May I Introduce to You . . . Janice Trumbell

Janice Trumbell

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Janice (Guthrie) Trumbell and her blog, The Guthrie, McCoy, Misson & Showalter Families blog, described as, “. . .  The blog is my online home! It is my space where I share what I have learned about my family, not only the history but also the documents and photos. The blog also provides a way to connect with others researching the same family lines.”

A Little About Janice

“I was born in Toledo, Ohio. I am the mother of two children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild. I live in a small town in southern Iowa with my husband and our fur babies. When I’m not doing family research, I love to garden and read suspense novels.”

How Janice Got Started in Genealogy

“In my senior year of school, I was given the assignment to prepare a pedigree chart for one of my classes. During my research, I found I had very little information to work with. My parents divorced when I was very young so I had only my birth certificate for my father’s information. My grandmother had already passed so I didn’t have a lot on her side either, only what my grandfather could remember. So my chart was pretty incomplete. This was the spark that started the flame to find out all I could about my ancestors.”

How long has Janice been doing genealogy? “It seems forever! I have not had access to a large library so all my research is via snail mail. I received my first computer around 1995 and that is what opened the gates for me.  It provided the outlet to connect with others and find new cousins, in addition to the resources to all the distant locations and histories.”

Janice’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Originally, the blog was basically for me. I am not a writer and didn’t think others would be interested in my family. I had a large collection of very old photos, stories and documents and wanted a place to store my treasures. This was the beginning of the blog in September of 2010. However, over the years, I have added other items that were of interest to me too.”

Janice’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Don’t wait, just start! Look at other blogs for ideas.  Pay attention to their color schemes, layout, etc., make notes of what you like and don’t like.  Think about what you want to say and do with your blog. Pick a name and URL that will be easy for others to find you. Your blog will evolve as you become more comfortable using it.”

Janice’s Favorite Blog Posts

“I have several favorite posts but I love my grandfather’s journal!  I lived with my grandparents as a child, so every time I read his words I can almost hear his voice. His childhood was so sad and difficult but in spite of it, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. The journal is actually a seven page hand written letter describing his life from childhood to adulthood written to his children.”

Janice’s Time with the Ancestors

“I’m retired so most every day is spent working on family history in one form or another. My days are not spent just on researching but also include updating my database and scanning documents and photos into my computer. Many times I spend all day on genealogy but there are periods where I may have only an hour an then there are times I just walk away from it all. Sometimes, I need to clear my head and get a new perspective.”

Janice’s Favorite Ancestors

“This is a tough question. At first, I had picked two women because I know very little about them and they have become a challenge. However, when I think about my family, I really can’t pick just one. I have a grandfather who was a religious artist from Belgium. I have a long line of ministers in my history. The women had large families and worked hard to take care of them and most had farms to work too. Their lives were not easy so each person is special to me! How do you pick just one?”

How Genealogy Has Improved Janice’s Life

“Ever since my high school years, I have had this burning desire to know more about my family.  Maybe it’s because I knew almost nothing about my father. I have learned so much about my family and ancestors. The genealogy has given me a glimpse into their lives and has eliminated the many blanks in my first pedigree!  I now have a better understanding of who I am because of the research and I am so thankful for it.”

What Janice Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love the challenge! Finding that one clue, that will solve a puzzle and bring everything together. There always seems to be one piece that is still missing. So the hunt continues!”

Janice’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Seeing my elderly parents’ health decline has made me realize that I need to preserve my years of work. As I complete one task, I find more to do, but this is a start: Finish my research, as least as much as I can.

  • Post all notes, documents, histories and photos to the blog.
  • Donate my genealogy reference books to Allen County Public Library. I have already sent two boxes.
  • To have all photos digitized. This is almost complete!
  • Send my completed info to genealogy societies where my ancestors lived.”

Janice’s Time Capsule Message

“I have regretted many times, not asking questions while my grandparents were still living. Once you lose the older generation, the stories and history are lost too! You can never get this back. Take time to know your family. Ask questions of your grandparents, aunts and uncles while they are alive. Record the stories, family recipes and histories.

I am in awe when I think how strong our ancestors were to survive the hardships, illness, and losses that many of them lived through for us to be here now. It saddens me that so many young people today have no idea who their great grandparents were and to be honest, it seems they don’t care.

We are all here because of the older generations. It is not just about us. It is about all those who came before us too! Without the ancestors we would not be here!”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Janice’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Janice, 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.

