May I Introduce To You . . . Cheri Hudson Passey

Cheri Hudson Passey

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Cheri Hudson Passey and her blog, Carolina Girl Genealogy, described as, “. . . ‘Who are their people?’ my Grandmother used to ask anytime we discussed someone. She wanted to know family connections. Like her, I want to know ‘my people.’ This blog is about that discovery.”

A Little About Cheri

“I was born in Camden, SC. My Father was in the Air Force so I have lived in many places around the world and in the United States. I have come home to South Carolina and now live in Myrtle Beach. Most of my family lines are from South Carolina in several different counties. My Carolina roots go back many generations. Along with my genealogy work, raising a large family has kept me busy! My husband and I have been blessed with 11 children and as of now, 15 grandchildren.”

How Cheri Got Started in Genealogy

“My Genealogy obsession began in 1979 after taking a class in church. I got hooked as the pictures and information I requested from family members started coming in the mail. With each new piece of information I wanted to learn more. Collecting names and dates quickly turned into searching for family pictures, stories, Bibles, letters and other ephemera.  My Mom has often called me the ‘Keeper of All Things.’ I love having things that once belonged to my ancestors. One of my favorite things is the lock of my Great Grandmother’s hair. It is a beautiful Auburn. Something I wouldn’t have known from the black and white pictures that I have of her.”

Cheri’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Starting a Genealogy Blog was a very scary step for me. I decided to go ahead and take the leap just a little over two years ago so that I could write about my research and tell my family’s stories. Seeing how others had been able to connect not only with other bloggers but with family members, made me want to do the same. It is still surprising to me that anyone reads it!  My favorite reader? My 10 year old Granddaughter!

My blog has been a great way to share what I love. My family members have been able to see pictures and learn stories that they had never seen or heard before. In turn, many have contacted me about adding to what I have and sharing the research process. Am I glad I took that first step and clicked the publish button? Absolutely!”

Cheri’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Just do it! I know it’s scary to push that ‘publish’ button, but you will be so glad that you did! My blog has been such a great tool for finding other family members. It truly has been ‘cousin bait!’”

Cheri’s Favorite Blog Posts

“One of my favorites is this post about the mysterious deaths of my Great Grandmother’s sister and brother in law. This was a story that I had never heard before and learned about from newspaper accounts.

Another favorite is a post I wrote about my Grandmother. I think it’s one of my favorites because it was emotionally hard to write.”

Cheri’s time with the Ancestors

“Since I can’t spend all my time researching, I would have to say not as much as I’d like!  My kids are all in school now so I can spend a good part of the day researching, blogging, and working on my NGS Home Study class. Recently, I set up a little corner office in my bedroom dedicated to my Genealogy/Family history work.”

Cheri’s Favorite Ancestor

“I am not sure that I have a ‘favorite ancestor’ but the story of my Grandfather and two of his brothers has always been close to my heart. My Mom’s father Gilbert Roberts and his brothers Wilbert and Edmund answered the call to serve during WWII. Gilbert joined the Marines, Wilbert and Edmund signed up to serve in the Army.  Tragedy struck the family in the summer of 1944. In July the family received the first of three telegrams. The first telling of the missing status of Edman. He was a paratrooper and his plane had gone down in the waters east of Italy. He was soon reported as dead. Telegram number two and three came just weeks apart the following Oct. Gilbert had been killed during the battle of Peleliu in the Pacific and Wilbert was killed during a land battle in Italy.  Three young men, all from one family. Two more brothers were serving and were sent home to their grieving parents. My Grandfather Gilbert and his brother Wilbert also left behind wives and children.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Cheri’s Life

“At first researching was an interesting hobby, but now, because of the things I have learned about my ancestors and their lives, I feel that I have a better understanding of who I am. I have learned that bad things happen and you can get through it. There is the good, bad and the ugly in my family history but strength can come from each of these stories.”

