May I Introduce To You . . . Jenny Tonks

Come meet genealogy blogger Jenny Tonks of The Disciplined Genealogist interviewed by Jana Last at GeneaBloggers

MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . Jenny Tonks

 

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jenny Tonks and her blog, The Disciplined Genealogist, described as, “Where I post answers to the questions I’ve heard most often as a genealogy instructor. I noticed most of them had an underlying theme: discipline! (i.e., “I don’t want to stop researching to make citations—genealogy is way too fun!” or, “How do you force yourself to stop and process family data instead of just surfing around and collecting records all day?”).”

Jenny, please tell us a little about yourself.

“I’m a mother of five living in rural Virginia. My husband is a counselor, originally from Idaho, and I was born in New England, spent my childhood in Idaho, and my teen years in New York. I have Virginia ancestors who were Mormon pioneers that left this area due to intense persecution (some were even killed by mobs) in pursuit of religious freedom, so living where I live today in relatively peaceful circumstances is poetic justice for my ancestors!”

How did you get started in genealogy?

“My mom has been a genealogy aficionado since she was a teenager. I like to joke that she raised me with more ancestral stories than fairy tales, but it is actually true. Her stories sparked something in me, and I was working in DOS-based PAF files by the time *I* was a teenager, too!”

When and why did you start your genealogy blog?

“Just a couple of years ago, because I was about to inherit a room full of genealogy files from a relative who liked to sit and collect records, but didn’t take the time to process them properly. Now I get to do all that hard work myself—parse the records for important information, create citations, and generate the reports/family narratives. As I mentioned earlier, my genealogy students often complained to me about not wanting to process their records, either, so I’m hoping to teach my readers how to do this, so that the younger generations of the future don’t inherit rooms full of unprocessed documents. All those “maybes” and “might-be-an-ancestor” documents that you think might be important and spent years collecting for possible proof arguments? They’ll become recycle bin fodder for the younger generations who will have no clue what they are worth if you don’t process them properly today!”

How did you choose the name for your blog?

“It was pretty easy: it takes discipline to stop myself from searching willy-nilly and process the records I’ve found before moving on to another search. We all LOVE to sit and search—it is what drew us to genealogy in the first place! None of us joined because making citations was such a blast, but we have to do it or we end up with boxes of MESS and the answers we usually need are typically already buried in the boxes anyway, but we don’t know it because we haven’t sorted out those files for hidden clues!”

What are your tips for new bloggers?

“I bet all the expert blogging tutorials tell you to blog often, but I’m not a disciplined blogger—I’m a disciplined genealogist, which means that I have less time for blogging. I blog rarely as a result, alas. I probably don’t get a lot of traffic compared to other blogs. I don’t even know what counts as a successful blog! I just know that I care about making sure nobody else inherits a room full of unprocessed boxes like I did, because not everybody’s descendants will take the time to process them as I am doing. Can you imagine somebody sending such a large quantity of genealogy work to the shredder, or the garbage dump? Perish the thought! But to an uninformed eye, it does look like junk.

Please tell us about your favorite post(s) on your blog.

“Probably this one, because it shows how I am cleaning up the electronic files of my relative. Plus, it has received the most hits of any other post I’ve ever written—I’m not sure why. For some reason, it generated a TON of web traffic, and I don’t really do much to promote my blog—I don’t do ads or anything like that. But this post must have really excited everyone. Maybe my readers are looking for ways to organize their family data electronically?”

How much time do you spend on family history research?

“I spend about 20 hours per week working for the genealogy business I run out of my home, and every other waking moment working for my living family that includes five children and three pets! 🙂 I would love to spend more time working on my own ancestors, but that is something I rarely have time for—a luxury I will get to enjoy hopefully more often when I retire, as is the case with most genealogy lovers, I understand (who statistically tend to take it up as a hobby in their golden years). For now, client work helps maintain us and my own ancestors do not, so clients have to come first.”

Who is your favorite ancestor(s) and why?

