May I Introduce to You . . . Dawn Kogutkiewicz

Dawn Kogutkiewicz

I am excited to introduce to you Dawn Kogutkiewicz and her blog, Dawning Genealogy described as,  “ . . . My family research which includes my children’s paternal lines and my daughter-in-law’s maternal & paternal lines, my parents & their siblings, spouses, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, my siblings & their spouses and children, my husband’s maternal and paternal lines.”

A Little About Dawn

“I was born in Miami, FL and lived in Hialeah until I was almost 3 and then my family moved to Pembroke Pines, FL in 1965.  Then, my Dad was transferred to Greensboro, NC for his job.  I currently live in Elgin, SC with my husband Tommy and we have been married for 16 years. I have two sons, Kenny and David. David married his high school sweetheart, Cassie in 2010 and in March of this year my first grandchild, Easton was born. I have three sisters and one brother, none of whom are interested in genealogy! I do have a niece, Kaitlyn, who enjoys genealogy and has been helping me with Mom’s side of the tree. I am hoping that Easton will one day enjoy genealogy too.”

How Dawn Got Started in Genealogy

“For as long as I can remember, genealogy has been a part of me. When I was about 11 or 12 my family lived in Centerville, OH while my Dad was going through a very long training program for his company. There was a Hardee’s not far from our home and just behind it, there was a small, fenced in cemetery that was from the late 18th century and early 19th century based on the inscriptions I found on the markers. I would walk down the rows looking at birth & death dates wondering what had happened to this person or that person.

I started actively researching my family in the summer of 1980 while I was living in Montgomery, AL and awaiting the birth of my son Kenny. I corresponded with my children’s great Aunt Betty, who generously supplied information, stories and photographs to me over the years. I’ve spoken to my parents at length about their childhood, their families, my Dad’s time in the Korean War and their lives together. I’ve spoken with my aunts and uncles about their families as well.”

Dawn’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started my genealogy blog at the end of June this year. I am hoping that by blogging about my family and my research other family members will get interested in our family history.”

Dawn’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Start thinking and planning ahead so that you know what you want to talk about! I just bought a calendar and I have written birthdays, wedding anniversaries and death dates so that I can recognize some of these events and people on my blog in the future. I am looking forward to Thomas MacEntee’s upcoming Bloggers Bootcamp where I hope to learn more about blogging! It was Thomas who suggested my blog name too.”

Dawn’s Favorite Blog Post

“Right now I think my favorite post is the one I did on my Mom and the wedding dresses she made for my sisters, my sister-in-law and myself. There is a collage picture with this blog and in each picture of our dresses I used the one with my Dad as he walked us down the aisle and felt it wouldn’t be complete unless I included a picture of my Mom with her Dad too.”

Dawn’s Time with the Ancestors

“Some days I may spend eight hours working on my research and other days it might be three or four hours. It just depends on what is going on, which family I am working on and whether I can do it from home or if I need to go to the repository near where I live.”

Dawn’s Favorite Ancestors

“I don’t know that I have a favorite person but there are several ancestors I feel the need to tell their story so that they are not forgotten. I have found many ancestors who never married, or married and didn’t have children, or who married, had children but none of their children married and the line ends with them. My ultimate goal is to make sure that they are not forgotten by telling their stories.

For instance, I have written a post about my 2nd great aunt, Anna May “Mory” Orth Hoskin and her family (http://dawninggenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/07/wednesdays-child.html).

She lost both of her children who died in their childhoods. I can relate to her because I know the profound loss she must have had because I lost my son Kenny at the age of 19.

Then there is my 2nd great uncle, John Bush Lamberthttp://dawninggenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-monday-mystery-john-bush-lambert.html 

He murdered his father with a poker in 1893. He spent the rest of his life in a lunatic asylum in Kentucky. Why did he do it? I don’t know but I am in the process of trying to obtain his records from the hospital. I’ve enlisted the help of the Kenton County Public Library to find any newspaper articles or an obituary for John Bush or his father John William.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Dawn’s Life

“It has given me the confidence to tell the story of my family whether it is good, bad or indifferent. It allows me to record what truly happened instead of pretending that it didn’t happen or quietly letting this ancestor slip through the cracks because someone doesn’t want the truth known.”

