The first step was to buy large binders--one for each family branch--and clear filler pages. Photos, newspaper clippings, obituaries, family trees, a lock of hair from my Granny Lohr's first haircut, and hundreds of other miscellaneous items will be put into the pages in the appropriate family binder. I've set myself a goal of ten hours a week in which I will attempt to sort through the tubs and stacks of material presently all over one of the rooms downstairs.
Just so I don't run out of jobs--that's supposed to be funny--I've also determined that this is the year to start trying to catch-up on photo albums/scrapbooks which haven't been done since 1995. A mere 22 years should be whipped together in no time--right? Probably not since I've just spent eight hours in the past two days doing twelve pages.... My goal is to live long enough to complete that project--age 100 should do it!
My second resolution, loudly declared, was that I was sick and tired of writing and wasn't going to write anything in 2017. I am writing this musing and just completed an article draft for a provincial writer's periodical about self-publication. So much for that resolution.
Thirdly, I was going to put family history research 'to bed' for a year. But, family history information finds me. I was actually very pleased to receive an extensive binder full of Racher family history from Alice, one of my mom's cousins on her maternal side. An enjoyable visit with Alice and a brief perusal of the materials show that the Racher name had been changed numerous times since 1677 when ancestor John Redshaw was born in Layston, Hertfordshire, England. From that date to now, the name variations have included Redshaw, Redshere, Reacher, Racher, and presently include Rachar with an a, and Racher with an e. These types of name variations are what drive family history researchers to the brink.
Another family history project found me: On my maternal grandfather's side of the family, I had limited information on the Collins. That changed this past summer when the daughter of a cousin of my mother's contacted my sister. Working with this woman--whose name is Jean--we have contacted a cousin of my mom's interested in family history . He kindly mailed me copies of the materials that he had, including obituaries of my Great-Great-Grandparents whose last name was actually spelled Collings, not Collins. No wonder I couldn't get far in my research on that branch of the family! I have copies of the obituaries from the Chesley (Ontario) Enterprise dated January 25, 1894 for Henry Collings and from the Tara (Ontario) Leader dated August 22, 1901 for Catherine Brooks Collings. Although I've done some work on Ancestry just out of curiosity, I haven't been able to locate information on the ancestors of Henry and Catherine. They lived on Lot 27, Concession 2, in Bruce, Ontario, and had nine children, one of whom was my Great-Grandfather, Edward Collins. (I think Edward may have been the guilty party in dropping the letter g in Collings.) And, I so wanted a strong Irish-sounding name like Collins in my ancestry! My Great-Grandfather Henry Collings was born in England. I'm still hopeful that Catherine Brooks was born in Ireland as I had noted in my first book.
I had another exciting breakthrough in the violation of my resolution on not doing family history research for awhile. When I traced my Great-Grandmother Matilda Legge (also spelled Legg), I located a public family history tree on Ancestry done by a man who lives in Delta, B.C. He responded to my query for information and gave me his phone number. During an interesting conversation, he explained that the Legge/Legg branch was on his wife's mother's side. The tree is complete on my Great-Grandmother Matilda Legge's maternal side back to my Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents (Stephen Croft, Margaret Dawson, Robert Howland, and Sarah Marton). On Matilda's paternal side (Legge/Legg) side, the tree goes back to my Great-Great-Grandparents Moses Legg and Elizabeth Pickard on one branch and to my Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents Nicholas Pickard and Barbara Stamm.
For those of you still reading this after all those 'Greats,' why am I putting in all these facts? Now that the resolution is broken anyway, writing this is my way of advertising that I'm on the lookout for more information. So, if anyone reading has research on any of these names, please contact me. Several extended family members have found me through this website so I keep putting information on it.
Out of my three resolutions, the sorting and organizing one is still in place. Perhaps it's a good thing that the 'no writing' has turned into some writing and that the family history research continues to find me.
How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?
Happy February everyone--cinnamon hearts and valentines to each of you.