“Three dear ancestresses who are ALL named Helen, because three generations of men in my family tree (a father, his son, and then his son) ALL married women with the same first name! Their stories are all just amazing. Gosh, I can’t wait to spend more time on THEIR research so I can do justice to their life stories—I plan to write a book about my three Helens! SO exciting!”

How has genealogy improved your life?

“As everybody engaged in this work already knows: it is SO fun! The ultimate catharsis. I love it.”

What do you love the most about genealogy?

“The feeling of scrolling through a perfectly polished report. Like that rush you get just before handing in a perfectly crafted thesis to your professor: each citation is worthy of commendation, each paragraph is perfect (no widows or orphans!). Graphics are sharp and add luster to the narrative. The heart swells as you read it—the new discoveries! The heretofore unknown mysteries solved! I’m totally like the boy on A Christmas Story (daydreaming about all the accolades he is going to receive from his joyous teacher when he hands her his term paper) each time I aspire for the tears of joy I want to see from a client when they read my genealogy reports about their ancestors. Like the boy in the movie, that never happens to me, but I picture it just the same, to keep me moving and disciplined! I want an ancestor’s life story to always be presented as accurately, professionally, cleanly, and in as organized a fashion as possible.”

What family story or heirloom do you cherish?

“A vase painted by one of my Helens, with both her signature and the date “1888” on the bottom. Also, I inherited a cookbook from another of my Helens—I dream of one day starting a blog in which I cook everything in her cookbook, and research the newspaper that it came from (all her recipes are clipped from newspapers), along with what was happening at that time, based on the surrounding articles in that newspaper. But who has time with five kids and a full client roster? Not me, lol. I will add that to my post-retirement bucket list, haha.”

Besides major websites like Ancestry and FamilySearch, what research tool or source has been helpful in researching your family history?

“Since I spend more time on client family history than my own family, and I specialize in Italian family history, I will say that the Antenati web site at http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it/en is the site I use most often, because it is the web’s largest repository of original Italian records.”

Which genealogy blogs inspire you?

“Confession: I don’t read blogs for inspiration. I read them for information and education. I troll them for genealogy tips, resources, methods, repository insights, or to learn about obscure record groups, etc. For example, when somebody posts about their trip to a courthouse I haven’t visited yet, I might click on their post to see if they have any helpful photos or insights about obscure record collections I may not have heard of before. I skim the post to see if there is any such content. If there is, then I read it closely and learn all that I can, then pin the post to my “Profession” Pinterest board (where I have collected all of my most valuable mentors’ teachings over the years!). I do the same when they post about an ancestor’s record, to see where they found it, etc.”

What interesting connections have you made through blogging?

“Not many; you will notice maybe two comments on my entire blog. I really am not an expert blogger. Genealogy is more my “thing,” lol. A couple of years ago I tried starting a blog where I answer people’s research questions. Now THAT blog REALLY took off and I met LOTS of people! Folks emailed me daily, to where I couldn’t keep up with all of the research questions I received. I had to call in another genealogist for help! But alas, I had inadvertently given the blog and its URL the same name as a column in a major genealogy magazine, so I took it down. I didn’t have the energy (or money) to restart another one after that. And really, it took up *way* too much time; time that I should be spending with clients. I always ended up doing free research for the blog participants, you know? Genealogy is so addicting that way, lol!”

What do you think is the most interesting change in the past ten years in genealogy/family history?

“DNA! I know too many folks who adamantly refuse to participate, either because they so adore their adoptive parents that they want to honor their legal, adoptive family or because they were raised in an era where convention said that legal family equals family, so they don’t want some genealogist to make them acknowledge biological kin as their family. Now that some genealogy publications are starting to require DNA sources in their articles, I find it interesting that there is rarely any distinction between legal (on-paper) family and biological (blood) family in the literature. The industry seems to be adopting a “blood equals kinship” mentality, but I know a lot of adoptees and same-sex couple families who will beg to differ. As time marches on, this should make for an interesting debate as the younger generations grow up and become the leading scholars in our field.”

If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you tell them?