What Cheri Loves Most About Genealogy

“The thing that I love most about doing my genealogy/family history is the sheer joy of finding information about my ancestors! Whether it’ a document, grave site, picture, or an item once owned by them, I do the genealogy happy dance. Now that I live in SC, where most of my ancestors are from, I have had the extraordinary experience of being able to walk where they walked. I also love helping others get started so that they can experience the joy as well.”

Cheri’s Time Capsule Message

“Youth of the rising generations, you are so important! You will be the ones who will carry on the work of preserving records and family stories. Take the time to talk to your ancestors. Ask them about their lives. Learn from their examples. Remember that because of them, you are who you are. Don’t let them be forgotten.”


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

May I Introduce To You . . . Valerie Hughes

Valerie Hughes

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Valerie Hughes and her blog, Genealogy with Valerie, described as, “. . . A Blog that features Genealogy advice, tips and stories of my Ancestors and their lives.”

A Little About Valerie

“I was born in Lexington, Missouri but I have lived in Arizona for most of my life. I currently live in Mesa, AZ.”

How Valerie Got Started in Genealogy

“I began dabbling in Genealogy in 1994 after the birth of my first Grandchild, but I got serious about it 15 years ago.

I was raised far away from both of my parents’ family. I met a few of them growing up but I really didn’t know any of them. My parents hardly ever spoke about their past or our Ancestors so when I started doing Genealogy I was basically clueless.  My Dad passed away 40 years ago so I couldn’t ask him any questions. When I started my Genealogy journey I contacted his youngest sister, who was the last living sibling of 11 and she sent me a handwritten list of their siblings’ names, my Grandparents name and 1 Great Grandfathers name. That was enough to get me started. My Mom absolutely refused to talk about her family and she passed away 15 years ago, so I had to do a lot of digging to get started on her side. I had this irrepressible need to find out where I came from since it had all been such a mystery.”

Valerie’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started my Blog 3 months ago for three reasons. First, I hoped to find cousins. I have found several on Facebook but as you know there are a lot of people who are not on social media. Second, I have written and published 2 books about Genealogy so I feel I may be able to offer advice or tips that may be of help to others. Third, it is a great motivational tool to help keep me focused on writing my Ancestors stories.”

Valerie’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Just be yourself and write from your heart. Don’t be afraid to write about the ‘hard’ issues or the not so glamorous parts of our Ancestors lives. It is all part of our story.”

Valerie’s Favorite Blog Post

“That would be ‘The Importance of Sharing the Slave History from your Family Trees.’”

Valerie’s Time with the Ancestors

“If there could just be 48 hours in a day…no seriously I am blessed to be able to do as much research as I want. My husband understands my passion and encourages it.”

Valerie’s Favorite Ancestor

“It is hard to pick just one but I think it would most definitely be Permelia ‘Milly’ Loving Allen (1774 – 1866). When I wrote the blog about her, I discovered that she was a woman of great strength and courage, and a woman way ahead of her time. You can read her story here: Permelia ‘Milly’ Loving Allen, a pioneering woman.”

What Valerie Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love discovering the mysteries and finding the answers. One example is:  last year I discovered that I had a half-brother who died when he was 3 months old. He was born in 1938 to my Dad and his first wife.  This really shocked me as I never heard a whisper about this before this.  Also I will be able to pass down all I have found about our Ancestors to my Grandchildren with the hope that their lives will be enriched by what they will discover there.”

Valerie’s Time Capsule Message

“Learning about your Ancestors helps you to understand who you are as a person. Traits like courage, stubbornness, humor, adaptability, generosity can all be passed down to us from previous generations. Knowing that our family overcame hardships, accomplished great deeds, were faithful to their spouses, worked hard for a living, shows us that we too can do anything required of us.”

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

May I Introduce To You . . . Jodi Bash

Jodi Bash

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jodi Bash and her blog, Unclaimed Ancestors, described as, “. . . A place to house old photos that I find and research while I try to connect them with descendants.”

A Little About Jodi

“I was born, and have spent most of my life, in Houston, Texas. I have 3 kids ages 4 to 15, (so I drive a lot!) and a husband who patiently listens to all my genealogy stories. I share my time between genealogy, being a Director of Children and Youth for our church, and spending time with my family. I read, I write, and I hang out in graveyards. It’s a great life!”

