Monthly Archives: January 2014

New pins to my Genealogy board this week include links to two new [to me] resources that may be helpful in researching my mother’s Irish and Scottish ancestors.

The following two links are to an article and a video lesson on that are relevant to current goals and research:

Because I don’t want my family history to just exist as files on my laptop, I pin links to creative ideas that showcase ways to display and use my family history records but not the typical scrapbooking page.

I really like this chart!

Pinterest, for those who do not know, is a way to categorize and bookmark links on the Internet in a visually appealing way. You can create a board on any topic of interest and “pin” a link to almost any website you find of that you want to bookmark for your chosen topic. The pins show up on your board using a photo or graphic from the website. You can write your own descriptor for the link.

For more pins to genealogy resources, articles and creative inspiration, be sure to look at my Pinterest board at Pinterest.

Juliana Smith writes on the blog about 6 Resolutions to Get Your Family History on Track for 2014. I don’t make resolutions but I like to make a list of things I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. My list is supposed to keep me focused. [Anyone who knows me personally is now laughing hysterically…]

to-to-listHaving an unnatural love for list-making, I like to spend the first week of a new year making lists of things to do. It doesn’t matter that I don’t accomplish half of what I list and I don’t even dwell on that fact. For some reason, it soothes my soul to look forward to doing new things rather than lamenting all that lies unaccomplished. This parallels my thinking in my other obsession [quilting], where at the start of a new project — the designing and planning stages and finally beginning the project — is much more exciting than the finishing-up stage. [Don’t ask me how many quilting projects I have currently underway. Hehehe.]

I have just gotten back to my family history after a 10 year break so I want to focus, focus, focus. Trying to re-enter old work and documenting new discoveries has me running in circles. Which explains the reason why I feel the need for a list, I think. Using Juliana’s 6 Resolutions and her comments about them, I came up with a list of goals for my family history research for 2014. Here’s a summary of Juliana’s resolutions:

    #1. Make it a priority
    #2. Meet with my ancestors
    #3. Learn, learn, learn
    #4. Organize file – electronic and otherwise
    #5. Read history
    #6. Preserve stories and share them

Making my research a priority is not a problem–keeping it from being an obsession is probably a better goal for me. I cancelled my Ancestry membership temporarily to get a handle on the obsession thing. I need to make it a priority to get everything entered from my old files before I continue adding in new. My ancestors aren’t going anywhere, right?

    #1 Finish entering information from old family group sheets, Duthie history, and McEvoy booklet into Family Tree Maker[FTM].

As I enter the old information into FTM, I need to review and inventory all the materials I’ve gathered for each person. I may need to print new family group sheets. I want to make sure I have sources cited and take notes on what information is missing on sources previously searched.

    #2 Refile old documents and add new information and documents.

I want to use some sort of timeline-chart format for each direct line family to see where vital information is missing or not sourced properly. By doing this, I will also be able to form some new conclusions based on new information and connections and see new avenues to follow to form new research plans.

    #3 Take notes, form timelines and make new research plans.

I use OneNote to keep track of my life and lists. I have notebooks set up for my family history but have not completely worked out a way to use them cohesively with FTM. I need to work on that. Part of the reason I am having to re-enter all my data and notes is that my old FTM files were on 3.5″ floppies. Yes, ancient technology… When using OneNote everything can be stored on SkyDrive, as well as USB, so maybe a similar situation can be avoided in the future. [I can only hope.]

onenote family history

    #4 Work out a plan to store documents electronically with OneNote.
    #5 Organize scanned documents on hard drive into OneNote notebooks.

About eight weeks ago I made a task list in FTM of people in my direct line who needed names, immigration and death dates found for them. Recently Ancestry was offering free access to records in the UK, I added a few more names to my lines and completed a few tasks. A new task list is in order, I think.

    #6 Compile a new task list in FTM for my direct lines and use it along with the timeline charts to form some concrete research plans.

When offered the free access to UK resources, I took advantage of it. [I only had access to US resources at the time.] I was able to add the parents of my original Williamson immigrant ancestor including the female surname. I am hoping to be able verify her parents names next. I searched records for the Isle of Man and added to my Cormode line as well. This brings me to Juliana’s third resolution–learn. Now that I’ve taken those two lines back over the pond, I will need to learn about research and obtaining documents in Lancashire, England and Lezayre, Isle of Man. Which leads to my next goal:

    #8 Learn more about resources and documents available in England and the Isle of Man starting with the free Ancestry Research Guides and videos and then other online sources and books.