May I Introduce To You . . . Peter Loveday

peter loveday

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Peter Loveday and his blog, A Families Inheritance, described as, “. . . This where I talk about my family history, South Australia, with a bit my own history thrown in for good measure. I believe that a blog should shine a light onto my ancestors and through my efforts reveal their accomplishments, disasters, loves, sorrows, successes and how they lived.

It should also allow me to discuss the research and discovery that I am undertaking. Hopefully, it will also provide a medium for other family members to see what I have uncovered about our family.

I found myself immersed in the story of Richard John Loveday my Great, Great Grandfather and his two wives, Bridget O’Shea and Sarah Sadgrove, and 11 children, determined to discover more. What I found was fascinating and revealing. His story is appearing on my blog and will be a new episode each post.”

A Little About Peter

“I am a proud Australian and am a native of Adelaide, South Australia.  I enjoy telling the story of my family and at the same time show what it was to have lived in Australia in times past. It was a tough life in a harsh and uncompromising country. But tame it they did.

Books, reading and producing have been my life and worked in the Printing Industry most of my life.

In semi-retirement, I established a small Book Publishing business concentrating on Australian Authors, both printed and eBooks. This also included reviews and promotion of new Authors.

My wife and I spent 25 years in New South Wales, working at our own business and upon semi- retirement, travelled in and around Australia in a large caravan with our two dogs, MiMi and Lucy. My wife writing books and I ran the Book Publishing business. We have now fully retired back in our home town, Adelaide, having given up the Grey Nomad lifestyle and settled in with our family nearby.”

What Got Peter Started in Genealogy

“I am the fourth generation Loveday male of this line and was fortunate enough to have been left a wonderful Family History book that my father, George, had compiled on our first generation, prior to his death in 1977. Since then I have added to the wealth of knowledge about the Loveday family and continually keep looking for more.

Names I am researching are – Taylors, Browns, Fishers, O’Shea, Sadgrove, Kluge and Loveday.

The advice that I received from many quarters was to also develop both sides of my family and this has led me into many more fascinating discoveries. My Paternal Great Grandmother, Clara Kluge has a wonderful story that I am currently researching.

My purchase of the software, Family Tree Maker, made it possible to create a useable database and generate reports, build a .pdf Book and understand the relationship of the three generations of family on the page view, which is one of its best features.

Living as I was in NSW, it was not easy to obtain the necessary information that is not always available on the Internet.  The Volunteers staff at the South Australian State Library were wonderful and their assistance made it possible to follow my quest into the Loveday family. I would ask for a ‘lookup’ and the next day an email would come in with the information that I requested. It was fantastic!

Now living back in Adelaide, I am able to do my own research and am able to visit Mount Pleasant, the home of my Grt, Grandfather Alexander and my Grandfather Frederick. My Father, George, also spent much of his childhood in this Adelaide Hills township.

My full time retirement has now allowed me to devote most of my time to Family History.

Like all young people, my father’s interest in the family history did not seem all that riveting whilst I was growing up. However, once I read of my Grt. Grt Grandfather Richard Loveday’s life I was hooked. He was a man of his time and brought his wife and 3 children on a hazardous journey from 1840’s England to a new settlement called Adelaide, which was just 4 years old!

A Surveyor and Corporal with the Royal Sappers & Miners, he performed many difficult trips to discover and document the fascinating features of this new Colony. His strong relationship with the Indigenous Aboriginals was so important to the success of his missions. This was enough to fire my interest!

My late father, George William Loveday, wrote and published a Family History of our Loveday line. This book was the inspiration that I needed to expand and develop our history. The resources Dad had available to him at that time are small by comparison to today’s technology.

George with the assistance of my mother, Louisa, spent many days visiting the surviving relatives, visiting Government Archives departments, wandering through many cemeteries to copy details from grave stones and piercing together the facts and details of our family. Then Mum would type it all up, one-finger, on a small portable Remington typewriter.  When finished they would photocopy the pages until they had created a living, breathing book.

This then was my starting point. With the support of computers, the Internet and the wealth of information available now in Libraries and Government departments it was so much simpler to compile the expanded family’s stories.

Ours was not a family given to talking much about relatives and I had to tease out the stories that I had from my parents. Questions were asked, but few answers given. Even other family members were reluctant to talk much about the Loveday family.   Then, not long after my father’s funeral I had a talk with my Aunt, Dad’s youngest sister, and it was like a tap was turned on! I now had a fund of information to research and it has kept me busy for almost 30 years.”

