It’s just a piece of paper


You open a drawer, a desk, a case, a box, even an envelope and you find this paper.


This one paper can do one of two things:

1) it can be nothing but raise the question of why was it kept all these years


2) open a world of “I didn’t know that” and take you on a journey you didn’t know existed.

What kind of journey or where that journey leads depends, of course, on what is written on the paper. And, what the paper lives in can be as equally important. If an envelope, whose names are on it?, what is the return address?, what is the mailing address?.


Perhaps it is an envelope that never was intended to be mailed but to hold that paper, what is written on the envelope?, who is it too?, or what, if anything, is written on it? Was it in a file folder, a large envelope, loose, or wrapped in a ribbon?

DanceCardWas it a dance card?, a page torn out of a magazine or book?Cookbook

How recent is the paper? Is it old, OldPaper  or is it not so long ago?NewPaper

What kind of paper is it?, a letter, a drawing, a doodle,  a document, a photo, a statement, a memento, an official government document, a message to someone? What kind is the paper itself, lined paper, specialty, official document, post-it-note, scented, torn?

What is the significance of the paper? Why was it kept all these many years or not so long ago?


Don’t discard those papers so fast without considering the importance they might have. Some doodle that became the device of the decade or the century is significant.

Someone kept it for a reason, take time to read it, read what came with it, think about where it was found, think about the date of it, even the place it was written from or to.

CellPhoneMessage As the world become more electronic, love letters, messages, holiday cards, birth announcements, wedding announcements, mailed letters, even documents signed electronically are eliminating the written word.EmailTextMessage


Does anyone clip articles or events from newspapers anymore?







Dead Doesn’t Mean There’s Nothing There


We have driven by them, maybe walked by them. Perhaps on a sad day, been a visitor there to say goodbye to someone we loved.

Cemeteries. Graveyards. Resting Places.


“What a downer!”

“Ah, c’mon, why you talking about this?!!”



Wonderful stories and lives – some tragic, yes, are in a Cemetery. There is a wealth of information which can guide us on our family history journey.




“The one thing that I do know is…

That as long as we keep telling stories about the people that we lost

They will never go away”

Jeph Loeb

Executive VP Head of Marvel Television


Where do we start and what do we look for:

In school I was taught the ‘W’s and an H’, who, what, where, when, why and how

When searching for an ancestor in their resting place :

  1. The name of the place.
  2. Where is it located
  3. Who are we looking for
  4. What are the birth and death dates
  5. Were they in the military
  6. Were they married
  7. What are the differences in writing on the headstones
  8. What are the different headstones
  9. Why is that significant

The website is a great place to start your search, 

I really suggest to get an account with them, as you can ask others for help in getting a photo of a headstone or to find out if that really is the place your ancestor is.

Once you find your ancestor, take a look at the headstone. Answer the questions above, and then comes an interesting part:

I just finished a genealogy class and learned something – When military headstones began, who got them, what they were made of and how this all helps.

For instance if you have a family member and there is a military headstone, you can know that the flat stone wasn’t placed there before 1936, and if it is granite it wouldn’t have been before 1939. If there are dates on it, it would have been after 1944.

Many have another headstone placed by the family at the time of burial – before the military headstone was placed there, so don’t just settle for one stone, there might be more.


What does this military stone tell you? Are there dates on it? What is it made of? What is around it?

Do you know the difference between a headstone, a tombstone, a marker and more?

I found this great website to explain it all:


“Now, what about the dates on those stones? OR even the names? what about obituaries or that nice folded  paper we get at the funeral itself?

Can they be relied upon to be 100% accurate, even today?”

Excellent questions!

and the answer is No.

You would think that may be true for years and years ago when many people did not know how to read or write, but even recently (remember people are under a cloud a loss during this time) and sometimes the order of the name, the dates, even the spelling can get mixed up and someone may not know it until a year or years later.

Always double check what you have for primary documentation and always keep your mind open that the dates, or spellings or arrangement of a name may be off some. We are all human and mistakes can be made.


Our mother died last year, 2016, and though we specifically told the person in charge that the names were not arranged correctly, (She went by her middle name) it was still in the program and the newspaper as her middle name first and first name in the middle. That week there were several deaths and for a smaller town, we think they were just a little overwhelmed. It was also the hottest days of the year that week.




The Undesirable 2nd edition




Now I want to go a little further and start ‘taking care of business’, to save my kids or spouse from having to do all the things my sister and I just did for our mom, when my time to leave this place arrives.

Like asking our children -who are adults now- what material items are important to them and perhaps, why . On that same note, perhaps there is something that I specifically want them to have, write a little not as to why I want them to have it, and adhere itPawPrints_LabradorFlowers

to the back of it, whether it is an art piece, toy, etc. If the piece is being displayed, my next thought is to get a spiral notebook, or 3 ring binder, or similar item and put a cover on it that will make it recognizable as something to look at when I depart. Show it to them, so they will know to look at it when my time does arrive. If it is all written down, and why, then that should save some emotion and difficulties during a very emotional time.

