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May I Introduce To You . . . Dayna Jacobs

Dayna Jacobs

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Dayna Jacobs and her blog, On Granny’s Trail, described as, “. . . On Granny’s Trail is a resource for Western States genealogy – with research tips and strategies, and links to western states archives, libraries, and record collections.”

Dayna is originally from Los Angeles, California and now lives in Monterey, California.  “I am an Accredited Genealogist in the U.S. Mountain West States region, accredited by ICAPGen.  I have chased my ancestors all over Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and California, so I figured I might as well pursue a credential in it.  I teach a genealogy workshop at my local public library, have been a staff trainer at a Family History Center in Monterey for 14 years, and I am a regular presenter at genealogy conferences on California’s central coast.”

Congratulations to Dayna on recently becoming an Accredited Genealogist!

How Dayna Got Started in Genealogy

“I began researching in 1988. My interest in family history began when I opened a box of ‘stuff’ my grandmother had passed down to me.  In it I found an old probate record that had names and addresses of people I had never heard of, but who were all descended from my great-great grandfather.  Knowing nothing about this side of my family I was so curious, and just had to write to them.  I sent them all a makeshift pedigree chart and family group record and a self-addressed stamped envelope, and asked if they could fill in any blanks for me. Then I eagerly ran to the mailbox each day and was thrilled to hear back from these long-lost cousins who all knew different things about our family.  Of course I couldn’t stop there, and the whole thing just mushroomed. Twenty-five years later I am an accredited genealogist teaching classes and writing books.”

Dayna’s Thoughts on Blogging

“On Granny’s Trail was the result of a WordPress class I attended at the 2012 Rootstech Conference.  It began as a way to connect with cousins and share photos and stories with my offspring, but it has morphed into a place I can share research tips and resources for folks with Western States research interests.  As a genealogy teacher I am always looking for ways to help other genealogists find what they are looking for, and a blog is an effective way to share with a wider audience than my classes.”

Dayna’s Favorite Blog Post(s)

“Here are links to a couple of posts I liked.  The first is called ‘American Battle Monuments Commission and Other Record Groups to Rock Your Socks’ and it is a guide to using the National Archives website to find interesting lesser-known records held in federal archives.

I also enjoyed exploring some resources for Texas Ranger research as I tried to solve the mystery of the ‘sheriff’ badge worn by an ancestor in ‘Update on the Sheriff’s Badge Mystery and More on the Texas Rangers.’”

Spending Time with the Ancestors’

“My genealogy time is divided between research, writing/analysis, archiving, and preparing classes and I spend 10-30 hours a week on any given area depending on what kind of project I am working on.”

Dayna’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Pictures make any blog more interesting.  Also, break long posts into smaller parts, as readers appreciate a quicker read.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Dayna’s Life

“Everything I know about history, geography, technology, publishing, and what makes me ‘me’, has come as a result of my interest in family history. Learning about my ancestors has given me an appreciation for all the advantages I enjoy because of the sacrifices of everyone who came before me.”

Dayna’s Favorite Ancestor

“It would have to be Sophia Isadora Morris, the one pictured on my blog’s banner (she’s the one in the middle).  She was born in 1873 in Rockville, Utah (at the entrance to Zion) and died in 1953 in Mesa Arizona, and while I never knew her I cannot wait to meet her someday.  In her photos I see a beautiful and sophisticated woman (her husband was a state senator) who also had a flair for the theatrical, and in her letters I got a glimpse of a caring and encouraging mother who was kind and generous and saw the humor in the little daily mishaps and challenges. This was a great quality to have considering the challenge of raising a large family in the harsh environment of territorial Arizona. She seemed to have a ‘twinkle’ in her eye and I think she would have been so much fun to know.”

What Dayna Loves Most About Genealogy

“When I uncover and put together the details of a person’s life who lived long ago, I like knowing that person will never be ‘lost’ again. Their story will always live on and the things they experienced and accomplished will matter to their posterity. That is very satisfying to me.”

Dayna’s Time Capsule Message

“Take time to record your own story.  You will be an ancestor someday and your posterity will want to know you.”

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

© 2013, 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.

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