How Jodi Got Started in Genealogy

“I started serious research on my own family as an adult in my 20’s. We’ll call that 20 years ago. Then, about 4 years ago, after my last child was born, I branched out to doing research for friends; and ultimately decided to do genealogy professionally.

I was introduced to genealogy while doing a project in High School. We were asked to write a paragraph on our parents and grandparents. I went way overboard, and turned in about 75 pages – one on each ancestor I had researched. Needless to say, I was hooked. But I didn’t get 100 because I forgot to write a conclusion! I’m still kicking myself over that.”

Jodi’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started my first blog, Unclaimed Ancestors, when I had about 5 old photos that I’d purchased from a local antique store and didn’t know what to do with them. They had names written on the back and a location from a photographer’s stamp. A little research revealed that there were people with online trees that included the person in my photo. I decided that the best way to distribute the photos to everyone who might want it was to start a blog. That was in April of 2012. Later that same year I wanted to share more personal stories so I started a blog on my business page Family at Your Fingertips. They have been so much fun and I’m constantly amazed by what I learn when I write stuff down.”

Jodi’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Keep your butt in the chair. This is the best advice I’ve ever heard from an author I went to see speak. Writing is hard even when you’re motivated to do it. The best thing to do is just sit down and don’t get up until you’ve written anything. Quality doesn’t jump on the paper you have to work at it – forever. But it’s oh so rewarding.”

Jodi’s Favorite Blog Post

“I have several favorites. I especially like the ones that ‘almost got away.’ Photos that you just can’t identify and then a breakthrough and it all falls into place, those are the most fun. Of course when I hear from family members who are so excited to have a picture of their relative – that post is always special. I really enjoyed the post I wrote on my grandmother’s best friend in High School. This was based on photos and notes in her high school memory book from 1931. It was like getting another glimpse at my grandmother.”

Jodi’s Time with the Ancestors

“Not nearly enough in my opinion! Now, my family may feel otherwise. I probably spend 10 hours a week on genealogy right now. A great day is when I get to spend it doing nothing but researching and writing. Throw in a graveyard visit and its perfect!”

Jodi’s Favorite Ancestor

“My mother, who joined the ranks of ‘ancestors’ when she passed away a few years ago. I write a lot about her on my Family at Your Fingertips blog. After her, my favorite ancestor isn’t even a relative. Emma Jane Hadley is my husband’s great-grandmother. She’s exciting because she was an unknown until I figured out who my husband’s grandfather’s parents were. Everything about her and her family is new information and I keep discovering more. She was a sad and fascinating character. One of those ancestors for whom, despite feeling like you’ve learned a lot, there is still so much more you want to know!”

How Genealogy Has Improved Jodi’s Life

“It’s my stress relief! When I’m crazy and busy with kids/work/life, and I take one hour to sit down with an old photo and figure out who that person is, it will change my whole attitude. It gives me a feeling of purpose and a way to be focused and calm. It’s probably like meditation, but I’m not patient enough for that!”

What Jodi Loves Most About Genealogy

“Discovering new things about people I thought I already knew. While getting another generation added to the end of the Bash line is great, I’m more excited when I can add deeper information about a not so distant ancestor. I love focusing a blog post on one ancestor and writing about their life in chronological order to illuminate what I don’t know. It never fails to reveal a new way of seeing someone. Adding depth to my ancestors is the priority over breadth of generations.”

Jodi’s Time Capsule Message

“That’s a great question, and I did this recently actually. Last year, on my 43rd birthday I decided to write each of my children a letter that they couldn’t open until their 43rd birthday. I blogged about it, and it was a very moving experience. When my mother died, we put her ashes in a glass case in a mausoleum. It occurred to me that that would also be a great place to put a letter to future generations – a little about her and why she was ‘buried’ here, why we chose to put the things in the case that we did. I regret that I didn’t do this now. Grief saps you. But each of the glass cases is like a little time capsule; they are a wonderful way to bury a loved one.”

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