May I Introduce to You . . . Darcie Posz

Come meet genealogy blogger Darcie Posz, author of the Kickin' it with Genealogy blog in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . DARCIE POSZ

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Darcie Posz and her blog, Kickin’ it with Genealogy, described as, “. . . Listenin’ to Music while Learnin’ about Genealogy.”

Darcie, please tell us a little about yourself.

“I was born in Burlington, Iowa and currently live in Washington, D.C. Ten years ago, my husband and I had a contest to see who could find a job first on the east coast and I won. We came to D.C. with 200 bucks and the first month’s rent; the 200 bucks was emergency gas money, in case we needed to drive back to Iowa since the closest person we knew was in Georgia. I took clients so we could eat; he found a job two months later.”

How did you get started in genealogy?

“I began doing genealogy when I was 14, because I wanted to know why I was a Hawaiian in Iowa. I went to the local library and found a Honolulu phone book and sent a letter to everyone with the Hind surname. One was a relative and I went from there.”

Why Darcie created her blog and her thoughts on blogging.

“For years, when I went to institutes and conferences I felt like I was unable to talk about genealogy or methodology in the spastic fashion that I do at home. I tried to seek out people who would be open to that, but it usually fell flat. So I thought why not just do a blog so that it is out there?  Kind of like a Voyager Golden Record:  just out there in the digital universe and those who find it, find it.

I read a lot and I usually have music playing in the background. I also listen to a lot of audio recordings of genealogy lectures. I can remember things better when I hear them. Some of the journals, quarterlies and publications I had been reading were over my head on the first read, but when I applied beginner’s mind and calm down with music, they were easier to understand and sunk in. Applying this method has worked for me and it may for others.

Some genealogy conversations need to happen, so some posts, particularly dealing with race, I have attempted to align what is happening now with what has been previously discussed by genealogists. I grew up in an area where the only other Hawaiians were my family, and statistically most of the rest of the people around me were Caucasian. As the only Hawaiians, we were stereotyped: people expected Hawaiian shirts, eating pineapple, and listening to Elvis. Truth was that we are American and Americanized: BBQ, Chicago Bears and ZZ Top. All I knew about my culture was what I learned in books. As I began doing more genealogy, I found out that I had Japanese ancestors, Shoshone ancestors, English ancestors, and so on. It became complicated and confusing trying to identify what they were, let alone what I am. Having a regional specialty would not help, so I knew I needed to strengthen my genealogy education, to understand what has been done in the past, and see if it could be applied to my genealogy. So far it has worked to enhance my skill-set in this way.”

How did you choose the name for your blog?

The Office (Season 5, Episode 15) had this episode where Kelly (played by Mindy Kaling) was being grilled by Dwight about what she was doing when she was 14-15 years old and she replied, ‘I was kickin’ it.’

I would probably give the same vague answer about what I was doing at that age, but it was also when I began seriously doing genealogy research. I would check out books from the library and go off the grid for days, documenting the lineages of Ancient Egypt and the Royal Houses of Europe and England.

Plus, genealogy can be cool, so you can be ‘kickin’ it’ with genealogy.”

Darcie, what research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?

The Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.”

Do you have any tips for new genealogy bloggers?

“If you are thinking about starting a blog, just do it. Don’t over think on what to write about; it is your blog and you can veer in whatever direction you want. You could always have multiple pages too.”

Darcie, what other genealogy blogs inspire you?

Evidence Explained Blog

The Demanding Genealogist

Vita-Brevis

Genetic Genealogist

Cari Taplin’s Genealogy Pants

BCG Springboard.”

Darcie, what has been your most exciting genealogy discovery in your research?

“I have to admit, DNA is the most exciting discovery. There is nothing more vindicating than being able to use DNA evidence to corroborate what you have proven using the Genealogical Proof Standard.”

Darcie, please tell us your favorite posts on your blog.

“The one entry that was the most popular was Elizabeth Shown Mills and Zongamin.

My personal favorite was David Mura and Digitalism.”

How much time do you get to spend on research?

“Not as much as I used to. The research is very specific and I find I write more after analysis and correlation. At this point, it is half the time researching and half the time writing. And then hours studying and reading.”

Darcie, who is your favorite ancestor?

“My favorite ancestors are actually my husband’s, but I researched them for so long that I thought I would never find out what happened to them. I was able to find out that they both died (separately) as the result of trains running them over.”

What family story or heirloom do you cherish most?

“My Grandpa Ned’s military jacket. I have pictures of him wearing it during his tour in China, and now I have the real thing in my closet.”