“Don’t become too focused on your blood ties; remember the lessons that history taught us with the British monarchy and the War of the Roses (basically, it is the Game of Thrones, only without the fantasy—it was all real and just as gory/horrific, because of a nation’s obsession with bloodlines). It is okay to keep a separate documentary history of your legal family history, too, even if your DNA kit results lead you to construct a slightly separate tree. If somebody took in and cared for one of your ancestors but turned out not to be their biological parent, I believe that they deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts as a guardian and provider, at least, because their efforts to sustain the life of that ancestor helped result in your eventual birth. Preserve that person’s story somewhere, even if not on the biological family tree chart.”

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

© 2016, 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 and a website: Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog, Grandpa’s Postcards, Jana’s Place and Jana’s Genealogy and Social Media Hub. 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 . . . Michael Dyer


Come meet genealogy blogger Michael Dyer, author of Family Sleuther, in this interview by Michelle Taggart at GeneaBloggers.

MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . Michael Dyer

Offering a smorgasbord of topics pertinent to genealogy, blogger Michael Dyer truly has something for everyone. When asked how he would describe his blog, Michael said, “Family Sleuther is a family history journal that documents my interest in ancestry and shares helpful, practical research tips. It’s where I detail my excavations into the past, solve family mysteries, and bring life back to those who are history. Readers’ genealogies benefit from my mistakes and successes as I share best practices and lessons learned.”

Not only does Michael take us along on his research trips and other genealogical adventures, he shares his passion for genealogy in a way that ensures that we never get bored. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, Michael Dyer of the Family Sleuther.

Michael, tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what is your current hometown?

“I was born in Denver and grew up in the shadows of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain foothills. After university, I moved to Washington, DC to work in international development. My day job indulges my interest in other countries and cultures, and affords me opportunities to support the growth of emerging global leaders committed to the development of their communities.”

How did you get started in genealogy?

“In the summer of 2010, I started asking my family questions about our Italian background. There was a large knowledge gap about my Italian great-grandparents who were living just decades prior. How was it possible that my direct ancestors were already unknowns and largely forgotten? The thought was disheartening and I felt like we could do a better job of honoring their memory while growing our family’s sense of identity. That prompted my detective work and initial foray into genealogy.

“My first research project unearthed a remarkable journey: as a 19-year old kid, my great-grandfather sailed to a new country with only $10 to his name. He didn’t speak English, yet he was able to land a job and start a new life for himself.

“While my great-grandfather’s story wasn’t particularly unique, the magnitude of his epic yet forgotten journey ignited an insatiable interest in family history. There’s something compelling about placing your own kin in their historical place and rediscovering people the world has long forgotten. I wanted to learn other forgotten stories. I quickly developed a love for researching my ancestors, and the hunt for the documents that yielded those names and brought them back to life.”

What have been some of the highlights in your family history research?

“Recently, I learned of a Non-Paternal Event (NPE) for my grandfather. I was able to use both traditional and genetic genealogy to identify his father. This was a huge victory because many of the story’s key players are deceased and the NPE occurred nearly 80 years ago.

“Another highlight came in October 2014 after my maternal grandmother passed away. I set off in a cramped rental car with my mother and aunt on a 7-day family history road trip. We covered 2,200 miles, five states, and paid our respects at the graves of 36 of our direct ancestors.”

When and why did you start your genealogy blog?

“I created my blog in June 2013 because I wanted a venue to share the research and stories I was uncovering. My family and friends have a limited threshold for genealogy excitement (you know, the eyes glazing over routine). The blog is a platform to share those stories with an audience that fully appreciates the research and history I uncover.”

You have a good variety of posts on your blog. How do you get your inspiration or ideas for your blog posts?

“I write about whatever I am currently researching. As a result, my posts touch on an array of topics, people, and records. The diversity keeps me engaged, and appeals – I hope – to the readers.

“For example, on a recent trip back to Kansas, I drove by my great-grandparents old farm house. As I studied the century-old home, I realized the house itself was a story. I penciled the idea into my blogging queue. It’ll be my first post about a family home – more new blogging territory.”

You utilize social media as you research. Share with us some of the ways social media has helped you with your genealogy.

