September 9, 2013

Genealogy Goal 2 – Preserve the Heirlooms

Posted in Goals at 8:28 pm by hoosierroots

Time to create objectives for the second goal.

Goal 2:  Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.

As the acknowledged family historian on both sides of my family, I have been fortunate to receive a closet full of old family photos. These photos stretch back to the late 1800′s with significant collections for every decade since. Some are labeled, some are not. While I will likely never identify every photo, I know more about many of the pictures than will my children or their children. In addition to photographs I have a smattering of old letters and documents, including my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War discharge papers. There are also a few audio tapes, movie reels, and even the now almost-antique VHS tapes.

If these items are to survive to continue to tell the story of our past they need to be labeled, digitized, preserved, and distributed. It makes me shudder to think what a loss it would be if our house were to burn – which is where the strategy of digitizing with an off-site backup and then distributing the originals among my cousins is imperative.

I have scanned many photos, but I have many, many, many more to go. In order to keep my load reasonable, I am going with a fairly simple – and single objective here. For now.

Objective 2a: Scan “modern” photos that my mother took. I have several boxes of photos I gathered from my father’s house when he recently moved. These photos are primarily from 1980-2004. (My father went digital in late 2004.) While I have a high quality flatbed scanner, scanning is relatively slow as the lid has to be raised between scans. I have recently purchased an inexpensive photo scanner that allows photos to be fed through the slot. No doubt, the quality is not quite as good, but the speed makes up for it. I was able to scan the first box (maybe 2000 photos?) in a couple weeks while watching television. Eventually I want to organize all the photos, label them, and so forth – but for now I will concentrate on scanning. I will scan another box by the end of October.


September 8, 2013

Genealogy Goal 1 – Capture Today’s Memories

Posted in Goals at 7:38 pm by hoosierroots

Now that I have listed my 7 Genealogy Goals, I want to create a specific objective under each. A key to success is to keep these objectives specific, realistic, and obtainable within a reasonable timeframe. An easy way for me to thwart the “realistic” criteria is to create too many objectives; I plan on restricting myself to one objective per goal to start.

Borrowing in part from my listing of goals in 2009, on to Goal 1:

Goal 1: Capture the family memories of today for they are the family history of tomorrow.

While our lives seem very ordinary to us, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will find mundane topics such as antique cell phones and how we did the laundry fascinating. After all, aren’t we thrilled when we find even a single letter from our ancestors taking about playing bridge at night or gathering and listening to the fiddle playing.

As I wrote before, Dr. Thomas Jones suggests that this is the most important objective of all in his lecture ““Creating Family Histories for Future Generations.” To keep the number of objectives contained, I will not (for now) include projects such as scrapbooking and restarting the KUWJ (Keeping Up With the Joneses) newsletter.

That said, I cannot contain myself to only one supporting objective here.

Objective 1a: Help my father complete the book he is writing on his life.

The text is all but written We are half through the editing process. I must put this as the top priority. It is a phenomenal treasure, and it is time to finish. I will set a timeline to complete a chapter a week.

Objective 1b: Write a weekly entry for “the Story of Me.”

As I posted recently, I am participating in a project during which I will respond to a prompt once a week to write about myself and my life. The prompts will come weekly for 15 months, or until the end of 2014. I intend to write most of these entries on Saturday evenings.

September 7, 2013

Prompt 1. Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?”

