Jenny's Journey to the Past: My Genealogy Blog

Welcome to Jennifer Hitchcock's genealogy blog! I just found out that I must keep a blog about my genealogy efforts for my genealogy class, so here it is. I am very excited about learning more about my family in the weeks and months to come. I will keep you posted once I start the research.

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Friday, July 15th, 2005 (Week 9): Continuing On
As this semester is coming to a close, I would like to reflect on what I have learned about this fascinating area of librarianship. Because I never knew much about my family beyond my grandparents, it had been so interesting and fulfilling to connect with the past. I now feel more connected to my family and understand where we have come from as a group. The most amazing thing that I have found out is that most of my family was located in one location in Virginia for many, many years. I have never known family to be that way because my family moved around a lot when I was little and I do not live close to any of my relatives. It must have been nice to be that close to each other and experience that kind of family bond. I think that many people in the country today miss this closeness and that is why genealogy is so popular. I know I feel much closer than I did before. Hopefully, society will go back to this kind of family relationship in the future so we do not have to feel so disconnected.
Before I took this class, I thought about researching genealogy in order to trace my roots, but I always thought it was such a daunting task too big for me to undertake. I now know that with the right tools, diligence, and patience I can research anything I set my mind to. It is amazing to me that I have traced my mother's side nine generations back to before the civil war. This is just the beginning. There are so many branches I have left to trace. While I know that I am no where near close to finding out everything about my family, I have a good start and plan on continuing my research until I do. I know it is a lofty goal, but it is possible, especially with the resources we have at our disposal today.
I feel that taking this class has made me a better person and better librarian to people searching for their family roots. As was discussed at the genealogical society meeting in Tampa, it is extremely important for librarians to be familiar with genealogy and its resources. Although I am not sure what area of librarianship I will be working in, I am sure that my new found knowledge will be extremely helpful.  All in all, I enjoyed taking this class and I feel that I learned so much that I can take with me in my personal and professional life.
Saturday, July 9th, 2005 (Week 8): Obstacle Overcome
After diligently looking at various online sources to research an ancestor by the name of Reuben Bond that I was having a hard time finding information on, I have found what I was looking for. When I hit a dead end on, I was able to find census information on US GenWeb project. This site provided all of the information I needed to continue tracing the line. One interesting fact I found about this ancestor is that he died in the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863. I did not know one of my ancestors was in the civil war. I look forward to researching this more closely and hopefully finding more of these records. It is so fulfilling to be able to learn these things about my family that no one else knows. I hope to learn more about all of my family so I can share my experiences with all of my relatives. It will make some interesting stories to tell.
Friday, July 1st, 2005 (Week 7): More Progress
This week I have been continuing to research my mothers side of the family. I have been pleased to find much information on the Family Search site. I have been able to trace the Bond line seven generations back. I am a little stumped because I am having a hard time finding information on the last person I was researching in the line. I am trying to find out the names of his parents in order to keep tracing. I have tried searching various sources and have not come up with anything conclusive. I have found a similar name but I am not sure if it is the person I am looking for because there are variations from my previous research. I am currently looking more closely to try and rule out this person. I will let you know the results I find in the week to come.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005 (Week 6): Progress
After spending a lot of time on the family history and not finding much to corroborate the findings, I have decided to move on to the other side of my family and give my father's side a rest before I get too frustrated. I have searched various records to find the people mentioned in the family history and I have not been able to find anything. I am not sure if they are even related to me because there is no documentation. I have spent so much time on this side and have not researched the other side, so I thought this was a good time to mix it up a bit. Until now, I did not know about any family members past my grandfather and grandmother on my mother's side. After interviewing them, I found out the names of my grandmother parents. Using their names as a starting point, I was able to locate them in the 1920 census. You can find a copy in the records section. They were living in Virginia. I then found out the names of the my great-grandfather's parents by searching  I have been trying to locate their census records and have not had any luck yet but at least it is a start. Until next time!

