Category Archives: Genealogy

For the Genealogist in all of us

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Guest post by Colter Brian.

Colter Brian is a former private investigator/photographer and now a freelance writer. When he writes, he contributes to sites such as Online Searches. Some of Colter’s hobbies include spending time in the outdoors and perfecting his pasta recipes for his toughest critics; namely his two children.

It’s true, despite our very busy lives and careers, we still long to connect with one another, especially among extended family members. Often times due to our extremely mobile society, family ties can be severed due to job opportunities as well as lifestyle choices, creating a missing piece of the family puzzle. If you are one who values family connections, history and relationships, then perhaps by heeding a few of these tips can help you grow your research and quest for missing branches from your own family tree:

Let’s look at four tips below to get those bare branches filled and on your way to success:

Libraries: One of the best places you can go to start your research is your local library, not only do they have access to thousands of records and archives, but their staff is specially trained to help out with research. Be careful though, often times at historical and university libraries, there may be a fee associated with your research request. Always ask one of the associates there how much time they can devote to your question before they may have to start billing. Just getting started in the right direction, may be all that you need to get help on locating missing ancestors.

Venture into the creepy attic or the spooky basement: No doubt, there was probably someone in your own family who was a bit of a historian. If you’ve got those cardboard boxes full of old family memorabilia, then get them out and start researching the materials that you already have. Chances are there may be items like birth announcements, newspaper articles, personal letters and other odd pieces of history that you, the genealogist extraordinaire will have to uncover.

National ArchivesGovernment Archive sites: Often times you can start your family search right in the comfort and convenience of your own home. If you have a couple of key pieces of information (i.e. first, last name and year they immigrated) you can start plugging in the names to get your search started. A site like can be that great stepping stone. Imagine finding your great-grandfather’s immigration papers and actually seeing his unique signature on your computer screen. Imagine what a day it must have been for him, one that changed the course of your family history, forever.

Background searches: Let’s say that your great-aunt was the family historian, but when you spoke with her she relayed that she gave all her research to one of her cousins, someone she has lost touch with and not spoken to for years. What to do? Not to fret. Log on and do a quick and easy background check. Chances are for a nominal fee you can locate this person in a matter of moments. A place like Online Searches will get the ball rolling.

We all come from somewhere and if you’ve always wondered about your past then there’s no time like to present to start your research. Who knows what amazing things you’ll discover about your very own family? By following these easy steps you can be on your way to discovering a richer and more fulfilling history, the one of your story.

Good luck on your family search!

Category: Genealogy | Tags:

Changes to the Website

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Good morning family and friends!

I just wanted to make you aware of a couple of changes to the website.  I have removed the “Genealogy” section, and if you had a link to a person in this section, I apologize.  This was giving me a headache, and it was causing behind the scenes problems with other areas of my website.  It was just too hard of a program to keep up with for me, and I had to keep contacting the guy that wrote the program to help me with it. 

Therefore, I went back to the original tree that I had on the website, and it’s a much, cleaner way for me to display my family tree.  Not to mention how much more simpler it is.

Now, you can search for your relative, or ancestor in the person index, or in the search bar on my home page.   This will also allow you to view anything posted in my website, related to that person when you search for his/her name, whether it is in the tree, or an article, picture or post I have made about them.

Thank you for  your patience with me, as I have tried to work around and find the easiest, most accurate way to showcase my information to you.

As always, if you find a person of interest to you, please contact me and I will share any information, photos, or documents that I might have.


Category: Changes, Genealogy | Tags: ,

I’m baaaccccckkk!!!

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And so are the genealogy pages!  Click the link above that says “Genealogy” and you will be taken to my new family genealogy pages.  It’s still got a lot of work that needs to be done, but you can at least access the pages and search for your ancestor.

I apologize for being away, and taking so long in getting the family pages back up.  My father was sick and spent a couple of days in the hospital, and then I got sick, and then my precious Aunt Jane went home to the Lord.  While Aunt Jane will be missed, I rejoice that she is in heaven with our Father, and her body is whole and no longer in pain.  Here she is with my grandparents, and I imagine their reunion was sweet!

Lou Jane Higginbotham Starks, Earl and Edna Higginbotham

I’ll be getting back to regular posts now that things have settled down. Yes, I’m knocking on wood.  It seems that every time I say that, things spiral out of control, but I have faith everything is going to go ok for a while, cause God knows I need a break, and I have a lot to share with you, so stay tuned……


Category: Genealogy | Tags: , ,

Where’s Old Henry?

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Genealogy is defined as the record, or account, of ancestry and descent of a person, family group and family histories.

I think Webster was wrong when he dreamed up that description!  I have found, through my years of wanting to know more of my lineage, that it is much more than that.   I’ve decided genealogy research is:  1) Like being a detective working on a “cold case”.  A lot of the evidence has been destroyed, tampered with, and most of the eye witnesses are long gone.  Yet you know a person existed or you wouldn’t be here.  You also know that person’s life deserves to be remembered and recorded with the truth and dignity it deserves. 2) What Grandma Jones may have told you, may not indeed be fact, but stories passed down, gossip, or hearsay. The original story has often changed. So you set out to locate and record every Jones that may have lived near Grandma and determine if they are related to your “Jones Clan” and if the accounts handed down or fact or fiction.

It’s a jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle and a Rubik’s cube all rolled into one long search where you attempt to fill in the blanks, find the perfect fit and match all the squares.   It is stomping through overgrown lots seeking hints of habitation of your ancestor one hundred or more years ago.  It is countless hours of research, interviews, pouring over old records, photos and the internet hoping to find one small clue. It is visiting graveyards with maps, chalk, and camera in hand.  And all the while you think there’s got to be a clue just around the corner, at the next courthouse, library, or museum.   You are energized with the thought that, “Today’s the day I’ll find Grandpa Henry!”

Probably the most recent and exciting discovery I have made is, that while I may never have the Eureka! moment on Old Henry, I have found wonderful cousins along the way that I never knew existed.  Such was the case when I recently connected with Susie Reynolds and Gary and Bessie Higginbotham.  We have the same thirst to know more and share our discoveries.   It was a fun day just to be in their company looking over photos, letters, and sharing stories of family members past and present.  Had it not been for genealogy, I would never have made this connection.

My advice for anyone seeking to know more about their ancestors is to never quit on your search; never disregard any clue before proving it; never overlook those of the present while searching for your past!  They may just be the jackpot you have been searching for.



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