I have also considered using old trunks. One for each of our children, and putting in each trunktrunk what they want, or what I want them to have – what will fit of course. Then it is all ready for them to just load up and take to their home. This will also be convenient if a stroke, or dementia, or sudden illness happens. One can always put the notebook or binder in the trunk too. I can also add things as I find them, making it easy for me to put items from my ancestors that I may not want to be out in the open on display.

The only drawback are items that need to be in a safe or safe deposit box, but the instructions could be put in the trunk.

Now is also the time to write on the backs of photos, the names of the people in the photo, where the photo was taken and the date it was taken. This is so important, especially of family, as memory forgets , or what we know, does not mean that our children or grandchildren will know. Write It Down On The Backs Of The Photos Now. Don’t delay on this. It would be such a shame to have photos of your grandparents or aunts and uncles or cousins and then your children throw those photos away because they don’t know who those people are in them. (Do this also for friends who are important to your family, so they are not confused as relatives).

Do you recognize anyone in this photo? We only recognize two people. Our kids won’t recognize any of them. There is no one alive anymore who can identify them-at least none that we know of. (I did send a copy to one relative who was able to help identify a few more). But at the time, it was all cousins and uncles and aunts, and all were known. Time stops for no one, so write them down on the back of the photos.


Oliver E. Clarke, Charley Clarke, and Clarke family reunion, in Illinois

The other blog


Don’t know how it happened but I have two blogs and can only get into one of them to write, so the one you are reading now, is the one too look for.



For past

blogs and genealogy info:look at this site-





So apparently I have a blog, separate from this one. Don’t know how it happened or how to correct it – at this time, at least.

so here are a very few more:

Aha!, I just figured it out.

humblegenealogy vs humblegenealogist.

continuing 52 weeks of Genealogy


I had shared with you a few blogs ago, a website that was titled 52 Weeks of Genealogy, which for a reason unknown to many stopped at 22 weeks. I put mine in a binder and printed out pages for each of our grandchildren for each week. I also put a copy of the weeks intro page in the back, after I sent out the copies via ‘snailmail’ to our grandchildren. They love to get things in the mail too.

This is what I came up with to continue on and you can add or change as best suites your thoughts:

 52 weeks of Genealogy
week 1 Your first or middle name, where did they come from?
week 2 What toys did you play with?
week 3 Who are your parents?
week 4 Did you grow up in one home or many homes?
week 5 Do you have brothers or sisters or both or none?
week 6 Did you have any pets or a favorite pet?
week 7 Death is a part of life, what is death to you?
week 8 What religious beliefs do you have?
week 9 4 generation Pedigree Chart
week 10 Do you play a musical instrument?
week 11 Are you Irish? Do you know your DNA profile?
week 12 All about dating OR Courtship, What was it like?
week 13 The first car you drove or owned
week 14 Your first job
week 15 What do you celebrate?
week 16 What is a Relationship chart?
week 17 All about your father
week 18 All about your mother
week 19 Hardships you faced
week 20 What ancestor do you share similarities with?
week 21 Who were your Aunts and Uncles?
week 22 Your favorite family vacation?
week 23 Favorite author, artist, muscian, person
week 24 Record your childrens/grandchildrens voices-ask them questions
week 25 Which relatives do you see the most and why
week 26 What clubs or organizations do you participate in
week 27 Do you volunteer?
week 28 What is a Patriot and do you have any?
week 29 What are the changes in medicine you have seen happen?
week 30 Cartography, maps of places you have lived, your ancestors have lived
week 31 Who were your grandparents or greatgrandparents?
week 32 Stories: what stories do you remember hearing about your family?
week 33 Mysteries and secrets: are there any in your family?
week 34 Were books a part of yours or your parents lives?
week 35 What is one of your most happiest childhood memories?
week 36 What is one of your most happiest adulthood memories?
week 37 What is Christmas to you? Do you celebrate it?
week 38 What is a Census record and how can it benefit you?
week 39 Do you or your family have any hand me downs from ancestors?
week 40 What do you want to pass on to your family?
week 41 What is winter like where you live?
week 42 What is summer like where you live?
week 43 What was school like for you? For your parents? For your grandparents?
week 44 Questions you wish you would have asked your parents?
week 45 What are some of your favorite foods? Drinks?
week 46 What were your dreams in life as a child? As an adult?
week 47 Did any give you advice? What advice would you give?
week 48 Who were some of your neighbors growing up?
week 49 What did you and your friends do growing up?
week 50 Do you have any hobbies and why did you choose it/them?
week 51 What changes have you seen in the world since you were a child?
week 52 What did your past provide for you, where are you right now, what does your future hold for you?

Quick Tips


Summer is almost here, School is almost out, and life gets busy~

But don’t forget to document little times,as well as the big times:

Here is my Family Genealogy page on Pinterest:


Great ideas by many people!