Peter’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Not many members of my near and far family have an interest on Family History. Maybe as they grow older they may wish to discover more about our fascinating story. This then is the core motivating factor that drives me to establish as much as I can about our tribe.

Now in my twilight years and with no children to pass this information onto, I decided to start a blog and make my history information available to the world. I will continue searching and as it comes to light, the stories will be found on this blog.

I have found the blog helps to keep me focused and provides a discipline that I need to keep my mind active.

Thank you so much for the invitation to participate in the ‘May I Introduce You to . . .’ series.  I was pleasantly surprised and deem it an honour to be asked.  It is much appreciated.”

Peter’s Tips for New Bloggers

“I use WordPress for my blog and have used Blogger in the past. Both are great and their themes and layouts are astounding.

  • Decide what you want to say in your blog. Make it interesting and use a language that you would use in a face to face conversation.
  • Always proof your posts.  Nothing is more annoying to a reader than typos and sloppy grammar.
  • Be aware at all times that not all information that you uncover will be readily acceptable to all of your family. Be sensitive to others feelings.
  • Just do it! Be consistent and regular with your posts and give your reads a reason to come back and comment on your posts.

 Peter’s Favorite Blog Post

“My favourite post is possibly my most dramatic, How to Fix a Broken Heart.

I had just been diagnosed with a heart artery issue that required surgery and I was just a bit anxious of the outcome. Writing the post helped me enormously to put the experience into its correct perspective. The surgery was successful and after a triple artery bypass, I recovered to be fitter than I have been for some time.”

Peter’s Time with the Ancestors

“I am researching constantly for snippets and bits of information about my list of Surnames. I visit Trove weekly to look up some item on old newspapers and articles. I travel to our State Library every fortnight to look up information that is not yet on the Internet.  So, to answer the question I guess I am researching something daily.”

Peter’s Favorite Ancestors

“My favourite is my Grt Grt Grandfather, Richard John Loveday. I found myself immersed in the story of Richard John Loveday and his two wives, Bridget O’Shea and Sarah Sadgrove, and 11 children, determined to discover more. He was a man of his time and brought his wife and 3 children on a hazardous journey from 1840’s England to a new settlement called Adelaide, which was just 4 years old! He lost his young wife to Breast Cancer at age 33 and was left with 4 young children. He remarried 4 years later and he and his new wife raised 11 children.

A Surveyor and Corporal with the Royal Sappers & Miners, he performed many difficult trips to discover and document the fascinating features of this new Colony. His strong relationship with the Indigenous Aboriginals was so important to the success of his missions.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Peter’s Life

“I have always found the time that I spend on my family history, either writing up their stories or researching some obscure facts to be very rewarding in fact, it is not too strong to say it is therapeutic.

My life in retirement has a purpose and a focus and I am constantly reminding myself that these people have given me the life that I have lead. Their efforts in building this strong country has been my inheritance.”

What Peter Loves Most About Genealogy

“My greatest love is the uncovering of some new fact or date that adds to the jigsaws that our ancestors leave us. I often wonder if we will leave our descendants any jigsaws to solve!

Wandering through their lives is a constant thrill because at any moment a new story will emerge that adds to character of my ancestors.”

Peter’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Completing a book on both of my Grt Grt Grandparents on both, paternal and maternal sides. It will take me the rest of my days but I would love to leave such a gift for others in my family.

To be able to go back beyond 1790, the last record of the Loveday family in England would be a 5 star moment. Sadly no records seem to exist that will shed light upon these generations.”

Peter’s Time Capsule Message

“One simple message.  Start today writing a diary, a ledger, anything to record your life for your descendants. Don’t trust your memory in 40 years’ time – write it down now!  Your children and grandchildren will be forever grateful to you. Always caption your photos and record dates and events.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Peter’s blog. Leave him a comment letting him know you stopped by. Welcome Peter, 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.

May I Introduce To You . . . Nancy Messier

Nancy Messier

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Nancy Messier and her blog, My Ancestors and Me, described as, “. . . I think of my blog as a place to share what I learn about my ancestors and, in some small way, keep them alive through memory.  I also share research efforts, results, and analyses; strategies and websites that have been helpful to me; musings of a genealogical nature; and reviews of books that have been helpful and/or interesting.  I’ve recently started posting occasional childhood memories.”

A Little About Nancy

“I grew up in the quiet village of Mineral Ridge in Northeast Ohio.  During the years between my childhood the present I attended and graduated from Kent State University (during those troublesome, riotous years) and the Ohio State University; married; served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador; and had two daughters (to mention just a few things).  I now live in Central Ohio.”