Dawn’s Time Capsule Message

I guess I would leave all of my research, computer files, pictures etc and to start where I left off. I would also tell them to be proud of who they are and where they came from.

Dawn’s Genealogy Bucket List

“I would like to go to the ancestral homes of my Rueff and Behrle lines. I would like to find the ancestral homes of my husband Tommy’s grandparents who came to the US in the early 1900’s from Poland and show him where he came from.”

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Please take time to head over to Dawn’s blog, Dawning Genealogy, and leave a comment, letting her know you stopped by.  Thank you Dawn 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 shelltag1@gmail.com

May I Introduce To You . . . Alex Daw

Alex Daw

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Alex Daw and her blog Family Tree Frog which she describes as “A record of a Queensland family historian’s research in Australia and overseas. As a Librarian, life-long learner and member of the Queensland Family History Society, there will also be commentary on publications, resources and workshops.”

A Little About Alex

“I was born in Sydney, Australia at the King George Hospital for Mothers and Babies in Camperdown. We spent a couple of years in Edinburgh, Scotland when I was very little whilst my father completed his PhD. When we returned to Australia we spent a little while in Sydney and Melbourne before settling in Canberra. I still think of Canberra as home really, as I was there from the age of 4 until 15 – the formative years. It was a beautiful place to grow up in – like a small country town but with the best of everything in terms of culture, being the nation’s capital. We were very spoiled with the National Library, the War Memorial, Archives and so on.  Currently I live in Brisbane, Queensland and have lived here for over 30 years so I must like it!”

How Alex Got Started in Genealogy

“I’ve probably been doing family history for at least 30 years. My parents were very interested in it and I remember looking at microfilms of newspapers with them at the Mitchell Library in Sydney and going to other repositories and libraries regularly. When we went overseas in my late teens, my mother tried to make connections with possible relatives in Sussex, so I was always very aware of being on the trail for ancestors.

“My grandfather and parents fostered my interest in history as a child and we all loved libraries and felt at home there. I enjoyed history at school and Uni and when my studies were completed, family history just seemed a natural way to continue my interest. When I moved to Queensland, my husband’s family were also interested in having some research done on their side and I was keen to help. They had a few mysteries that they wanted investigating and it was fun looking for different names rather than coming up against the same brick-walls in my family.

“I joined the Queensland Family History Society for a bit of moral support and direction and the rest is history. I had fun ‘playing shop’ looking after the Society’s bookshop for a while.  We stored stacks of Toowong Monumental Inscriptions at the foot of the matrimonial bed, until the children came along. Then someone else kindly took over the running of the bookshop so we could make room for a cot. The Society has provided me with so much inspiration and help over the years. I’ve been a library assistant.  I’ve had a go at indexing. I was on the Research Team until recently and I love going to talks/seminars/special interest group meetings. There’s always something going on and other lovely batty people like me who are passionate about this absorbing hobby.” 

Alex’s Thoughts About Blogging

“I did have another blog (Luvvies Musings) but it didn’t have a focus. Sometimes I would blog about my family history. Sometimes I would blog about what books I was reading. Sometimes I would blog about my holidays. Sometimes I would blog about what I was eating! It was all over the shop. I decided I needed a focus and so I settled on family history.

“I started ‘Family Tree Frog’ on 1 January 2012 as a bit of a New Year’s Resolution. I was really inspired by GeneaBloggers too and saw all the marvelous resources and prompts which made writing so much easier for me. I also wanted to make some kind of move towards building material for a book and keeping a record of my research. This seemed to be a smart way to go about it and what’s more, get some feedback while I was at it.”

