May I Introduce to You . . . Andrea Kelleher

Come meet genealogy blogger Andrea Kelleher, author of How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Andrea Kelleher and her blog, How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, described as, “. . . Just my way of sharing with family, friends, and anyone who will listen, the things that I have learned about my ancestors with a little bit about myself and my own little family in the mix.  My blog highlights the discoveries I’ve made regarding my ancestral roots from Eastern North Carolina and Barbados predominantly.”

A Little Bit About Andrea

“I was born in Queens, NY during the early 1970’s. For the first 10 years of my life, my family and I lived in Cambria Heights, NY and were blessed to have a wonderful group of relatives living within a 15 minute drive from our house.”  Andrea currently resides in New York.

How Andrea Got Started in Genealogy

“I have been researching my ancestors since August 2009. I think there was always a curiosity about where my ancestors came from.  My maternal grandmother had this beautiful old photograph that hung on the wall of her bedroom while I was growing up. It was a picture of my great grandmother holding my grandmother in her lap. My grandmother was this tiny 6 month old cherub and there holding her was this woman who’s gaze just captivated me.  It was like she was sending me a message with those eyes.  She was saying, ‘Find out who I am?’

Since my childhood, I was curious to know more about my roots, but it wasn’t until I had my kids that I started researching.”

Andrea’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I began my genealogy blog on May 30, 2011, on a whim.  Yes, that’s right on a whim. Let’s just say, I was a bit nervous about sharing my writing with the world but I wanted to do it.  I wanted my kids to have something that they could refer to about their family history.  Then I thought it would be neat to share this with the rest of the family. I thought I could present things to them in a way that they would appreciate and would easily understand.  Finally one day, I got up the nerve and wrote my first post, Okay…Here We Go! LOL.

Andrea’s Tips for New (and Not So New) Bloggers

“Just do it! Start writing and sharing. One of the things that is always floating around in my head is that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the stories we know as family historians weren’t shared, written down and passed on? I would like to write a book at some point but I didn’t want to wait to share what I’d learned.  Plus the process of discovery is so wonderful. Every time I find something knew out, I take a moment and reflect on it. I look at how it fills in part of the story of the individual I’m researching. Then I think about how that reflects on to me. Is there something about this story that can help me on my own life’s journey? What struggle did someone before me go through and how can I learn from that experience? Perhaps it’s learning something like I have an interest or talent in common with an ancestor.  There’s that sense of connectivity you get from doing family history that we are all part of the same chain of life. The more you learn, the more it brings you closer to truly understanding that.”

Andrea’s Favorite Blog Posts

Andrea’s Time with her Ancestors

“As much as I can.  It can be difficult at times because I am a stay at home mom with two kids ages 6 and 9 to keep up with.  I would say about an hour a day. Sometimes that hour is broken up into 5-10 minute increments because I am squeezing it in between gymnastics, soccer, or keeping up with the house.  I try to write something for my blog a couple times a week so that is probably another couple of hours there.”

Andrea’s Favorite Ancestor

“My great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant, because of the picture she had taken with my grandmother. It laid the groundwork for me to begin my journey.”

How Genealogy/Family History has Improved or Changed Andre’s Life

“Genealogy has improved my life by giving me the knowledge that I come from very strong people. I know now that no matter what happens in this world I have an inner strength that is capable of handling whatever may come my way. I have read about some of the things my ancestors went through and endured. If they had the strength and courage to carry on then so can I.”

What Andre Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love genealogy/family history because it brings people together. My family now has a deeper sense of where our kin came from and I have now been connected to this wonderful online family of people who have the same passion for family history as I do. Really, there is no bad side to this.  At least I haven’t come across it yet.”

Andrea’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Go back to Barbados and do some research at the archives there. Also, visit the area in St Philip Parish where my grandfather grew up. I visited there, years ago before I was into family history. If only I had come down with genealogy fever, then. (Sigh)”

Andrea’s Time Capsule Message

“There is something to be learned from all those who have come before you. Take the time out and learn about your family’s history. By learning about your ancestors, you will learn more about yourself.”

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

© 2015, 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 . . . Vera Marie Badertscher

Come meet genealogy blogger Vera Marie Badertscher, author of Ancestors in Aprons in this interview by Jana Last at GeneaBloggers.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Vera Marie Badertscher and her blog, Ancestors in Aprons described as, “About Family and the Food my ancestors cooked and ate.”

