I've been recreating my tree on Ancestry.com. Due to budget constraints, I was unable to renew my account when it came due. When I was able to renew for a limited time frame, I just couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get into the old account - even when I thought I had. I, evidently, set up a NEW one! Unfortunately, my <shaking leaf hints> are often my old site profile - ha! Sometimes, I use the information but honestly, I'm better at citing information, now, so I'm rather enjoying starting from scratch. And lucky me, I have a cousin and aunt who have been doing extensive research on my maternal line, so I have some rather wonderful <shaking leaf> hints from them! <3
I've also been doing some research on a friends family, and I find that just as fascinating as my own line. It's in a different area of the country which entails hunting for and utilizing different records and databases. Since I started as a recorder and title examiner in 1979 in the old Fairfax County, Virginia, Land Records, I've enjoyed the nuts and bolts of research in the real estate field, especially the old books (as long as I could make out the writing on them and had "Jeff" "Bob" or Bill Johnston to ask questions of!). It felt like I was stepping into the past, seeing the government programs/types of loans for people in the 1930's; seeing when utilities, such as telephone lines and electricity lines, came out to the rural areas of where I was researching. I remember when I was in my 30's being amazed at a large plat at the Stafford County, Virginia, Land Records showing Stafford County BEFORE Interstate 95. I grew up in the Tyson's corner, Washington, DC/Metropolitan area and have no memory of life BEFORE I-95 and the Springfield "mixing bowl"! I remember one search referencing Rte. 1, a major route running north and south along the east coast, that had evidently been relocated in the area of my research. I only knew what "I knew" as I was chaining back the title, and not realizing it had been relocated was inhibiting me from finding my property - felt like it had 'disappeared'. Jeff to the rescue! It's so interesting, just seeing the changes in the areas I've researched through the 60 year required research span whether I or someone else had started it. I just LOVE the feel and smell of the moldy old books!
The same thing applies in my Washington, DC research. (Can't wait for a field trip there!) I found some interesting historic maps showing the trolley car routes I remember my dad talking about, that I want to do some overlaying and comparing to more recent maps available and see where my family lived and worked and moved, utilizing Lisa Louise Cooke's DVD set Google Earth for Genealogy, Volumes I and II. Dad lived in Arlington County, Virginia, but attended Gonzaga Catholic High School across the Potomac in Washington, DC. He said that his mom would give him trolley money, but that he would save it in his pocket and instead run to/from school! I really want to track the path he would have taken to do that. He was young, hard-headed and probably did! LOL I also remember him telling me that he and some friends of his skipped school and went to swim for the day in the Potomac river - this would have been in the 1940's and believe it or not, there were some rural areas, then. He couldn't understand how his father new he had skipped, until at some point he realized he had a sunburn! Kids never change, do they?!
It's the "time" thing and needing to not feel "brain dead" after coming home from work that has inhibited me from pursuing my research and goals. (As an aside, I'm am more than thrilled that the real estate settlement market has encountered a title wave of new activity! Funny thing is as I am working on a closing, I am even more aware of the public part of the information from each settlement that will be available to future researchers and the 'gems' (as Lisa would say) and leads it will provide. Ah, from walking in the past to journeying to the future! )
I have also taken steps towards some other family history projects that I hope to unveil in the very near future. I may be "doing them for myself" and be the only interested one, but as I saw someone say on the original PBS video tape series, Ancestors, that I purchased off of Amazon - it sometimes seems that the ones you are researching want to be found. Maybe that's just in my imagination, but that's okay, too. I love seeing their time on this same earth through their eyes. It's my honor and my joy to do so.
Meanwhile, Happy hunting!