Darcie, in what ways has genealogy improved your life?

“Is it sad to say that genealogy was my life? I restructured my values a few years ago, and now genealogy is the third most important thing in my life after my husband (and dog) and still-living family. Genealogy has allowed me to meet a different caliber of people than I think you would meet in other fields. Each person I meet has three generations attached to them and what they do; it is very powerful to see how they apply themselves to their research and their research to themselves.”

What do you love most about doing your genealogy/family history?

“Finding the answers and knowing that they meet the standards, and can uphold the test of time.”

What is on your genealogy bucket list?

“I want to visit Northumberland/Durham in England and finally touch the Atlantic Ocean there, like my ancestors did.

I want to take a train ride from Austria, through Germany to see where my ancestors and my husband’s ancestors lived.

I would like to meet an actual Tanaka or Ishihara relative.

I would love to figure out what the deal is with my relative, Robert Bradford Murry, because he dropped off the face of the earth. “

Darcie, if you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you tell them?

“Read. Read TAG, TG, NGSQ and other such periodicals so you can have a bouquet of different case studies and family narratives.”

***

Please take a moment to visit Darcie’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Darcie, it’s great to have you here!

© 2017, 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.

May I Introduce to You . . . Ruth Blair

Come meet genealogy blogger Ruth Blair, author of The Passionate Genealogist blog in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . RUTH BLAIR

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Ruth Blair and her blog, The Passionate Genealogist, described as, “. . . The Passionate Genealogist blog covers stories from Canada, Ireland, England and Scotland. It includes family stories as well as personal opinion and industry related posts.”

A Little About Ruth

“I was born in Northern Ontario. It was my parents first home together after they married and emigrated from Ireland. I currently live in Oakville Ontario and have been here for nearly 50 years. I am a first generation Canadian.”

How did you get started in Genealogy?

“My interest in genealogy began with a school project in 1970 which had me researching my family tree. My parents couldn’t tell me very much. I had to ask my Dad’s parents, who lived near us, and then write letters to my Mum’s Aunts to get information on her side. It was before email so it took a couple of weeks to get the information. This sparked an interest that has never waned. Every time I visited family in Ireland I would collect information and stories from my Grand Aunts. Now when I visit family in Ireland research is done in the local repositories.”

When and why did you start your genealogy blog?

“The Passionate Genealogist blog started in January of 2010. I had been following Geneabloggers and thought it sounded like a fun way to share my passion for family history. I was a little leery about starting but just jumped in one day. I enjoy writing about my own family history as well as local history. If I find an interesting person in my local history I research them and write their story. I have had several people contact me through my blog who have found my local history stories on their ancestors.”

How did you choose the name for your blog?

“Since family history/genealogy is my life’s passion it just seemed to fit.”

Besides major websites like Ancestry and FamilySearch, what research tool or source has been helpful in researching your family history?

“Being a first generation Canadian most of my research has to be done in Ireland, Scotland and England. I have found the website Scotlandspeople very useful and have been using it since 2003. I was ecstatic when Irish records started to come online and that the Irish government was providing them for free.”

What tips can you share with someone just starting a family history blog?

“Read other blogs and learn from the ones you find interesting. Find your own special niche, jump in and start blogging. Don’t let the fear of writing a blog stop you. The community is supportive and you will meet many interesting people. Whenever you think of a topic that might be good for a blog post write it down. Keep a list going so that when you are ready to start writing you have some topics available.”

What other genealogy blogs inspire you?

“Some of the blogs I enjoy reading are Claire Santry’s Irish Genealogy News blog. She keeps me up to date on everything going on in Irish genealogy. Chris Paton of the GENE’s blog is another. Archive and library blogs can be very useful and I follow some in Ireland, Scotland, England and Canada. I follow over 250 different blogs. Some aren’t related to genealogy specifically but are related to local history or another topic that can help with the research.”

Ruth, what has been your most exciting genealogy discovery in your research?

“That is a hard one but I would think finding the divorce of my 2x Great Grandfather in Scotland. John Sheddens Campbell divorced his first wife in 1876. Divorce was extremely rare at that time in Scotland. Finding the record was a challenge but the results were worth it.”

Ruth’s favorite blog posts

“Since my most exciting discovery was the divorce of John Sheddens Campbell my favourite post relates to this story.