A Little About Vera

“I was born in the hospital at Millersburg, Ohio, but my family lived in the small town of Killbuck. When I was a child we moved from time to time, but spent quite a bit of time living in my grandmother’s old family home on the Main Street of Killbuck that my great-grandfather had built in the early 1800’s. I went to school in Columbus, Ohio and finished in Killbuck. The family moved to a suburb of Columbus when I started university classes at Ohio State University. After my husband and I married we decided we had lived through enough Ohio winters and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. We have lived in Tucson since 1977.”

How Vera Got Started in Genealogy

“I’ve been doing genealogy/family history off and on for years, but in a concentrated way since May, 2013 when I started the website.”

“When my mother died in the 90s, I inherited boxes and boxes of pictures and family Bibles, etc. I had heard lots of stories from my mother and maternal grandmother, but wanted to trace branches of the family they had not talked about and also find out more about my father’s family.”

Vera’s Thoughts on Blogging

“When I go to my kitchen, I am haunted by people who came before me. I think of the cooking tips, recipes, and dishes they passed on. For many years, I had been stuffing recipes and memories related to food into file folders with the thought that I’d write a book (just for my family) of recipes and stories about the ancestors they reminded me of. However, it became obvious that I’m better suited to short bursts of activity rather than a long book (particularly after I co-authored a book that took ten years Quincy Tahoma Blog.) I had been writing a blog for travelers where I review books that enhances the travel experience (A Traveler’s Library) so I knew the fundamentals of blogging. It seemed natural to start sharing my stories via a website rather than trying to put them in a book.”

Vera’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Tell stories rather than listing facts. Be sure you let everyone you are even remotely related to know about the blog and know their stories are welcome.”

Vera’s Favorite Blog Posts

“Tough question. Overall, I’d have to say that the most satisfying to me, and I think of interest to the most people, was a series sharing the letters of an ancestor who was a soldier for the Union in the Civil War. Here’s a post that gives links to all of them:

“But I also enjoy my food posts, and every week that I shared Erasmus Anderson’s letters I also talked about some food or recipe from the Civil War era.”

Vera’s Time with the Ancestors

“Probably an average of 3 hours a day.”

Vera’s Favorite Ancestors

“I think I favor those I know the most about. I heard lots of stories about my maternal grandmother’s mother as I was growing up, and I could relate to her on many levels. She was a bookworm, subscribing to Godey’s Ladies Magazine and the New York Times to keep in touch with world affairs even while living in a small Ohio town. She loved to try new things and to travel. Her greatest desire in her later years was to live long enough to be able to vote–and she made it!”

What Vera Loves Most About Genealogy

“Hearing from cousins and getting new stories that I was unaware of.”

Vera’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Find my father’s family back beyond his grandfather. While I have traced most of the lines on my mother’s side back between 9 and 12 generations, my father’s side has been a brick wall.”

An Additional Message from Vera

“Last September, I joined my brother, sister and some cousins at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury Massachusetts for three days. The inn, previously called the Howe Tavern or the Red Horse Inn, was built by a direct Howe ancestor of ours. I am currently writing once a week at Ancestors in Aprons about the five generations of family innkeepers. I arranged for us to talk to historians, visit archives and museums and battlefields where many of our ancestors lived, worked and fought in colonial and revolutionary America. We have deep roots in New England–families including the Howes, the Stones, the Stouts, and William Bassett who arrived in Plymouth on the Fortune, one year after the Mayflower. It was an exciting trip. I wrote once a week and posted pictures and talked at Ancestors in Aprons about our trip, including my stay in a room haunted by an ancestor!”

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Please take a moment to head over to Vera’s blog, Ancestors in Aprons, and leave her a comment, letting her know you stopped by. Thank you Vera for telling us about yourself and your blog. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you better.

© 2015, copyright Jana Last. All rights reserved.

Jana Last is a wife, mom and grandma living in sunny California. She loves family history and enjoys learning about her ancestors. She started her family history research in 1996 after the death of her maternal grandfather. She is the author of three blogs: Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog, Grandpa’s Postcards, and Jana’s Place.  Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Jana via email at jmlast61@gmail.com.

May I Introduce to You . . . Elise Ann Wormuth

Come meet genealogy blogger Elise Ann Wormuth, author of the Living in the Past blog, in this interview by Michelle Taggart at GeneaBloggers.

