May I Introduce to You . . . Julie Goucher

Come meet genealogy blogger Julie Goucher, author of the Orlando One Name Study blog, in this interview by Tessa Keough at GeneaBloggers.

Some readers have met Julie Goucher previously (her Anglers’ Rest blog was highlighted in 2013). But now for something a bit different – I have the pleasure of re-introducing you to Julie Goucher and her blog, Orlando One-Name Study. Julie’s blog is described as, “a way of sharing material I discover about the Orlando surname. There are some fascinating items that I have discovered along the way and the blog enables me to also share a little about the concept of a One-Name Study or surname research.”

A Little Bit About Julie

“I grew up in Surrey England where my maternal ancestors lived, as well as the neighbouring Counties of Hampshire and Sussex for around 300 years. My paternal line hails from a village in the centre of Sicily. I now live in a seaside town in Devon England.”

How Julie Got Started in Genealogy

“As a child I grew up visiting my Great Aunts, mainly from my maternal Grandfather’s side of the family. They shared stories and facts, the small incidental snippets that are almost irrelevant yet when put together with other random snippets build up a profile of an amazing family. I realised that whilst I knew quite a lot of my maternal line I knew very little about my Sicilian heritage. I started researching my family history in the summer of 1988 and since then I have never looked back!”

Julie’s Thoughts on Blogging

A blog is an opportunity to have a conversation with others around the globe. Whilst it appears to be quite an insular activity it is a real opportunity to share information and communicate with others about any chosen topic.

My Orlando blog is part of a process of my Orlando One-Name Study. In essence my blog is the shop window for my study, changing frequently and inviting conversation and visitors. I also have a website, Facebook group and DNA study – all of which tie in together, supporting and promoting my Orlando One-Name Study.”

Julie’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Creating a blog is an opportunity for self-expression. Remember it is your space – for sharing and inviting conversation. Always remember to engage with others, respond to comments left for you and leave comments for others. Use an image so that you have something to illustrate your blog. Remember to share amongst the various methods of social media. Be mindful of what you share on your blog about living people. Share what is comfortable to share.”

Julie’s Genealogy Bucket List

“I probably have a larger bucket genealogy list, but focusing on my one-name study, these are my top five:

  1. Spend some more time and focus on my Orlando DNA Study and increase the number of participants (anyone with the surname of Orlando out there?).
  2. Reduce the mound of paper that is the Orlando One-Name Study into a complete digital archive, with material on my blog and website with a set of material lodged with the Guild of One-Name Studies.
  3. Go back to my Orlando and Sicilian roots – spend some significant time in Sutera, Sicily devouring the records relating to my Orlando family.
  4. Complete a project that I commenced in 2002 about migration from Italy to the United Kingdom
  5. Expand participation in the Orlando Surname Facebook Group – and encourage the sharing of information and conversation across the globe.”

What Julie Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love that as a family historian and genealogist I can get as much out of my interest as I chose to and I firmly believe that we can only get out of something what we put in to it. There are no real rules to researching your ancestry. You can explore whatever line or ancestor that appeals and include those lines that are collateral ones. You can also develop your interests further and undertake research on a broad scale just like a one-name study or surname research.

I was a founding member of the Anglo Italian Family History Society and the Society’s Vice Chair for the first six years of its existence. I then made to the decision that I would undertake some broad research into my Italian surname of Orlando, so I joined the Guild of One-Name Studies www.one-name.org and registered the surname of Orlando with two variants, Orlande and Orlanda. That was in 2002 and now thirteen years on the study has grown and continues to do so.

The biggest concentration of the surname outside of Italy is in the United States, but the reality is that there are examples of the surname of Orlando everywhere! I enjoy finding the material that makes its way into my study.

I recently spent three days at Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 (the UK’s largest family history conference). Much of my time was spent on the Guild stand and we welcomed 56 new members, with surnames from all over Europe. Because of the collaborative nature of genealogy and the ease with which we able to meet up online (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter) we have so many opportunities to work with others on studies large and small. While technology has opened new doors, it is also so nice to meet up in person through conferences, seminars and local meetings. It is a wonderful time to be a genealogist.”

Julie’s Time Capsule Message

“There are two certainties in life; death and taxes! So my message is, take the time to plan how your research is going to be shared with others. Will it be archived in a way that others can access it?”

An Additional Message from Julie

“Sadly I didn’t take my own advice about planning how to share my research with others. Last year I started revisiting my own Orlando archive, making the decision to put my Orlando material online at my website www.orlando-ons.co.uk and then share material via my blog.

I am also creating a master surname index which is stored in a spreadsheet and can be accessed via my website and blog. It’s early days, there are just under 800 entries in the spreadsheet, but the actual Orlando material sits at around 50,000 entries so I have a lot of typing to do!