Moving on to my last two goals… just for personal satisfaction:

    #9 Connect and correspond with distant cousins.

And finally, again, as a constant reminder:




tasksLet the check-marking begin!

My grandmother, Grace Rose (Buisch) Williamson, lived with us for 20 years before she went into a nursing home in the early 1980s. When I first became interested in my family’s history in my early teens, I asked my grandmother about her family. Grandma didn’t share a lot of information about them. She grew up in a time when there things you didn’t reveal about your past or your family—anything that brought shame and judgment on the family. Her family was deeply religious and there were skeletons in the closet and some of them were hers. (I realize that even today families hold tight to their secrets, but we know it was even more prevalent in the past. It was something instilled in the family—you did not talk about the skeletons.) There were other things that she could have told me but never did reveal—things that would have made my beginning research go so much easier! And I do still wish she had told me more stories and I had been able to gather more details of her life and family before she passed away.

My grandmother did tell me that her ancestors were from Alsace, France. Her grandmother, who she said lived with her family for a time, spoke French. My grandmother thought it sounded beautiful and liked to listen to her speaking her native tongue. Her grandmother was also blind. (My grandmother was thrilled and so proud when I chose to take French as my foreign language requirement in ninth grade.) Grandma said the family came over on a wooden ship with tall sails. She said her ancestors were tailors in France.

I had asked my dad what he knew about his family. I think he told me I would have to ask grandma. (My dad never talked about his childhood.) After I talked to grandma, my dad then turned around and told me not to believe any of what my grandmother said. He said his mother was known to embellish the truth when it suited her purpose. (Some of the answers to the questions on the census prove this fact. LOL) She was also in her 80’s by this time and quite forgetful. But I idolized my grandmother and loved her deeply. She was always patient, kind and loving towards me—things my own mother frequently was not. I did not believe she would have misled me with embellished truths in the things she did share about her family. There was no reason. They were all long gone. I think she was pleased that I was interested in my ancestors. I believe my grandmother wanted me to know more about her family but she knew I was too young for some of the details. Ultimately, being so young and with no support or encouragement, I abandoned the notion of finding more aunts, uncles and cousins but I remembered the things my grandmother told me. Although the family stories were few and far between, there were other things my grandmother told me over time.

Somewhat reluctantly my father did supply me with my grandmother’s parent’s names [Henry Buisch and Mary George] when I decided to begin my research in earnest in the early 1990s. His father left before he was born so all he knew was his father’s name—Raymond Curtis Williamson—because my uncle was named after their father. I think my dad was worried that I would go digging for the skeletons. I don’t think he realized how strict the privacy laws are in New York. Basically what I wanted to know is where everyone came from originally and why no one from the family was around now. (Some of that has to do with birth order—my grandmother was born when her mother was in her 40’s and my father was born when his mother was in her 40’s and some of it… well, those skeletons nobody wanted to talk about. Hehehe) That was enough to get me started. I had just gotten my first computer and was hooked up to the Internet. This was back in the days of Prodigy and early AOL and their forums. I spent a lot of Saturdays in the small, cramped Family History Library in downtown Las Vegas pouring over microfilms.

Researching the Williamsons in the Rochester census was fairly simple. I was able to trace that line back to what I thought at the time was the original immigrant. Just recently I was able to connect that family member with his parents in New York census records and a ship’s passenger list. I was able to find—what I think is—that family in Lancashire, England. (I need to order a document or two to confirm this.) Even though it would be easy to do, I have not filled in all the information available on the collateral Williamson lines yet. (There are quite a few of them.) The Buisch family was a little more difficult because there aren’t as many of them, and I would hit one brick wall after another in my search. However, it is the one family that has kept my interest in family history alive. Coming up against those brick walls, breaking them down and being left with more questions to answer is the never-ending quest of genealogists.

Oh, and about those things my grandmother revealed? Although I have not confirmed everything she told me, in the things I have been able to piece together so far, everything she said has been true.


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A bit about me

Erin Williamson Klein
New York to Nevada
Started my research in 1993

Aside from my own family history research, I also have 2 Surname Studies: Colepaugh mainly in the US and Schraven worldwide.

Following the GPS!

Sourced Database Statistics:

64 direct ancestors through 4x great grandparents
2 of 2 people identified in 1st generation
4 of 4 people identified in 2nd generation
8 of 8 people identified in 3rd generation
14 of 16 people identified in 4th generation
20 of 32 people identified in 5th generation
16 of 64 people identified in 6th generation

# people properly sourced
# remaining to be sourced
% completed

Paticipating In:

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