Alex’s Advice for New Bloggers

“Give it a go! Don’t worry about what other people think of you having a blog. Don’t think of it as a Dear Diary exercise (unless that’s what you want it to be). I think blogging is actually so much more than that and a lot of people misunderstand what it is about. Don’t worry about being perfect. I’m sure I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet and indeed we are all still in the business of discovering all the benefits/hazards of social media but I believe the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. If it’s a grind, don’t do it. Only do it if you enjoy it and feel compelled to write. It’s not for everyone. Oh and pictures. Don’t forget to include pictures.”

Alex’s Favorite Blog Post

Wealth for Toil – it’s about my great-grand-aunt Harriet Rowland (nee Conner) 

Alex’s Time With Ancestors

“There is NEVER enough time. I work full-time so only get weekends to do research really. I am not house-proud by any stretch of the imagination and my poor husband is at his wits end, I’m sure. He is so very tolerant and has been for many years.  He is, in fact, a saint. Thank you, dear Robert, for all your patience.” 

Alex’s Favorite Ancestor

“That’s like asking which one is your favourite child. But if I had to choose a favourite ancestor it would probably be Harriet. I think she had such pluck as a young woman coming all the way out to Queensland from Portsmouth. Although she came out with her sister and brother-in-law originally, she spent much of her teaching life in isolated areas such as the Bustard Head Lighthouse and Readville Provisional School – places that we would call Beyond the Black Stump or Woop Woop in Australia i.e. far from civilisation. She had to put up with the heat, lack of refrigeration, no air-conditioning, wearing long sleeves, long skirts, silly hats AND put up with a, no doubt, patronising and chronically patriarchal education system. Now that’s perseverance in the face of adversity. Makes family history look like a doddle really.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Alex’s Life

“Where do I begin? I have met the most wonderful generous people through my Society and they are SO smart. I mean REALLY smart and clever. And such hard workers – and it’s all voluntary.  They are truly an inspiration. Now that I have a blog, going to conferences and talks is such a buzz to meet the lovely supportive folk I’ve met in cyberspace, face-to-face. Of course I have collected some cousins along the way too, which for an only child like myself, is a bit of a treat. But I think it has just really made me a more compassionate person or more understanding of the vicissitudes of life and how very fortunate I am to be living the life I lead today.”

What Alex Loves Most About Genealogy

“Those heart-stopping moments when you find your ancestor’s handwriting or a photo you haven’t seen before and you can almost hear them or feel them reaching out to you down the generations. That whole ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ feeling of admiration for all they endured or witnessed or struggled to overcome.”   

Alex’s Genealogy Bucket List

“I dream of going on a Genealogy cruise. Tragic, I know, but I think I would just love it. I would also dearly love to go back to the UK for a decent stretch and have the time to clomp around the places of my ancestors and get a feel for where they lived.”

Alex’s Time Capsule Message

“Hi there!  (Friendly wave) Can you read my writing? Sorry I wasn’t tidier with my filing. Sorry I didn’t scan those photos at a higher resolution. Sorry I didn’t backup my data every month. Oh.  Are you there? Can you hear me? Hello? PS I’m sorry that you have to look at that photo of me all the time … I can’t believe that is the one that survived the flood. There were much nicer ones of me – honest. PPS Daw can be spelled Dore Daws Dawe Door etc. Hope that helps ;)” 

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Please take a moment to visit Alex at Family Tree Frog and leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Thank-you, Alex, for letting us inside your blogging world.

© 2014, 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.

May I Introduce To You . . . Peter Loveday

peter loveday

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Peter Loveday and his blog, A Families Inheritance, described as, “. . . This where I talk about my family history, South Australia, with a bit my own history thrown in for good measure. I believe that a blog should shine a light onto my ancestors and through my efforts reveal their accomplishments, disasters, loves, sorrows, successes and how they lived.

It should also allow me to discuss the research and discovery that I am undertaking. Hopefully, it will also provide a medium for other family members to see what I have uncovered about our family.