“Social media has played an important role in handing me some exciting genealogy wins. Earlier this summer, I used Facebook to organize a reunion that drew 100 family members from across the country after years of dwindling attendance (see A Family Reunion Revived).

“In another victory, I was able to track down a distant cousin on Facebook who confirmed that my 4th great-grandfather was in an unlabeled photograph I own. In fact, she had the exact same photo hanging on her dining room wall! (See Facebook Tags Forgotten Ancestor.)

“Twitter has helped me, too. I caught a tweet by Ancestry.com advertising a new record collection of Oklahoma oral histories. On a whim I decided to check for my ancestral surnames and discovered that a maternal great-grandfather had been interviewed about his controversial work assimilating Native American tribes. (see Tweet & Tell: Oral History Surfaces).”

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

“I most enjoy connecting with my readers and hearing their thoughts on a post and their recommendations for advancing my research. That connection is motivating and makes me a better blogger.”

How has blogging helped you in your research?

“Blogging strengthens my genealogy. When I write a post, holes in my research and overlooked next steps become more apparent.

“Blogging also provides me a sounding board that elevates my research. Feedback from my readers with tips and next steps helps me conduct better, more thorough investigations. In a way, blogging is like having my genealogy peer-reviewed.”

What tips can you share with someone just starting a family history blog?

“Write regularly. When I began, I published in fits and starts. My irregular blogging made it difficult for me to stay in the groove, build momentum, or grow readership. Commit and keep at it.

“Also, as soon as you think of an idea, jot it down. If I have an idea but I’m not prepared to write the full post, I’ll quickly log in to Blogger and create just a blog post title. The titled post will sit in my queue until I’m ready to write, and I don’t have to worry that a good idea will be forgotten.”

What are some of your favorite post(s) on your blog and why?

“My favorite posts are usually about discoveries that I didn’t expect or cases I’ve been researching for a while. Among my favorites are:

Disease in the Civil War is the story of conducting research in the National Archives, handling original Civil War pension files, learning about the military service of two of my third-great grandfathers, and discovering that disease was far more prevalent and lethal than battle.

DNA Doesn’t Lie is the concluding chapter of a four-part series where I was able to bust through a Non-Paternal Event’s brick wall and learn the identity of my paternal great-grandfather.”

How has genealogy made a difference in your life?

“It has certainly helped me hone my research and critical thinking skills. Genealogy is a never-ending puzzle that requires careful attention to detail, an ability to think critically about evidence, and synthesize it to make sense of it all while determining next research steps. Family historians are constantly shifting pieces of the Rubik’s cube to figure out the correct relationships and make families whole again.

“But, perhaps more importantly, it’s empowering to know your ancestors’ stories and to understand their lives’ hardships and accomplishments – and to see similarities across time and context. Willa Cather wrote that, “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.” When you learn your ancestors’ stories you begin to see parallels to your own journey. It shifts your thinking about life and identity to know that you have this wealth of experience behind you in your pedigree and in your genes still today guiding you forward.”

What other genealogy blogs inspire you?

“I read a lot of blogs, usually depending on the topic I’m researching at the time.

“I credit Amy Johnson Crow’s blog No Stories Too Small and her 52 Ancestors Challenge with motivating me to blog more regularly.

“There’s a great community of genealogy bloggers on Facebook and GeneaBloggers that I follow. I also read Judy Russell’s  The Legal Genealogist, Jan Last’s Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog for her weekly compilation of must-reads, Linda Stufflebean’s  Empty Branches on the Family Tree, and genetic genealogy blogs like Blaine Bettinger’s   The Genetic Genealogist, Roberta Estes’ DNAeXplained-Genetic Genealogy, and Kitty Cooper’s Blog .

What is on your genealogy bucket list?

“I want to bust through my brick wall for my 5th great-grandfather Thomas Kirk (1778-1846) who lived in Licking County, Ohio. I’m trying to learn who his parents were and what his ancestral background was. My goal is to eventually learn who my immigrant Kirk ancestor was.”