I also have a newsletter which I write around four times a year and these can be downloaded from the website. There is a Face Book group https://www.facebook.com/groups/orlandofamily/ and there is an Orlando DNA study available too https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/orlando/about

I am a firm believer that, in order to meet others researching the surname, the study needs to have a physical online presence and what better way to do that than to write a blog.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Julie’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Julie (as you may have noticed if you are on social media) is quite busy with her personal genealogy, her one-name study, her one-place study, her Book of Me project, and the Worldwide Genealogy blog (where she nudges several of us to commit to writing once a month on a topic of our choosing relating to genealogy and family history). I am so impressed with the many genealogists and family historians who share their time and talents with the rest of us – what great learning opportunities they provide. Welcome Julie, it’s great to have you here and it has been a pleasure getting to know you better.

 

© 2015, 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 murkeo01@gmail.com.

May I Introduce to You . . . Angela Money

Come meet genealogy blogger Angela Money, author of Northern Mama: Family History ~ Family Life, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Angela Money and her blog, Northern Mama: Family History ~ Family Life, described as, “. . . Part mystery, part history, and a whole lot of family, genealogy is not solely academic but personal. Understanding the origins of my family has empowered me in unexpected ways.  It has forged greater bonds with family members, and created an environment of open communication and storytelling.  This is what I wish to share with my readers.  Genealogy is not just history in action; The loving creation of family memories!”

A Little About Angela

“Born in Ontario, Canada and currently living in Saskatchewan, Canada.

I am a creature of contradictions! I am a professional who is a home-body; A mother of three–nine if you include horses, dog and cats–with an independent spirit; An academic nerd with a love of the stylish and the aesthetic.  I am a modern woman who cherishes antiquity. A former ‘mommy-blogger,’ I realized imparting my ‘infinite mommy wisdom’ and advertising products–which were beyond necessity–was not my niche.  I wanted to write; Write about my passions which included both my family and that which inspired me in life.  I am an archaeologist and a teacher, a writer, and an artisan, but my latest passion seems to encompass it all–genealogy!”

How Angela Got Started in Genealogy

“I suppose I have only been actively pursuing genealogical research for 5 years, however–in a much more subtle and inadvertent way– I have been collecting family history since I was a child.  I like to say my Grandmother, Madeline Grace (nee Blancher) Carter, was a family historian in her own right.  She felt it important to record all significant family dates—births, marriages, deaths.  She also kept a record of all the places she–and my Grandfather, Harold Thomas Carter–worked and lived.  She was full of family lore and she collected and protected old family photos, the family bible, as well as heirloom glass pieces from her ancestors.  I would say she set the kindling which sparked the fire, which was to be my genealogy obsession.

The spark which lit the fire however, ignited 5 years ago when my son came home from school bombarding me with questions regarding our genealogy.  He had a family history project to complete for class and being the actively involved, educated parent that I am, I began to bequeath to my son the wealth of family tales and knowledge my Grandmother had bestowed upon me.  It was at this time that I realized there were huge gaps in my knowledge, and my husband was not quite so aware about his side of the family.  And so it was, I took my research skills as an archaeologist, got a subscription to Ancestry.ca, and began to run with my interest!”

Angela’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I began blogging years ago as a ‘Mommy Blogger’ but later decided that was becoming mundane. It was only about a month ago that I decided to re-enter the blogging world but this time as a genealogy blogger.  I have always had a passion for writing; I am one of those people who was going to write a great novel but time got away from me and life got in the way!  I have not completely dismissed this dream, but in the meantime I think blogging is a wonderful incentive to write daily.  Genealogy is also a passion of mine so I thought why not combine these two passions? “

Angela’s Advice to New Bloggers

“My tip for new genealogy bloggers would be to write for yourself; Write what you are passionate about and what you personally are experiencing.  I realize for many blogging is a business.  It is an enterprise in gaining readers and achieving notoriety.  While there is nothing ignoble about this it can be draining and can divert your focus from your true interests to constantly guessing what others want and expect.  Be authentic!  I know from ‘Mommy blogging’ that worrying about what others think and focusing on stats can make a person miserable and cause you to forget what you loved about blogging in the first place.”

Angela’s Favorite Blog Posts

“My favourite post? That’s a difficult one.  My favourite would probably be my continuing Thriller Thursday serial (which of course is a group of postings).  They are just fun to write as they read like a ‘penny awful’.  I guess I will say the latest in the series (but you can always follow the links there to the earlier posts in the saga): My most popular post however was a Tuesday Tips post about using Evernote to create a Brick Wall Ancestors File.”

Angela’s Time with Ancestors

“My research time varies remarkably from week to week. I am a mom of three very active children, my husband has a very demanding job with a crazy schedule, and I work part time, so I guess I just fit it in between everything else!  I also have many hobbies . . . yes, a novice of all trades, a master of none! I do spend many hours of my leisure time doing online research and I make a trip to the local library at least once a week.  I am unfortunate to live away from my home town and I know I would spend even more research time in museums, archives, and libraries if I lived nearer the homes of my ancestors.”

