May I Introduce To You . . . On Holiday Vacation 2014

The weekly May I Introduce To You posts at GeneaBloggers will be on holiday hiatus starting Monday, 22 December 2014 and will return on Monday, 12 January 2015.

For the next few weeks, the weekly May I Introduce To You posts written by the fantastic MIITY team of Tessa Keough, Jana Last, Wendy Mathias, Michelle Taggart and Gini Webb will be on hiatus during the remainder of December and into January.

MIITY posts will return beginning Monday, 12 January 2015, when GeneaBloggers will resume highlighting members and their blogs from all over the globe! In the meantime, here is our Pinterest board of all the May I Introduce To You interviews over the past few years:

Follow GeneaBloggers’s board May I Introduce To You . . . Members of Geneabloggers on Pinterest.

© 2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

May I Introduce to You . . . Jill Ball

Come meet genealogy blogger Jill Ball, author of the GeniAus blog, in this interview by Tessa Keough at GeneaBloggers.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jill Ball and her blog GeniAus, described as “a potpourri of genealogy topics with an Australian slant.” Not satisfied with one blog, Jill as added to her repertoire Geneadictionary (an online lexicon of geneajargon), jillballau (Jill’s personal journeys, jottings and joy) and Ku-ring-Gai Historical Society (online news for Society members, the community, and those with links to the district). 

A Little Bit About Jill

(In bullet format – much like her personality – fun, fast and to the point!)

  • Short, white-haired and cuddly.
  • Wife, mother, grandmother and family historian.
  • Formerly librarian, teacher, and IT gal.
  • Lifelong learner.
  • Social media fan and gadget girl.
  • Into Evernote, lists and spreadsheets.
  • Loves geneajaunts, travel and cruising.
  • Takes snapshots not photos.
  • Happy old soul. 

What Got Jill Started in Genealogy/Family History

“I have always attributed this to the Bicentenary year in Australia in 1988 when the celebrations placed a great emphasis on our nation’s history. Looking back I realise it was also the year my maternal grandmother died. I now wonder if that also influenced me to start thinking about my personal history.

Genealogy /family history research draws on the skillset I developed from many years working as a librarian. While I was working in my ‘real job’ I dabbled in family research but once I retired from fulltime work I threw myself into it with gusto. I set out to learn as much as I could by attending talks and conferences, reading journals and joining several societies.

I soon discovered that my background in teaching and Information Technology equipped me to help other genealogists integrate technology use into their family history research so I started giving talks at various venues and online via Google Hangouts on Air. Although I get nervous before each performance I enjoy the opportunities I have to share my knowledge with others (and genealogists are more appreciative of one’s efforts than a bunch of Year/Grade 9 kids).” 

Jill’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Love it! I started blogging on library topics more than ten years ago and when I retired it left a void that I had to fill. It was obvious that genealogy could provide the subject matter that would enable me to continue blogging so GeniAus was born. Since then I have dabbled with a few blogs. Presently I am enjoying my latest venture, the Geneadictionary, this is great fun but the challenge is learning the intricacies of WordPress after being a Blogger girl for such a long time.”

  • Blogging allows me to connect, communicate and collaborate with people that I might not otherwise meet.
  • Blogs educate, enlighten and entertain me.
  • Blogging allows me to share stories and preserve family tales.
  • The dynamic nature of blogs lets me return and update my posts as new information becomes available.  

Jill’s Tips for New Bloggers (and Not So New Bloggers!) 

  • For newbies: Just do it.
  • For oldies: Regular maintenance is essential. Take a critical look at your blog and identify areas for improvement.
  • For all: Remember that blogging is a two-way street, it’s a collaborative medium. Reach out to others by liking and commenting on their posts.

Jill’s Favorite Blog Post(s)

A story of my grandmother, Ethel Jane Pusell, who was widowed at 18.

The twenty-six posts I wrote for the “Genealogy through the alphabet” challenge. I was pleased that I didn’t give up and managed to complete the whole series. 

Jill’s Time with the Ancestors

“Every spare moment and some I don’t have to spare but I always give precedence to the living.” 

Jill’s Favorite Ancestor(s) and Why

“My two grandmothers, Ethel Jane Pusell and Mary Tierney, who both lived to see me married off. I knew and loved them both they were determined, loyal and lovable women.

Two of my convicts: Elizabeth Phipps from London and Patrick Curry from Limerick. Elizabeth was a villain who obviously used her wits to survive in the penal colony of New South Wales. When she married the much older William Magick she probably thought she was setting herself up for life but she didn’t know William would live to 108. Patrick was an Irishman who, on gaining his freedom, worked as a farmer and had a comfortable life. In 1848 he said ‘I have reared a large family in comfort, want for nothing’.” 

How Genealogy/Family History Has Improved or Changed Jill’s Life

  • It keeps me off the streets
  • It challenges the old brain
  • It provides learning opportunities
  • It has enabled me to keep on teaching
  • It has brought me a whole new set of interesting friends
  • It has connected me with unknown and lost family members who have added to my family stories. 

What Jill Loves Most About Genealogy

  • The people I meet – both dead and alive
  • The thrill of the chase – there’s nothing like a good mystery to pique one’s interest
  • Having opportunities to help fellow enthusiasts. 

Jill’s Time Capsule Message

Don’t sweat the small stuff.” 

Jill’s Expanded Time Capsule Message

“I am an amateur genealogist/family historian so I don’t get hung up on sourcing and citations. I am not concerned about commas, italics and adhering to a particular format. I believe in recording where information comes from and I always try to provide enough information so that anyone who wants to can check out my assertions. Genealogy for me is a hobby not a serious academic pursuit so I don’t see the need for rigid rules. I fear that we frighten off many newbies with terms such as sourcing and citations. We should just tell them to carefully record where they got their information so, if years later they have a memory lapse, they will be able to find things once more.