How Nancy Got Started in Genealogy

“I grew up in a home where my parents did not share childhood stories or memories of their parents, siblings, grandparents, or older relatives.  Questions were usually met with the briefest of answers and no elaboration.  Not even my grandparents told stories or shared memories.  Consequently, family history was not a subject that arose in our home, at least to my memory.

I became aware of family history in the late 1980s not long after I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I made a few attempts to learn about ancestors by asking my mom if she knew the names of her grandparents and their siblings — and I was pleased that she did!  Then I broadened my ‘research’ by asking several older great-aunts questions about their siblings, parents, and grandparents.  They all willingly shared as they were able.  I began to have a small collection of memories and a few lists with names and birth and death dates.

Then a friend who had lots of family history research experience gave me some informal, elementary lessons.  One of the things he emphasized was to record the source of every bit of information I found.  He gave me some family group sheets and helped me fill out several based on the information I had, then instructed me in an easy way to note the sources of the information with footnotes.  (They were not the quality of Elizabeth Shown Mills source citations, but they worked; and this was pre-internet days so most of my sources were from books, census records on microfilm, and letters and interviews.)  Next, he offered to do some research for one or two of my Pennsylvania lines because, he said, he was going to Salt Lake City and would have a little free time and access to the Family History Library.  He gave me such a good start!

I’m so thankful that my mom and great-aunts were willing to answer questions all those years ago because those oldest relatives are gone now and there’s no one left from those lines of my family to ask questions.  I’m thankful for the friend who introduced me to the more formal aspects of family history. During those years I had a young family and finances were tight.  I was able to write letters to request a few death certificates and marriage certificates but not much more.  I stored the information I’d collected while it gathered dust for a number of years — about 15 years to be a little more accurate.

In 2006, I began searching for my ancestors in earnest.  My daughters were young adults on their way to independence and I had time available for research, so I began in earnest.  I found a copy of PAF and began entering the names, dates, and sources I’d collected those many years earlier.  I was on my way.

At that time another friend introduced me to online genealogy resources at the local Family History Center, a completely new concept to me.  (I was way out of touch with — and very new to — modern family history research!)  I learned how to search, how to download files, and how to record sources.  I found loads of information on some of my direct ancestors, their children, and their siblings.  I was thrilled.

A year or two into my efforts a long-time genealogist told me that people find most of their genealogy information during the first two years of searching.  That was a discouraging thought.  I knew I had a good start on several of my lines but I also knew it was just a beginning.  To think it was the best success I’d ever have in one or two years’ time was disheartening.  As more and more online sources have become available I’ve realized that she began searching 40 or 50 years ago when requests for information were done through paper mail.  She must have discounted the help of the internet in making indexes and documents available, in organizations’ websites that offer resources, in the help of bloggers, and certainly in the popularity of social media sites.  Having sources available online where we can research from the comfort of home is so wonderful.  Not everything is online but we can often find where to request the information we want.

I still have many, many ancestors to discover as recent as four or five generations and I expect to spend the rest of my life finding and learning about as many as I can.”

Nancy’s Thoughts on Blogging

“My daughter knew I enjoyed writing and encouraged me to begin one.  I ignored the suggestion but she persisted.  One weekend we were sitting side-by-side working at our computers when, once again, she suggested I start a blog.  We brainstormed, she suggested a family history blog, and I thought, well, maybe.  A box of childhood photographs of cousins I’d recently received from an estranged aunt’s estate popped into my mind.  My cousins and I rarely see each other and it suddenly seemed like a blog would be a great way to let them see what photographs I had so they could claim them.

I began my blog without having thoroughly thought through the details.  For instance, I hadn’t thought of a title so the URL of my blog is different than the title of my blog.  It took me a few days to decide on the title, My Ancestors and Me.  I also didn’t know what I would have put in a blog after I’d posted all the photographs from my aunt’s box.  Over the next few weeks, I created a list of purposes and have carried on from there.  Occasionally I add or change the blog’s purposes, something that’s probably not evident to regular readers.

Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in the ‘May I Introduce You to . . .’ series.  It was a pleasant surprise and an honor to be asked.  I appreciate it.”

Nancy’s Tips for New Bloggers

“I may be a little too ‘thoughtful’ about blogging but these are the things I wish I’d thought about or knew before I began.