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Please take a moment and visit Michael’s blog Family Sleuther. Be sure and leave him a comment to let him know you stopped by. Thank you Michael for sharing your blog and your thoughts with us!

© 2016, 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


May I Introduce to You . . . Dianne Nolin

Come meet genealogy blogger Dianne Nolin, author of Genealogy: Beyond the BMD, in this interview by Wendy Mathias at GeneaBloggers.

May I Introduce to You . . . Dianne Nolin

I first “met” Dianne Nolin through a genealogy group on Facebook. It was April and several of us were participating in the A to Z April Challenge, which always attracts over 1000 participants who blog on a wide variety of topics – not many about genealogy though. Recognizing that it was difficult to find other genealogy bloggers, Dianne set about finding a solution. Not only did she create a file with links to the genealogy bloggers participating in the A-Z Challenge, but also she contacted the administrators requesting “Genealogy and Family History” be added as a category in the future. That is the same approach Dianne takes with her blog Genealogy: Beyond the BMD. She saw people struggling to unearth their family stories but were limited in their knowledge of where else to look. Her blogs are full of new ideas and unusual resources, particularly for those researching ancestors from Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, and Canada. I am proud to introduce to you Dianne Nolin and her blog Genealogy: Beyond the BMD.

Dianne, can you tell a little about yourself?

“I was born in Montreal. My Dad was going to college as a veteran of WWII and we lived in a modified Airstream trailer at the Pederson Residence of McGill University. We soon moved to a small town on Ile Perrot off the west end of Montreal, Terrasse Vaudreuil, where my Dad built our house. Dad never stopped working on the house or building things in the evenings and my lullabies were the sounds of the hammer and power saw.
I now live on Vancouver Island and although genealogy takes up most of my time, I also like to read, cook, knit, and I have done a lot of sailing and camping with my husband and our Shiba Inu, Sadie.

“Since the early 70’s I always worked with computers on some level and it has always intrigued me. In 1995 I took a course on Dos vs Windows. I have taken many on-line courses through a university, 5 of them were on web design. It has given me a couple of ideas for future web based projects involving my family history. All I need now is time to do them.”

When and why did you start a genealogy blog?

“While researching my family tree, and that of my husband and a few friends, I amassed pages and pages of links to websites and references in books that either mention a family member or give insight to their trade or how they lived. I belong to a lot of Facebook groups pertaining to where my ancestors lived and I have contributed or helped others as much as I can. I thought about how I could reach and help more people and it was a toss-up between a website and a blog. A blog seemed the more personal way to go, and it was a new challenge for me. So in April of 2014, with a little trepidation, I published my first post. I started writing every day, but circumstances made me unable to continue with that so I write at least once a week except when I am away from home.”

How did you choose the name for your blog?

“I chose the name Genealogy: Beyond the BMD because most people know how and where to get Birth, Marriage and Death records for their ancestors but may not know how or where to look beyond that. Or even what to look for! My blog posts take readers into the realm of guardianships, pew lists, garden shows, dog races, patents, disasters and lighthouse keepers, to name a few.

“Later when researching in newspapers I found many stories about my ancestors and decided to start a second blog – The Days of Their Lives. I write posts when the spirit moves me. These posts are more for my cousins’ benefit, although more people are interested in reading them. I am hoping also that unfound cousins will read them and get in touch, which has already happened a couple of times. Success!”

How do you decide what to write about?

“I look to my ancestors for inspiration for most of my posts. I try to weave together facts with family stories, which I think is more interesting for the reader. Often I come across something I think would interest readers while I am researching something else, and I will write about it even though I may not have a related family story.

“I am all bout Free! Not everyone doing genealogy can afford to subscribe to paying sites so, save for a few, the links I give are to free information. Most have lists of peoples’ names, though there are a few that are more for information on a certain topic or place. No matter what country you are researching in, these posts will give readers inspiration of what to look for on their own.”

Dianne, what are your favorite posts on your blog?

“It is hard to pick a favourite since I slaved over them all, and my favourites are not necessarily the most popular. One of my favourite posts is It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World because it allowed me to tell the story of my Uncle Horace who has no one else to remember him.