Saturday, June 17th, 2005 (Week 5): Trying Not to be Frustrated

Now that I have the family history my Aunt Mildred put together, I have been trying to study it in order to figure out if it will help me in my own research. While I was extremely excited to find it, I am having a hard time reading and interpreting the contents. First, it is hard to read because most of it is handwritten, especially the family tree entries. Second, it seems as though there is no logical order of entries nor an explanation of how the information was derived. I can identify first hand with the author of our textbook when he says that the information must be carefully documented. If it is not, how can anyone follow it or duplicate the information? There is nothing in the book that explains how these people are related to my family except that they share the same last name. This does not mean that they are not, I am just having a hard time reading the information and seeing the connection. I am sure I can glean something of use eventually, so I am persevering and keeping an eye out for a tidbit of anything I can use. As always, I will keep you posted.
Saturday, June 11th, 2005 (Week 4): Mitchell Family History
After a couple weeks of tracking it down, I have finally found the family history one of my aunts, Mildred Mitchell, put together. It is a history of my father's family with the surname, "Mitchell." The book is larger than I thought it would be. It traces my father's side to Scotland. From what I have read so far, it is written in a story-history format and includes various vital records, pictures, charts, etc. Although it is a little hard to read because many of the pages are hand-written, this book is a serendipitous find and a wonderful jumping-off point. Up until now, I have not had much luck in finding information. I am sure this book can lead me in the right direction.

Friday, June 3rd, 2005 (Week 3): Family Interviews and Such

Now that I have written down all of the information I know and have constructed this site, I have moved on to the next step in my genealogy research. I am currently in the process of interviewing family members and gathering what information and records I can from them. I have started with my parents and going up from there. My mother informed me that one of my relatives put together a family history of my father's side of the family. She is currently looking for it. Hopefully she can find it and once she does, it might provide an extremely valuable starting point. This week I plan on interviewing my mother's side of the family and trying to locate vital records. Once I gain more information, I will begin internet searching to delve further. Well, that is it for now. I will keep you posted.
Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 (Week 2): Blog Website Up
I have been working on my unique genealogy website and blog for the past couple of days and it is finally fully operational. All of the links now work although some of the pages will need to be updated once I gather more research and can post the results. Now that everything is in place, I can devote the rest of my time to actual research. Well, I hope you like the site. I will post more information on my research shortly.
Friday, May 20th, 2005 (Week 1): Preliminary Work
Well, I just got done reading chapter one in the textbook, "How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy." It mainly states that a person should begin his or her genealogical research with themselves. After reading this, I decided to write down everything I know about my genealogy and then go from there. In order to do this, I downloaded the genealogy program from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but after using the program, I will probably download Family Tree Maker because it has a lot more features.
After downloading the program, I entered all of the information I know about my family. After I finished and looked through what I had written down, I was shocked to find out how little I know of my family. I only know information up to my immediate grandparents. I hope to rectify this in coming weeks and I am very excited about all that I will learn.
I am also in the process of updating my genealogy website. I hope to have all of the links to my family tree, archives of past posts, and records I collect working as soon as possible. Well, that's all for now. Tune in next time for more updates!
Thursday, May 19th, 2005 (Week 1): Class Assignment
The personal genealogy research project instructions were just posted. Here they are:
Objective of the assignment: The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your ability to engage in genealogical research, by keeping a regular (at least weekly) online log (weblog, or "blog") of your genealogical research progress during the semester.

Audience and content: The audience for your assignment is a member of your family or another genealogist interested in reviewing the progress you have made on researching your family.

Selecting the primary individual to research: Ideally, you are likely to be most motivated if the primary individual for this assignment is yourself. You may also choose another family member (child, grandchild,  significant other, other family member) as the primary individual. If you or one of your ancestors is adopted you may research either the adopted line or the genetic line, at your discretion.

Format: A weblog (also called a "blog"). See Ralph Brandi's "Geneablogy" web site for an example of appropriate content.

Grading: This assignment will be graded on the following basis: Regular reporting of research progress made


Jennifer Hitchcock, Webmaster
Last revised

June 22, 2005
Copyright Jennifer Hitchcock 2005