Part 1 – The Campbell McDonald Feud – The Story of a Scottish Divorce

Part 2 – The Campbell McDonald Feud – The Story of a Scottish Divorce – Part 2

Another favourite was my research into the life of Lady Diana Taylour. She lived in Oakville and died in 1957. I was asked to find out what she did during the First World War so she could get a flag on her grave for Remembrance Day. Since most of the records that needed to be researched were from the 20th century it was a challenge due to Canadian privacy laws. The only death certificate I could get was a short form which only provides very basic information such as name, date and place of death, age at death, marital status and gender. The Lady Diana Taylour research led me on a journey of discovery that was very exciting.

Part 1 – Solving the Mystery of Lady Diana Taylour – In the beginning

Part 2 – Solving the Mystery of Lady Diana Taylour – What came next?

Part 3 – Solving the Mystery of Lady Diana Taylour – The mystery is solved.”

Ruth, how much time do you get to spend on research?

“Since I am a professional genealogist I do research every day. My own research takes a bit of a back seat so it is a fun day off when I can focus on my own family history.”

Who are your favorite ancestors and why?

“My favourite Ancestor is whomever I am researching at the time. I get very involved in the research and that Ancestor is my main focus. Right now it is the Bourne family. I am trying to make a connection between my 4x Great Grandfather Walter Bourne and a Daniel Bourne. The time period for this research is the mid-1700s in Dublin Ireland. Spelling variations for the Bourne surname during this time period include Byrne and Burn which adds to the challenge as does the fact that this research primarily needs to be done in Irish repositories.”

Ruth, what family story or heirlooms do you cherish?

“This is a tough question as there are a few. I would say the family heirloom I cherish the most is a portrait of my 4x Great Grandmother Francis Catherine Minchin. The portrait was bought by a friend of my Grandmother’s and she gave it to her when she learned about the family connection.”

In what ways has genealogy improved your life?

“By understanding my Ancestors I have learned to understand myself. There are events, characteristics and other things that are found in my life and theirs. I can see how their decisions have led me to where I am today.”

What do you love most about doing your genealogy/family history?

“I love research. I can do it for hours and it doesn’t feel like it. I enjoy getting into the libraries and archives looking at the old documents. I was in Belfast last fall researching at PRONI and was looking at very old documents. My hands were black with the dirt of the ages, they didn’t require gloves. The dirtier I am the more fun I am having.”

Ruth, what is on your genealogy bucket list?

“I would love to go back to Ireland, Scotland and England on a regular basis to do research. Most of my research needs to be done in repositories in those countries. Unfortunately not much of my family history can be found online.”

If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you tell them?

“To the future generations of genealogists/family historians, enjoy the process. Share the stories. Writing a blog post about each discovery can lead to your written family history.  It is hard to inspire the next generation but those who are the keepers of their family history can share the family stories with the next generation. Send them a link to your blog post through social media. To those who have yet to start researching their family history, remember that researching your family history begins with you. Talk to your family members and share stories. You won’t find it all on the internet.

***

Please take a moment to visit Ruth’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Ruth, it’s great to have you here!

© 2017, 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.

May I Introduce to You . . . Debra van Driel Kluit

Come meet genealogy blogger Debra van Driel Kluit, author of the Moments in Time blog in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . DEBRA VAN DRIEL KLUIT

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Debra van Driel Kluit and her blog, Moments in Time, described as, “ . . . Family history and family stories.”

Debra, please tell us a little about yourself.

“I was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, England but have moved around a lot as a child and lived in several countries. My husband is a real Dutch Miller, we live in Rotterdam next to a windmill that was built in 1776 and where my husband makes bread and cake mixes which we sell in a little shop inside the mill.

I am a mother of three children and a grandmother of five.

I speak Dutch fluently but my English has deteriorated so please forgive any grammatical mistakes.”

How did you get started in Genealogy?

“I caught the family history bug at a very young age, I was 16 when I was first given a lesson about genealogy and a desire was planted to start researching my own family history. My maternal grandmother was still alive as were two older sisters of my father and they were able to provide me with many stories of their childhood and several other facts to point me in the good direction. My early years of research was before the era of computers and entailed traveling down to London to visit St. Catherine’s house where all the birth, marriage and death indexes were housed. These were huge tomes which caused muscle ache after spending a whole day lifting and carrying them to the tables. Viewing the census returns was no easy matter either as you either needed an exact address or you would have to view the whole micro film roll of a village or town with the hope of finding your ancestors. We are so blessed nowadays that we can do so much research in the comfort of our own homes.”

Why Debra created her blogs and her thoughts on blogging

After completing a genealogical course with Future Learn, I was given a tip to create a genealogical blog, this seemed like a perfect way to share all the interesting facts and stories which I have discovered during my many years of research with my family who are scattered over the world.”