I found myself immersed in the story of Richard John Loveday my Great, Great Grandfather and his two wives, Bridget O’Shea and Sarah Sadgrove, and 11 children, determined to discover more. What I found was fascinating and revealing. His story is appearing on my blog and will be a new episode each post.”

A Little About Peter

“I am a proud Australian and am a native of Adelaide, South Australia.  I enjoy telling the story of my family and at the same time show what it was to have lived in Australia in times past. It was a tough life in a harsh and uncompromising country. But tame it they did.

Books, reading and producing have been my life and worked in the Printing Industry most of my life.

In semi-retirement, I established a small Book Publishing business concentrating on Australian Authors, both printed and eBooks. This also included reviews and promotion of new Authors.

My wife and I spent 25 years in New South Wales, working at our own business and upon semi- retirement, travelled in and around Australia in a large caravan with our two dogs, MiMi and Lucy. My wife writing books and I ran the Book Publishing business. We have now fully retired back in our home town, Adelaide, having given up the Grey Nomad lifestyle and settled in with our family nearby.”

What Got Peter Started in Genealogy

“I am the fourth generation Loveday male of this line and was fortunate enough to have been left a wonderful Family History book that my father, George, had compiled on our first generation, prior to his death in 1977. Since then I have added to the wealth of knowledge about the Loveday family and continually keep looking for more.

Names I am researching are – Taylors, Browns, Fishers, O’Shea, Sadgrove, Kluge and Loveday.

The advice that I received from many quarters was to also develop both sides of my family and this has led me into many more fascinating discoveries. My Paternal Great Grandmother, Clara Kluge has a wonderful story that I am currently researching.

My purchase of the software, Family Tree Maker, made it possible to create a useable database and generate reports, build a .pdf Book and understand the relationship of the three generations of family on the page view, which is one of its best features.

Living as I was in NSW, it was not easy to obtain the necessary information that is not always available on the Internet.  The Volunteers staff at the South Australian State Library were wonderful and their assistance made it possible to follow my quest into the Loveday family. I would ask for a ‘lookup’ and the next day an email would come in with the information that I requested. It was fantastic!

Now living back in Adelaide, I am able to do my own research and am able to visit Mount Pleasant, the home of my Grt, Grandfather Alexander and my Grandfather Frederick. My Father, George, also spent much of his childhood in this Adelaide Hills township.

My full time retirement has now allowed me to devote most of my time to Family History.

Like all young people, my father’s interest in the family history did not seem all that riveting whilst I was growing up. However, once I read of my Grt. Grt Grandfather Richard Loveday’s life I was hooked. He was a man of his time and brought his wife and 3 children on a hazardous journey from 1840’s England to a new settlement called Adelaide, which was just 4 years old!

A Surveyor and Corporal with the Royal Sappers & Miners, he performed many difficult trips to discover and document the fascinating features of this new Colony. His strong relationship with the Indigenous Aboriginals was so important to the success of his missions. This was enough to fire my interest!

My late father, George William Loveday, wrote and published a Family History of our Loveday line. This book was the inspiration that I needed to expand and develop our history. The resources Dad had available to him at that time are small by comparison to today’s technology.

George with the assistance of my mother, Louisa, spent many days visiting the surviving relatives, visiting Government Archives departments, wandering through many cemeteries to copy details from grave stones and piercing together the facts and details of our family. Then Mum would type it all up, one-finger, on a small portable Remington typewriter.  When finished they would photocopy the pages until they had created a living, breathing book.

This then was my starting point. With the support of computers, the Internet and the wealth of information available now in Libraries and Government departments it was so much simpler to compile the expanded family’s stories.

Ours was not a family given to talking much about relatives and I had to tease out the stories that I had from my parents. Questions were asked, but few answers given. Even other family members were reluctant to talk much about the Loveday family.   Then, not long after my father’s funeral I had a talk with my Aunt, Dad’s youngest sister, and it was like a tap was turned on! I now had a fund of information to research and it has kept me busy for almost 30 years.”

