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.

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