Posted in The Book of Me at 1:19 pm by hoosierroots


  1. I am Deborah Catherine Marvel Wesley, daughter of William Frederick and Martha Catherine (Jones) Marvel, and wife of Jon David Wesley.
  2. I am the mother of three wonderful adult children, Christina, Christopher, and Michael.
  3. I am the younger sister of Susan Elizabeth Marvel.
  4. I am a niece, a cousin, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a mother-in-law, an aunt, and a great-aunt.
  5. I am a friend to a few very special women.
  6. I am a neighbor, in a neighborhood where I have lived since I was thirteen months old.
  7. I am Director of Information Technology at Vertellus Specialties Inc., a global specialty chemical manufacturing firm.
  8. I am a family historian, a family archivist, and a genealogist.
  9. I am a cook, a maid, and an errand runner.
  10. I am a photographer – capturing family events and beautiful scenery.
  11. I am a dog owner and a dog trainer.
  12. I am a 4-H Leader – with most of 4-H time now being devoted to 4-H Dog Agility. It occurs to me the day may soon be coming when it will be time to let this one go in order to concentrate on other interests.
  13. I am a book reader – historical fiction and suspense being my favorites. I still prefer the physical book to an ebook, but I am starting to see one advantage to ebooks – less storage required.
  14. I am a gardener – although in recent years it is a bit tough to tell.
  15. I am a child of God, imperfect, yet loved by our Heavenly Father.
  16. I am a seventh generation Hooiser and a third-generation American (all depending on which family line I count.)
  17. I am an English-Irish-Scottish-German- (and according to my recent DNA test) – Sweedish-Finish-Asian all American “mutt.”
  18. I am a collector of tea cups and frogs, and most recently sugar bowls.
  19. I am a camper, treasuring past trips, and eagerly looking forward to more adventures with my hubby, as well as with some friends.
  20. I am a computer geek – loving the latest technology, even when it is not work related, and very happy to have a new, screaming fast, desktop PC for photo and video editing.
  21. I am a exploring cook after 30+ years of fixing evening meals, pushing my standard repertoire, using new ingredients, and new techniques.
  22. I am a Colts fan – feeling a little guilty that NFL now commands more interest from me than basketball, but sill love the Indiana Pacers.
  23. I am a sporadic scrapbooker, always planning to do more, but knowing that whatever I do complete is a treasure.
  24. I am a woman who knows I should exercise, but keeps putting off getting restarted.
  25. I am a wanna-be crafter, with more projects in mind than time – primarily sewing, quilting, crocheting, and needlework.
  26. I am a nature lover – trees, birds, wild flowers, butterflies – who thinks sometimes I need to stop and just sit and breath and enjoy the view.
  27. I am a 55 year-old (for a few more days) who can being to see the signs of aging – reading glasses, gray hair at the temples, an occasional sore foot or hip, and realizes it is time to stop putting off what I want to do.

Setting Goals

Posted in Goals at 11:13 am by hoosierroots

A little over four years ago I wrote seven genealogy goals. They were intended to be high level and withstand the test of time. Underneath each goal, I would then define projects that would lead me towards that goal. I have made some progress on those listed projects over the past years. Not surprising, there is also much I did not accomplish. As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my research, I am pleased to find the goals I wrote in 2009 are still solid. The only change I am making to the goals is to reorder them. (A little earlier I posted a bit about why the “now” must take priority over the past.)

  1. Capture the family memories of today for they are the family history of tomorrow.
  2. Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.
  3. Identify and document the lives of my children’s ancestors.
  4. Breathe life into these ancestors by accumulating details, expanding the research into their families and neighbors, and putting them into their historical and social context.
  5. Creatively share the information and stories of the family of yesteryear with the extended family of today in a way that sparks the interest of those less passionate about family history.
  6. Continually expand knowledge of genealogy methods and records through both formal and informal education.
  7. Give back to the genealogy community through meaningful volunteer activities and collaborative efforts.

In the coming week I will expand upon each of these.

A Fresh Start

Posted in Happenings at 10:55 am by hoosierroots

Over the past few years I have used this blog to cover a number of topics – kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, scrapping, gardening, and a bit of what’s-happening-in-my-life-journaling. I have posted sporadically – for a while I would post daily, and then I might skip a few months.

As I enter the “empty nest years’ I am ready to once again turn significant attention to capturing and recording our family history. I intend to use this blog to document that adventure. While I imagine I will occasionally still want to blog about gardening or scrapping or the next remodeling project, I have decided to reserve this blog for my family history findings. Hence I have transferred most of my other post to Hoosier at Home.

If you want to share in the adventures of our ancestors, stop by here now and then.

The Book of Me, Written by You

Posted in The Book of Me at 10:42 am by hoosierroots

Julia Goucher, who blogs at Anglers Rest, has created a project “The Book of Me, Written by You.” As she explains in her post, the objective is to capture the essence of ourselves, leaving a legacy for our descendants.

It will be a challenge to keep at this for the intended 15 months, but I am going to work hard to stay at it. As was pointed out by Thomas Jones in his recent lecture “Creating Family Histories for Future Generations” at the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, if we are serious about being family historians, we must “begin with living people”  BEFORE we start collecting information on our past relatives. After all, our descendants will be able to do much, if not most, of the same research we can do, and in some cases they will be able to do it more easily as records continue to be digitized. But they will NOT be able to capture today as well as we can.

As I begin this journey, the first two prompts have been released, so I will have to catch up this week. However, Julia has started us our rather gently, so I think I should be able to make it.