“Another favourite is the 4th one I wrote titled What a Disaster! This one challenged my story writing skills to write about a disaster that the ancestors of my children experienced.

“The next fave is a post I wrote titled Medical History – Knowing your Genes. Although it didn’t garner a lot of public interest, it may save the lives of relatives that read it and hopefully inspire others to check into their medical history.

“I also enjoyed researching and writing the posts on the military, having family members that were in the Militia or enlisted in WWI and WWII.”

What is the most frustrating part of blogging?

“I actually don’t find anything frustrating about blogging. I do it for myself because I like to research and I love to write. My friends and relatives like to read my stories, and I don’t care if I have ten or ten thousand followers. All my info is freely found and free for the taking. As long as I enjoy and am interested in writing the blog I will do it, then I will stop and move on to something else.”

How long have you been doing family history and has your focus changed over time?

“Growing up my maternal grandmother used to tell me stories about some of our relatives, and this piqued my interest in our family history. I got into genealogy seriously when my husband bought me Brøderbund Family Tree Maker for my birthday in 1999.

My focus changes every time I discover more ancestors. I know people call being stuck ‘a brick wall,’ but I like to refer to it as a dam: when the dam finally breaks, a deluge of ancestors come pouring through.”

Besides major websites (like Ancestry and FamilySearch), what research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?

“Family. I try to find as many living descendants in all family branches as I can and we work together to find and learn about more ancestors. The bonus is finding over 30 cousins I didn’t know I had!

“Email. People all over the world in libraries, churches, genealogy societies, order of nuns, RCMP archives, etc. have been so kind and freely generous of their time in answering my queries and helping me learn more about my ancestors. I am so grateful!

“Internet. I have found a lot of my ancestors’ stories in newspapers, books at Internet Archive and in the Sessional Papers of Canada.”

What is your favorite family heirloom?

“Not all our treasured heirlooms are in our possession.  One of my ancestors was a famed goldsmith and some of his pieces are in the National Museum of Scotland. My Dad helped in the building of our church, for which he also made the altar, lectern and baptismal font. I remember proudly watching him make them and carefully cut out the wooden letters that spelled “THIS DO IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME” on the front of the altar. These are still in use today.

“An heirloom that means a lot to me is a spoon dish that belonged to my paternal grandmother, which I gave to my daughter because she had her spoons standing in a water glass, and I knew she would use and treasure it.

“But the heirloom that is close to my heart is my maternal grandmother’s wedding ring that my Mom took to a jewelers and had shaped into a heart and made into a pendant for me. When I wear it, I feel close to my beloved Granny.”

What kind of networking do you use to attract readers to your blog?

“I post my blog posts to Twitter and Pinterest, where I not only participate but I learn a lot from others. I have a Facebook group page called Genealogy Beyond The BMD.

I post comments and queries on many of the Facebook groups I belong to, and I sometimes comment on the blogs I enjoy reading.”

Finally, Dianne, what is on your genealogy bucket list?

“Recently I have discovered that two of my ancestral homes are now B&Bs, one in Ontario and one in Devon, so I would love to go and spend the night – perhaps dream of my ancestors.

“I would also like to find documentation for the family story that our ancestor was at the Battle of the Boyne and carried the banner for William of Orange. I recently found out that one of my new-found-cousins has the piece of this banner that once hung in our ancestral home.

“I have another new-found cousin who has a hand-drawn picture of the Seale Coat of Arms. I have been in touch with the College of Arms in London and when I give the go-ahead, they will do a search on our coat of arms, which includes genealogy. This item on the bucket list will be crossed off soon.”

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Please take a moment to visit Dianne at Beyond the BMD and leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Thank-you, Dianne, for letting us inside your blogging world.

© 2016, copyright Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Wendy Mathias is a retired teacher who divides her time between her home in Chesapeake, Virginia and Smith Mountain Lake.  She enjoys researching her family and digging for the story behind old family photos for her blog Jollett Etc. Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Wendy via email wendymath@cox.net.