Angela’s Favorite Ancestor

“My favourite ancestor (aside from those I knew and loved myself) would have to be my Great-Grandfather, Thomas Carter.  His life was a difficult one: his mother dead, his father hanged, life in a workhouse and then Fegan’s Home for Boys, and from there he was shipped overseas to Canada.  A 10 year old boy on his own, an indentured servant in a strange new land, I am proud of his endurance.  His life has provided me with great research opportunities and amazingly rich genealogical investigation!  There are others, but I think the breakthroughs I made in the research of my Great-Grandfather and his family were among the most exciting!”

How Genealogy Has Improved Angela’s Life

“Genealogy has improved my life in many ways.  It has been fulfilling to provide my family with roots—particularly my children.  It has provided me a great outlet for my research skills and interests in history and writing.  I have become the keeper of family lore and knowledge which is a position in our families which I take very seriously.  Honestly, it is just thrilling being able to bring my ancestors to life in vivid colour and detail, from what may seem the most inert and inanimate objects—documents and scraps of that which they have left behind!”

What Angela Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love pursuing Family History!  What I love most and what I think has created my obsession is the discovery of stories.  Just like on those genealogy television shows we enjoy so much, we are discovering, piecing together, and resurrecting the stories of those who may well have been forgotten and unknown otherwise.  It’s the stories and the detective work it takes to find them which enthralls me!”

Angela’s Genealogy Bucket List

“My Genealogy Bucket List would have to include travel!  My husband and I took a second honeymoon a year and a half ago to England. We spent some of that time exploring the haunts of our ancestors.  This was a beautifully cathartic experience.  Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors is something I want to repeat.  Travel to France and Belgium, England, Scotland, and Ireland are on my bucket list, and eventually–when time permits–we would like to spend some of that travel time exploring archives and libraries in these foreign climbs!”

Angela’s Time Capsule Message

“If I were to leave a message for future generations . . . well I think it might be a novel!  A simple message can turn into page after page due to my ‘wordy’ personality (as you’ve probably guessed).  I hope to write a bit of a biography for future generations and I hope to live a long, full life so I can–like my Grandmother–share family tales with my Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren.  I suppose like everyone my simple message would be this, ‘Don’t forget me!’ and ‘Remember, that you are your own individual and truly not the sum of all your ancestors; However, you can learn much from their history, and your family roots.  Whether it be endurance and survival, human resilience or fallibility, humility or self-confidence, those characteristics our ancestors’ represent to us can also inspire us in our lives and allow us to forgive our human weaknesses!’

Oh, and I’ll be leaving my family tree research with the instruction that it drive someone else’s obsession in a future generation!!”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Angela’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Angela, 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 . . . Caitlin Gow

Come meet genealogy blogger Caitlin Gow, author of the Genealogically Speaking blog, in this interview by Jana Last at GeneaBloggers.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Caitlin Gow and her blog, Genealogically Speaking described as, “My blog is simply about my adventures in genealogy and anything to do with genealogy that I find interesting. My posts range from ancestors to historical events to cemeteries and conferences etc.”

“I’m also one half of Young & Savvy Genealogists, a collaborative blog written by two young genealogists under the age of 30.”

A Little About Caitlin

“I was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I have lived here my whole life with the exception of one year when my parents and I lived in Virginia. I was only a baby though so I don’t really remember anything. I’m actually half American and half Australian. My Dad is from Sydney, while my Mum is from a small town in Texas. How they met is another story though – or blog post! I consider Sydney to be my second home, and I always love going back to Texas. I feel right at home there too.”

How Caitlin Got Started in Genealogy

“My maternal Grandmother was very much into genealogy. She was adopted and researched both her adoptive and biological lines. My Mum always tells the story that when she was growing up, her summer holidays were not spent at the beach or going to the mall like most of her friends. Instead, my Grandparents were taking my Mum, Uncle, & Aunt to cemeteries, churches, courthouses and Civil War Battlegrounds. My Grandmother drilled genealogy into them. My Uncle & Aunt are into genealogy (though not to the extent that I am); but my Mum…she didn’t catch the genealogy bug at all. Sadly my Grandmother died in 1980, ten years before I was born.”

“Fast forward to the 8th of July, 2009. I was in Texas on holidays visiting my Mum’s side of the family. My Uncle & Aunt had decided that they were going to spend the day visiting some cemeteries as they had not had a chance to do this for a long time. I don’t remember what was said, but I decided to go with them. It was one of the best days ever! I learned so much about my American ancestors and saw where many of them are buried. We went to FIVE different cemeteries that day, and it was 95-100°F (35-37°C) too. After the holiday, I returned home to Brisbane and realized I knew hardly anything about my Dad’s ancestors. My Poppa passed away in 2003 but he had done a bit of genealogy with some of his cousins so I had some information to work off. My Nanna’s side however, I knew nothing! She was 93 at the time and was in the early stages of dementia. I needed to ask her questions before her memory started to fail. And well, the rest is history!”

