I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Jenny Lanctot and her blog, Are My Roots Showing?, described as, “. . . Basically, it’s a place where I can tell the stories of my ancestors and provide hints and tips about stuff I learn along the way.”
A Little About Jenny
“I was born in Portland, Oregon and spent my formative years (age 5 to adulthood) in Atlanta, Georgia. I currently live and work as a paralegal in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m slowly (emphasis on slow) working toward getting my genealogy certification.”
How Jenny Got Started in Genealogy
Jenny has been researching and doing genealogy on and off since about 1985-86, but researching in earnest for about the past five or six years.
“My grandfather (who was adopted at age 4) started working on his family history when he was trying to find out who his biological parents were. I’m pretty sure I caught the bug from him. He passed away in 1990 and I inherited all of his research. And no, we still haven’t found his biological parents.”
Jenny’s Thoughts on Blogging
“I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years now. I love to write, and the blog provided a vehicle for my writing and allowed me to tell the stories of my ancestors. Plus, I’m a huge fan of instant gratification, so the idea of being able to publish my work ‘in the now’ is perfect for the impatient side of me.”
Jenny’s Tips for New Bloggers
“Don’t be afraid to change things up. Your blog is your own and it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. But the most important tip is to BE YOU. If you aren’t authentic, how will anyone believe anything you have to say?”
Jenny’s Favorite Blog Post
“It’s probably surprising that it isn’t a post about an ancestor or any fancy research methodology. Instead, it is a how-to post for a concept that was so simple I was almost embarrassed to write about it, but then I thought … I can’t be the only one who has this problem. I was right. People are still looking at it almost every day. It reminds me that we’re all human and we’ve all ‘been there.’ This Might Be a New Record.”
Jenny’s Time with the Ancestors
“Not as much as I like (I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard THAT before!). It’s easier to find time now that I’ve completely given up personal hygiene and housekeeping on the weekends. I try to do some bits here and there during the week too, but this pesky full-time job keeps tiring me out and I’m just not very motivated by the end of the day. But one day, I’ll remember to buy that lottery ticket . . .”
Jenny’s Favorite Ancestor
“It would be easier to tell you which one annoys me the most. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Eliza Bourke Lanctot. She was a strong, independent woman during the early 1900’s when women just weren’t supposed to be. After her husband died, she became the first female hotel proprietor in Armour, South Dakota. She went against the grain; marched to her own drum. I like to think I inherited a little of that tenacity. (Now maybe she’ll reveal where the heck she was born).”
How Genealogy Has Improved Jenny’s Life
“I definitely feel more in touch with my family who came before me, and I want to know more. I want to know everything! Our family wasn’t very close when I was growing up, and the research leading to the stories (or scandals!) has really started to bring us together more. It also keeps me busy, so I stay out of trouble most of the time.”
What Jenny Loves Most About Genealogy
“My favorite part of researching my family history is finding out who my ancestors were. Not just when and where they lived, married, and died, but trying to figure out WHY they did certain things or made certain decisions; what sort of things they did when they weren’t busy with their occupation. I enjoy making them real, not just statistics on a piece of paper.”
Jenny’s Genealogy Bucket List
“To identify and visit all the places my ancestors lived, especially in Europe. I would love to be able to walk in their footsteps just for a moment.”
Jenny’s Time Capsule Message
“Talk to your family before it’s too late, then write everything down (and cite your sources the first time)! I’m sure I’m not the only genealogist who wishes she had a nickel for every missed opportunity to really talk to a relative who is no longer with us. When I think of all the stories that I’ve missed because I waited too long, it just breaks my heart into a million pieces.”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Jenny’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Jenny, it’s great to have you here!
© 2014, copyright Gini Webb. All rights reserved.
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her grandchildren! Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.