If I am writing for a journal I will correctly reference whatever I am writing but I will use the Harvard method of citation (or whatever is prescribed by the publication in question).

For me this stuff is a matter of “horses for courses”.

* * *

Please take a moment to head on over to Jill’s blogs. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by (and perhaps provide a new word for her geneadictionary!). Jill brings to her blogs a sense of humor and fun. We get the benefit of her years in the education field and she is one of the positive lights in the genealogy community. Jill will be at FGS/RootsTech 2015 and I look forward to meeting this versatile and entertaining blogger (and vlogger – she also makes videos and hosts Google+ hangouts on air!) in Salt Lake City in February. Welcome Jill, it’s great to have you here!

© 2014, copyright Tessa Keough. All rights reserved

Tessa Keough divides her time between Arlington, Virginia and Portland, Oregon. She got hooked on researching her ancestors after seeing a pedigree chart at a family reunion. She shares her paternal genealogy at The Keough Corner, her maternal genealogy at Scandia Musings & More, and technology and methodology tips at her YouTube channel TessaWatch. Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Tessa via email

May I Introduce to You . . . Kristina Rees

Come meet genealogy blogger Kristina Rees, author of the Losing My Census blog, in this interview by Michelle Taggart at GeneaBloggers.

I am excited to introduce to you Kristina Reese and her blog, Losing My Census  described as, “ .  .  . On this blog I share what I am currently researching, new finds, stories and pictures of my extensive family.  I am also working on my professional genealogist certification and will be posting the things I’m learning along the way.”

A Little About Kristina

“I was born outside of Boston, MA.  My father was in the US Air Force stationed at Hanscom Field, then when I was three, we were transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany.  He retired when I was six and took a job in Fort Worth, TX where I grew up.  My parents still live there and I am only a half hour away in Duncanville just outside of Dallas.  I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education.  I taught middle school math and science for 15 years before I married.  I have been married for 9 years and have three step-daughters and 2 grandchildren. I also have three cats.  I am active in my church and many other organizations that I am a member of especially Daughters of the American Revolution.”

How Kristina Got Started in Genealogy

“I have been officially doing genealogy since 1999. I remember doing a school project in the second grade, filling out my pedigree chart and I remember how I loved looking through the old family photo albums and hearing the stories of my grandparents and extended family, but I really got started because my father wanted to know where our McIntire’s came from.  He was sure his grandmother came from Scotland. I have traced them back to 1740 in Falmouth, ME but can’t seem to break through that brick wall to get any farther.

I have to say I started my genealogy blog because of Lisa Louis Cooke.  I was listening to her podcast and almost every episode she would encourage her listeners to start one.  Then she did some videos on how to start a blog and I’ve been going at it ever since.  That was April 8, 2014.”

Kristina’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Start with WordPress. I started with Blogger and then I decided I’d like to have a genealogy business.  As a business owner I didn’t want at the end of my URL.  I am still trying to get my posts from my blogger blog to my WordPress blog and it is not fun.”

Kristina’s Favorite Blog Post

“My favorite post so far is my story of my McIntire Revolutionary Patriot.  I give a summary of his part in the war.”

Kristina’s Time with the Ancestors

“I try to discipline myself and schedule one evening a week for research and a Saturday a month down at the public library.”

Kristina’s Favorite Ancestors

“My favorite ancestor would have to be John Jacobs the Musician.  He is my 2nd great grandfather on my mother’s side.  He accomplished so much in his lifetime and didn’t let war stop him from accomplishing his dreams.  As a young immigrant from Saxony Germany, escaping the Prussian war,  he found himself in an ironic situation.  Not knowing the English language, he thought he was taking a job as a band leader, which was true enough but his boss was the US Military and he was now a soldier in the Mexican War.  After the war he settled in eastern North Carolina as a merchant and started a family.  He was proud of his new country and when the Civil War broke out, he was one of the first to sign on.  He served as a field officer, Chief Musician for the entire war.  His wife died during the war and so he took his son with him, signing him on as one of the youngest confederate soldiers in the war at age 11.  After this war he went back home and helped South Mills, NC build itself back up.  He opened a mercantile store, started a town band and also helped start Trinity Methodist Church, which is still active today.  He must have taught his children that they could be anything they wanted to be and to never give up on their dreams because my great grandmother was one of the few in her time to get a college degree and my grandmother left the small town of South Mills to live her dream in Philadelphia at the age of 17.”

How Genealogy has Improved Kristina’s Life

“Genealogy has let me see where my passions and desires come from which in turn gives that firm foundation in knowing who I am.”

Kristina’s Time Capsule Message

“Dear descendant, I have spent my life collecting the stories of the ancestors I could find.  However I am limited to what records have been digitized at this time.  I use the computer and internet to do most of my research but hopefully these things will be well advanced in your time.  Also DNA genetic genealogy is still just in its infant stage right now.  My hope for you is that you are not afraid of new ways of doing things.  Stay with those on the cutting edge of genealogical research and you will go farther than I could ever dream.”

Kristina’s Genealogy Bucket List

“My bucket list includes helping my cousins write the McIntire family book, documenting all my Revolutionary War ancestors and after that as many of my other military ancestors as I can find, find where in Sweden my Lindstrom’s are from, visit Whitby Abby in Cleveland England, and finally get all my research in an organized form so the next genealogist in the family can pick up where I left off.”


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

© 2014, 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