I am excited to introduce to you Elise Ann Wormuth and her blog, Living in the Past, described as, “A history of the Ortman and Berneburg families; thoughts on the practice and processes of genealogy.” Elise has a beautiful blog and shares some great adventures in her pursuit of her ancestors

A Little About Elise

“I was born in Jamaica, New York (part of Queens). My mother brought me home from the hospital in a hurricane and she said we had to huddle near a space heater to stay warm. I’m happy to have that as my birthplace, because two of the branches of my family had lived there since the 1880s. I grew up in Minneapolis, and as an adult, I’ve lived in Boston, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, CA, San Francisco, and now Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve been in California for 42 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m proud that my son is a native Californian!”

How Elise Got Started in Genealogy

“Seriously, I have been doing genealogy for about two years. But I was always interested in hearing the stories of my grandmothers. Of course, now I wish I’d asked them more questions!

“My family was and is very small. My father was an only child and my mother had one brother, 16 years older than her. I have one first cousin in the world. So I guess I wanted to expand my family, to find out more about the people who went before. I was especially interested in finding out about my paternal grandfather’s family, since he was one of nine children but was estranged from his family.”

Elise’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I created my blog in January of 2013 for the same reason that many do – to pass the history and stories on to the younger generation of my family. It was touch-and-go for a while because I was still working, but now that I’m retired, I’m devoting a lot of attention to it.”

Elise’s Advice for New Bloggers

“Keep the sense that you’re writing for others, not yourself and that there’s an audience out there that is interested in what you have to say. Also, write about your own history because one day you will inevitably be an ancestor yourself, and your descendants will want to know about you. That also gives you a lot more potential topics to write about on those days when inspiration has deserted you.”

Elise’s Favorite Blog Post

“Oh, that’s like asking which is my favorite child!

I do like the sequence in which the brick wall around one of my maternal great-grandfathers came down in this post:

Some of my other favorites are:

I’m proud of the research and happy with how I wrote about it in this next one:

Elise’s Time with the Ancestors

“Now that I’m retired, I spend quite a lot of time! I probably spend around 20 hours a week, maybe more, maybe less.”

Elise’ Favorite Ancestors

“Oh boy, another hard question. My absolute favorite has to be my Grandmother Berneburg. She lived with us for 12 years or so, and she was a tough, feisty lady who had had a lot of challenges in her life. Even though she wasn’t a warm and fuzzy kind of grandma, we kids adored her.

“I’m also fascinated with groups of relatives – the Langers of Silesia, the three generations of women from Bremen who were all illegitimate, the real story of my grandfather and who his mother was. I’m eager to learn more about all of them.”

How Genealogy has Improved Elise’s Life

“It’s given me something to do in my old age. Genealogy has enriched my life tremendously as I learn about all of the stories of the people who have gone before. It’s also brought me close to a wonderful community of incredibly helpful and generous people both here and in Europe.

“As for what I love about genealogy, I guess I love what everyone does – the chase, the puzzle, the mystery, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. When you get an envelope from an archive, there’s that wonderful moment of anticipation and hope – what will it tell me? I think we all live for that. Even when you discover things that are unpleasant or shocking, it’s still wonderful, knowing the stories.

“The most frustrating thing, if you’d like to know that, is never being able to talk to the people you’re researching and writing about to ask them, “How am I doing? Am I right? Am I telling your story in the way you would want it told?”

Elise’s Time Capsule Message

“Don’t be so self-centered: Talk to your elders! Bug the heck out of them before they pass on! Even if they think their lives are ordinary, they are in fact fascinating to those who come after. Keep saying, “And then what happened?” and write everything down, because the older you get, the less you’ll remember, and that’s a shame.”

Elise’s Genealogy Bucket List

“I want to take a trip to Germany, for sure, to meet living relatives in Erkeln and to track down others in archives. I want to see the places where they lived. I have the route all planned out! I’d like to spend some time in New York/New Jersey, especially looking for gravestones and so on. I’d also like to have a big family reunion where I could do a 10- or 12-hour presentation for my loved ones, because I’m pretty sure they’re not the ones reading my blog every day!”

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Please take time to head over to Elise’s blog and leave a comment, letting her know you stopped by. Thank you Elise for sharing your thoughts and your blog with us!

© 2015, copyright Michelle Ganus Taggart, All rights reserved 

Michelle Ganus Taggart lives in Kaysville, Utah, where she enjoys the beautiful outdoors, time with family and researching her ancestors.  She shares her passion for her southern research in her blog, A Southern Sleuth.  Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . . “ series?  If so, contact Michelle  via email shelltag1@gmail.com