  • If you haven’t already started a blog . . . choose a title for your blog that can also be your URL, such as ‘My Blog’ and ‘’ It makes it easier for people to connect your blog’s title with the URL and for them to find you.
  • Decide what you want the focus and purposes of your blog to be.  With purposes in mind at the beginning it will help you decide on blog posts and keep you on track.  You can always re-evaluate later and make changes as you become more experienced with blogging and/or family history research.
  • Consider the layout of your blog.  Look at others’ blogs to see what’s appealing to you and then choose how you’d like your blog to look.  You can experiment before going public.
  • Consider the labels you use for your posts.  Notice how others use labels and choose a method that you think would be most effective for you.
  • Write about what interests you in your family history and proofread your posts before publishing, a tip based on negative personal experience.
  • Blogging is more fun when you know people are reading what you write.  When people visit your blog and leave comments on your posts reply to their comments.  Then return the visit and read and comment on their blogs.  One of the benefits of blogs (as opposed to websites) is that comments allow interaction.  I’ve received many helpful suggestions because of comments from other family history bloggers.
  • Most of all, enjoy the time with your ancestors and sharing what you’re learning about them.”

Nancy’s Favorite Blog Posts

“My favorites seem to be the ones in which I put an ancestor in time and place and create a biography.  I think they are favorites because the ancestors and topics are close to my heart.

  • He Grew up a Motherless Child tells about the difficult childhood my father never mentioned to his children.  Information and details were obtained from my mother and one of my father’s step-sisters after my father’s death.
  • My Father’s Desk is a post about an important piece of furniture in my childhood home.
  • A Kind and Generous Woman  is a biographical sketch of my great-grandmother based on information collected from various records and memories of a daughter and several of her grandchildren.

Nancy’s Time with the Ancestors

“Not enough, though my husband thinks I spend most of my time on family history.  Some days I can manage several hours, other times I can barely squeeze in 20 minutes.  I try to be involved in some large or small way every day by researching, documenting research, or blogging about my ancestors.  If I don’t keep at it I tend to forget where I was and it takes me longer to get started again.  I have several other interests in life so I divide my time among them.  I admit, though, that if I’m alone and involved in a mindless task my thoughts turn to my ancestors and family history.  Questions like, how did my grandmother do the job I’m doing?  Where else can I search for the tombstone of a particular ancestor?  Which newspaper might have announced the marriage of that particular ancestor?  Maybe my husband’s right in a way:  maybe I do spend most of my time on family history.”

Nancy’s Favorite Ancestors

“As a mother I don’t have a favorite child and as a descendant I can’t choose favorites among my ancestors, either.  I will say that I identify more with and feel closer to the ancestors whose lives I’m able to piece together to place them in their time and space.  And I tend to enjoy researching my foremothers a bit more than my forefathers even though they present greater challenges.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Nancy’s Life

“Because of family history research I think I am a more grateful person.  I’m thankful to my ancestors for facing and overcoming so many experiences that seem like huge challenges to me.  Without their stamina and determination I wouldn’t be here.  And I’m grateful to be living in a time when modern medicine preserves lives and technology makes life easier.”

What Nancy Loves Most About Genealogy

“There are so many aspects I love.  I love the sleuthing:  figuring out where to look for the next bit of information, garnering as much information I can from each source, and putting all the bits of information together to recreate the life of an ancestor.

I love solving the mystery of who, what, when, where.  Who was his mother?  What were their lives like in any particular year they were alive and the location where they lived?  When was she married?  Where did he die?

I love doing the research that helps me put an ancestor in time and place, learning about his or her environment, skills, abilities, the place where he or she lived, etc.

I love putting the puzzle of a family back together.  People are usually born into a family, grow to adulthood, marry, and go their separate ways.  I think of family history as reuniting families.  I love solving questions like were they siblings or were they cousins?  Was she married twice?  Are these children his and hers or his and his previous wife’s?

And, of course, the Eureka moments are pretty fabulous.

My weakest area is probably recording all the information I find in my genealogy program (though I always save source information with the document).  The excitement of finding sometimes leads me to the next search without entering the results of the previous search in my program.  I need to do better.”

Nancy’s Time Capsule Message

“Dear Descendants,

Memories fade:  you probably think you will remember when you are 70 what you experienced at 20 or 30 or 40, but you may not.  Write about the events of your life as well as some of your day-to-day activities so your descendants can get to know you and enjoy your company through the written word.  Please identify the people in your photographs and record the dates and locations where they were taken:  your grandchildren will want to know. Record a personal history and include memories of your own childhood and interactions with your siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.  Please remember us, your ancestors, to your children:  tell them our stories, show them our photos, and let us live on in memory.”

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

© 2014, copyright Gini Webb

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.