Unlocking Doors in My Genealogy Research Monday, Feb 9 2015 

Photo taken in Dublin, Ireland - circa 2004

Photo taken in Dublin, Ireland – circa 2004

My genealogy search stalled once again due to employment necessity, or a lack thereof. Given the fact that I cannot quickly look something up without it turning into a few hours of family history research, I pushed it aside until I had ample time to focus on this project.

DOORS

If you’ve read some of my earlier blog posts entry, you know that I’ve encountered one locked door after another with the Smith side of my family tree.  I have yet to find substantial proof of our rumored Native American lineage and the numerous marriages/remarriages of my great-grandfather and his father leave me searching for months on end.

OBITUARIES

So, you can imagine my elation when I found an “unlocked door”! Thanks to new documents available on FamilySearch, I found numerous obituaries for some of my Smith relatives in Michigan; my great-grandmother and her mother-in-law being two of the findings. I have not found my great-grandfather’s obit nor that of his father, but my search continues with renewed hope and focus that with a little determination, patience, and refocus, I’ll find those whom I seek.

 

Have you encountered similar struggles? If so, how did you overcome them?

 

Happy searching from one family detective to another!

Elora Valley Friday, Aug 31 2012 

My foray into ancestry research coincided with the writing of my premiere novel – a Young Adult story that’s part fantasy, part coming of age and part spiritual in theme.  The importance of family connections is one of the main components of the book.  How we relate to one another.  How we identify ourselves as individuals and as relations?  Can you truly prosper by running away from your complex family situation or must you confront the issues before becoming an full-fledged member of society?  But most of all, can you move forward without looking back?

My protagonist, Gracie, ultimately finds strength in her own abilities by listening to the wisdom and advice of family members that have long since passed.  Being an artistic soul, I intentionally infused creative outlets throughout the story;  as a vital element of the progression of each character.  In coming up with a name for the fictional world in which Gracie would reside, I struggled.  I started with “Aurora” partly because I’m a big fan of animated princess movies.  Then the name “Alora Valley” came to me while writing one day.  Perfect!  That fit.

Years later, while researching my father’s side of the family, I learned that my relatives came from a town in Canada called Elora!  Wow…just wow. 🙂  I couldn’t make that stuff up.  Well, actually I probably could, but I didn’t!  To top off this wonderful round of synchronicity is the fact that Elora is a village infused with the creative arts.  It just keeps getting better.

I am making plans to head north for a visit to my ancestors hometown, before they moved to Michigan.  After just a brief search I’ve found so many interesting bed and breakfasts to stay in, events/festivals coming  up and scenic spots to photograph.  Visiting Elora has now become my next stop on my Ancestry Travel bucket list!

To learn more about Elora visit their website…http://www.elora.info/

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