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Property Map Treasure Hunts: Finding the Places Your Ancestors Lived

One of the many wonders of Google Maps is the ability to travel down many streets and roads via “Street View.” And then of course there is aerial view that allows you to locate your ancestors properties of a bygone area by comparing old Platt and Ownership Maps with current ones. I am always amazed […]

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Comfort Laps: Writing Challenge

Our reminiscences are important parts of who we are. As we stitch them into narratives they connect us to our ancestors, sometimes in unexpected ways. I urge my readers to not shy away from writing about uncomfortable and challenging topics. My mother, for reasons that remain somewhat of a mystery, did not like to be […]

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Genealogy Intersections: Revisiting the 1719 Deed of Little Packington in Warwickshire

You can’t do genealogy for long before you realize what a small world we live in and how everything and everyone seems to have some sort of relationship. I call these genealogical intersections and they often crop up when doing gophering. I wrote about a very important one in my story of A Tale of […]

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ANCESTRY DNA’s Beta Chromosome Painting

This one sneaked up on me—I didn’t know it was there! It’s a new feature at ANCESTRY DNA currently in BETA. If you have tested there you should check it out. My favorite part was probably the questionnaire where it asked whether I would want to see the segments of my matches? HELL, YES! We […]

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Serendipity Strikes Again!

Most every Sunday, SheldonGenealogy.org sponsors a free Zoom chat, where anyone with SHELDON ancestry around the globe can join in to exchange information or get help on their SHELDON genealogy. Well this weekend we were joined by Steven SHELDEN who told a story about his grandfather and great uncle being surrendered to a VFW home […]

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Writing Challenge: What Did You Want to be When You Grew Up?

This is a common question we ask young people all the time. It is a question fraught with pitfalls. As a high school counselor, I devised a strategy for my students. I told them “Just figure out a school and some major or aspiration you ‘might’ want to accomplish.” Adults want nothing more than to […]

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The Circle Game: Loss and Healing

Dear Readers you may be wondering where I have been. I have been wondering that too. If one has lived a half century or more one has endured loss. Sometimes the losses are monumental like death or war, and sometimes so subtle we may hardly notice them. Then one day you wake-up to the passage […]

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A Love Letter to Young Genealogists

Dear Young Genealogist, Once upon a time I was you. I always had an interest in the past and unlike many of my peers I enjoyed hanging out with old people (gray haired retirees). I liked their stories and their points of view. I tried to imagine living through life without cars and planes and […]

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Hands in the Mud: Writing Challenge

I was daydreaming about mud which led to this piece of writing. I will have some writing suggestions at the end. “Learn to humble yourself, you are but earth and clay.” Thomas a Kempis When I was a kid we made mud pies. The best mud was made from dirt with lots of clay in […]

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Catch & Release, Word Fishing: Writing Challenge

“Every manĀ is a quotation from all his ancestors.” Ralph Waldo Emerson If fishing is a metaphor for writing, the title is the bait. I often start with the title. It’s setting the hook, attracting the reader, but it has another purpose. It sets the scope and determines what it is I am hoping to write […]

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