested. Test them even before testing yourself. You can always get another for yourself, but your grandparent or great grandparent may only have so long to offer you a deeper glimpse into their past; your past. Especially if this relative is a male - males may provide more information on the surname that he carries. 

I am also getting my father's DNA tested. There are some parts of my Dad's side of the family that are still a bit of mystery for me (such as his link to Native American lineage that did not show up on my DNA test - I actually had more African lineage show up on me than Native American - hmmmm....) 

So, again, please get your older relatives tested. In the grand scheme of things, it will be way worth it!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday - When I was a Wee Tot

Well, I don't have too many photos that I show of myself on here, but thought I'd share a few of me from the 1980s, when I was a tiny little girl (yes, I have been pretty much tiny my whole life, all 5 feet of me!).

As I grow older, I am finding so much of my childhood slipping away and it can be a scary thought. Driving through my old town I grew up in, I see buildings that are no longer there. I see stores and restaurants that are no longer there. Yet, I do see many places that seem untouched from certain times in my life and it can feel a little eerie to see them and feel as if I am stepping back in time.

These pictures capture that time where many things that were around me seemed like they'd always stay that way, but slowly, they started to disappear.

My cousin Melissa and I at the ranch, circa 1987 (me, age 5 and Melissa, age 4)

Krissy and Scott, playing games after swimming, circa 1986 - The brown shag carpet, the bunk bed, the bedding, the games and the small TV! All this evokes an era that is mostly lost to any kid born after 1995 or so. The carpet used to feel so plush between your toes. I think my brother and I were playing Chutes and Ladders, along with having an Etch-a-Sketch. I remember my brother used to like playing Battleship, and I always got confused with it, but always had fun moving the little pegs and seeing things light up on it.

Easter 1990 - At Golden Hills Church (before it became a church, worship was held at a storage unit on Sunset Dr in Antioch) - I am in the front, with a light pink dress, next to my cousin Tiffany to the right and Melissa on the left.

Krissy touching the birthday Pinata, Scott's 10th Birthday, August 1989 - I was 7 years old and wow, I had some killer abs back then! My brother's party was Batman themed, which was the hit movie that Summer (yes, the Michael Keaton Batman!) One of the items that we had until not too long ago was the big screen TV in the background. We gave it up around 2006. It lasted a long time, nearly 22 years! I used to love how my mom did the streamers for our parties. She really knew how to prepare for a good party! We always had so much fun decorating the night before, and then preparing for everyone to come over the next day, tip toeing around the house, making sure to not mess up the freshly vacuumed carpet or soil the kitchen - the calm before the storm :)