Peter’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Not many members of my near and far family have an interest on Family History. Maybe as they grow older they may wish to discover more about our fascinating story. This then is the core motivating factor that drives me to establish as much as I can about our tribe.

Now in my twilight years and with no children to pass this information onto, I decided to start a blog and make my history information available to the world. I will continue searching and as it comes to light, the stories will be found on this blog.

I have found the blog helps to keep me focused and provides a discipline that I need to keep my mind active.

Thank you so much for the invitation to participate in the ‘May I Introduce You to . . .’ series.  I was pleasantly surprised and deem it an honour to be asked.  It is much appreciated.”

Peter’s Tips for New Bloggers

“I use WordPress for my blog and have used Blogger in the past. Both are great and their themes and layouts are astounding.

  • Decide what you want to say in your blog. Make it interesting and use a language that you would use in a face to face conversation.
  • Always proof your posts.  Nothing is more annoying to a reader than typos and sloppy grammar.
  • Be aware at all times that not all information that you uncover will be readily acceptable to all of your family. Be sensitive to others feelings.
  • Just do it! Be consistent and regular with your posts and give your reads a reason to come back and comment on your posts.

 Peter’s Favorite Blog Post

“My favourite post is possibly my most dramatic, How to Fix a Broken Heart.

I had just been diagnosed with a heart artery issue that required surgery and I was just a bit anxious of the outcome. Writing the post helped me enormously to put the experience into its correct perspective. The surgery was successful and after a triple artery bypass, I recovered to be fitter than I have been for some time.”

Peter’s Time with the Ancestors

“I am researching constantly for snippets and bits of information about my list of Surnames. I visit Trove weekly to look up some item on old newspapers and articles. I travel to our State Library every fortnight to look up information that is not yet on the Internet.  So, to answer the question I guess I am researching something daily.”

Peter’s Favorite Ancestors

“My favourite is my Grt Grt Grandfather, Richard John Loveday. I found myself immersed in the story of Richard John Loveday and his two wives, Bridget O’Shea and Sarah Sadgrove, and 11 children, determined to discover more. He was a man of his time and brought his wife and 3 children on a hazardous journey from 1840’s England to a new settlement called Adelaide, which was just 4 years old! He lost his young wife to Breast Cancer at age 33 and was left with 4 young children. He remarried 4 years later and he and his new wife raised 11 children.

A Surveyor and Corporal with the Royal Sappers & Miners, he performed many difficult trips to discover and document the fascinating features of this new Colony. His strong relationship with the Indigenous Aboriginals was so important to the success of his missions.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Peter’s Life

“I have always found the time that I spend on my family history, either writing up their stories or researching some obscure facts to be very rewarding in fact, it is not too strong to say it is therapeutic.

My life in retirement has a purpose and a focus and I am constantly reminding myself that these people have given me the life that I have lead. Their efforts in building this strong country has been my inheritance.”

What Peter Loves Most About Genealogy

“My greatest love is the uncovering of some new fact or date that adds to the jigsaws that our ancestors leave us. I often wonder if we will leave our descendants any jigsaws to solve!

Wandering through their lives is a constant thrill because at any moment a new story will emerge that adds to character of my ancestors.”

Peter’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Completing a book on both of my Grt Grt Grandparents on both, paternal and maternal sides. It will take me the rest of my days but I would love to leave such a gift for others in my family.

To be able to go back beyond 1790, the last record of the Loveday family in England would be a 5 star moment. Sadly no records seem to exist that will shed light upon these generations.”

Peter’s Time Capsule Message

“One simple message.  Start today writing a diary, a ledger, anything to record your life for your descendants. Don’t trust your memory in 40 years’ time – write it down now!  Your children and grandchildren will be forever grateful to you. Always caption your photos and record dates and events.”

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

© 2014, 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.