Debra, how did you choose the name for your blog?

“About 10 years ago, I wrote and self-published a book about my paternal line, during the course of writing this book I had been reading Daphne du Maurier’s book ‘The House on the Strand’ and came across the phrase ‘Moments in Time’, this sounded like a perfect description of my book because it is just small moments in time which we are recording whilst doing genealogical research, as we try to build a picture of our ancestor’s lives.  I decided to give my blog this same name as sometimes I will use excerpts from my book as well as adding stories and facts from my maternal line.”

What research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?

“I have used Ancestry a lot but I have also found the website from the British National Archives very useful, especially the A2A access to archives section which indexes the records of local record offices throughout the country. I was able to discover many records of my Strickland ancestors in the Cornwall County Record Office through this site which I could then apply for and receive the copies via the post. The great thing about having ancestors from Cornwall is that there are so many mineral rights for the tin and copper so that almost every land purchase or rental is accompanied with an indenture of the mining rights, these can be amazing sources of information about family connections. Recently I have also used the website of the British Newspaper Archive and have found some really interesting articles about my ancestors which have given me more background information about their lives.”

Debra, what has been your most exciting genealogy discovery in your research?

“Every genealogical discovery is exciting, that’s what makes it so addictive, the joy of discovering the name of an ancestor that you have been searching so long for is so exhilarating. My husband is a Miller and works in a real windmill so it was quite exciting to discover that my maternal great great grandfather and his family were Millers. Even more so when I discovered a book in my father in law’s book case about Kent windmills which he had bought in England many years ago, and which made mention of my ancestors and described my fourth great grandmother as being ‘a veritable Amazon, a masterful woman of wonderful personality’ a woman who lived to be 101 and had 26 children.”

Debra’s favorite blog post

“One of my favourite posts is about an ancestor who was so upset about the death of his wife that he killed his young daughter and then tried to kill himself.

It’s not always nice to find a criminal in our family tree but the wealth of information that can be found about a notorious ancestor in old newspaper articles and record offices adds so much colour and interest to your tree.

The 4th great grandfather of my husband was a solicitor and also in charge of collecting taxes, during the French occupation of Holland in the early 18th Century he used some of this tax money for his own means. In 1807 he was held accountable and declared bankrupt, in the National Record Office in Den Haag we were able to find the original handwritten bills of the money he owed to the tailor and the grocer etc., fascinating reading and remarkable that such things had been kept in an archive for more than two hundred years.”

How much time are you able to spend on research?

“This depends on how much my time is taken up with other demands. I could easily spend hours looking for newspaper articles related to my ancestors or trying to get past a brick wall, but being a Grandmother and also looking after my mother in law fills my time as well as working in our Windmill shop.”

Debra, who is your favorite ancestor?

“I think that I would have to say my great grandmother Rose Tozer because she had such a tragic life. Her own father died when she was two years old and her first husband died when her daughter my grandmother was only two, she remarried a widower with 5 children who was unfaithful but ended up divorcing her and accusing her of being unfaithful and separating her from two of her children. Eventually she ended up committing suicide by putting her head in a gas oven. I would love to meet her and tell her that she is loved.”

Debra, what family story or heirloom do you cherish?

“I don’t have many heirlooms but I do have a small cut glass perfume bottle which belonged to my great grandmother Rose Tozer, if I open it I can still smell her perfume.”

In what ways has genealogy improved your life?

“Genealogy has made me realize that I am who I am through the combined choices of my ancestors. I have inherited not only their genes but also their decisions on where they choose to live or work and how they treated their children, all have had an influence in my life and who I have become.”

Debra, what do you love most about doing your genealogy/family history?

“I love putting together the puzzle pieces and building a picture of my ancestors life.

Genealogy is like detective work, finding clues and sometimes unrelated facts that eventually lead you to find someone you’ve been searching years for.”

What is on your genealogy bucket list?

“With my paternal line I have managed to get quite far back but with my maternal line I have hit quite a few brick walls, my 4th great grandfather Robert Orwin, the Miller was married in London and died in Hull just two years before the 1851 census which would have told me where he was born. I have a lot of information about his life and where he lived but not where he was born and who his parents were. I have tried so many avenues but hope one day to find for certain where he came from.”

If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you say to them?

“Sometimes I wish that my ancestors had left more information for me, a diary or a letter telling me about their lives. That is why I think it is so important to keep a record of my own life so that my children and grandchildren and their children will know who I was and what I thought about things.”

***

Please take a moment to visit Debra’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Debra, it’s great to have you here!

© 2016, 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.