Caitlin’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I have had some sort of a blog since 2005. When I started genealogy, I would post information and photos on my Facebook & personal blog every now and then. But I knew my friends & readers of that blog wouldn’t want to be bombarded with that stuff. So one day the thought just popped into my head about starting a genealogy blog. I originally created my blog in Tumblr because that’s the format I was using for my personal blog and I was comfortable with it. It worked for a year or so. Tumblr does not allow for customization to the extent that Blogger or WordPress do and I was feeling quite frustrated with it. When 2014 rolled around, I made the decision to change to Blogger. Before I changed though, I spent some time exploring Blogger and WordPress. I find WordPress very confusing; however I got the hang of Blogger easily. It was kind of like a fresh start, but my goodness I felt so much better about it, and I’m much more inspired now too.”

Caitlin’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Definitely start with a platform you are comfortable with. Take your time to explore what is available. Try not to make things complicated for yourself too quickly. You don’t have to start with lengthy detailed posts either. Photographs and a simple caption are lovely. What is that saying? Pictures say 1000 words. Interact with people who comment on your posts. Submit your blog to Geneabloggers, and if you have no idea what to blog about, Geneabloggers has some excellent prompts.”

Caitlin’s Favorite Blog Posts

“I’ve narrowed it down to 4.

  1. Ready to Learn at FGS!
  2. Collection of Wedding Invitations
  3. Paton-MacEntee Down Under in Brisbane
  4. Father-Daughter Genealogy Day

Caitlin’s Time with the Ancestors

“I have been studying full time at University for the past 6 years, so time with the ancestors has always had to compete with that. I graduated at the end of 2014 – now I get to spend a lot more time with them which is wonderful!”

Caitlin’s Favorite Ancestors

“I don’t think I have favorite ancestors. I have ancestors who fascinate me more than others at times, but they’re all intriguing!”

How Genealogy Has Improved Caitlin’s Life

“Oh my gosh! When I started genealogy, I thought it would simply be a hobby in my spare time. But no, it has become so much more than that and I’m so thankful for it. I find knowing where I come from, the ancestors that I come from…well, there’s just something pleasant about knowing all that. It makes me feel very happy.”

“Besides all that though, I’ve been to three major genealogy events and I have made so many amazing friends who I know I’ll be friends with for life! I think that’s one of the best things to come out of this – the people. The genealogy community is amazing.”

What Caitlin Loves Most About Genealogy

“All of it! Everything! I can’t really narrow it down. I love the detective work, searching through records, going to cemeteries, taking genealogy road trips. It’s all wonderful! Plus I love being able to tell the family what I’ve discovered.”

Caitlin’s Genealogy Bucket List

Travel

  • Take a road trip to Wondai (3-4 hours drive North West of Brisbane) to see where my 3x Great Grandfather David Gill lived for the last 5 years of his life and where he is buried.
  • Go to Scotland to see where my ancestors came from (90% of my ancestors originally came from Scotland).
  • Spend more time in Texas going to other towns and cemeteries I haven’t been to yet.
  • Travel to Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee & the Carolinas to see where my ancestors came from in those States.
  • Spend a good week or two on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales visiting Kempsey, Maitland, Macksville, Bowraville (again) and Argents Hill (again) including the cemeteries I’ve not yet ventured into.
  • Spend a week or two in Salt Lake City, including research at the Family History Library
  • Travel to England and spend time at the National Archives.

Education

  • Go to more conferences & seminars!
  • I’d love to make RootsTech and FGS an every couple of years thing.
  • Go to Jamboree in California.
  • Attend Congress in Sydney in 2018 – a must!
  • Do some online courses in genealogy.
  • Join more societies.
  • Go on my first genealogy cruise with Unlock The Past.
  • Try and gain some work experience at the State Archives or something similar.

“That’s all I can think of at the moment…I’m sure there is lots more though!”

Caitlin’s Time Capsule Message

“Ask your parents and grandparents stories about their childhood and experiences growing up. You never know what wealth of information they are going to hold!”

An Additional Message from Caitlin

“This is something I’ve only realized in the last couple of days. When I was a kid, my bed time stories were not fairytales or the like. They were stories my parents told me about their childhood. My favorite is one my Dad has repeatedly told me over the years – it involves the neighbor’s dog and a school window.”

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Please take a moment to head over to Caitlin’s blog, Genealogically Speaking, and leave her a comment, letting her know you stopped by. Thank you Caitlin 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 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.