RootsTech 2014

It is a crazy week for me. I went to Innovator Summit (part of RootsTech) yesterday and today was the first day of RootsTech. Went to some great classes both days. Two more days of RootsTech ahead and I really need more sleep. The mornings are way too early for me. You can enjoy part of RootsTech too. They are streaming some of the sessions live or you can catch them later on the RootsTech site. The hardest part is deciding between classes.

On a side note Dune (our Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy in training) is returning for the next stage of her training this weekend. I’d like to get her puppyhood book done to send with her but I don’t think I’m going to make it. I hope to get a pupdate post done next week.

In the meantime, head on over to the RootsTech site and enjoy the free classes.


Family History Writing Challenge – doors open

It is time to commit to this years Family History Writing Challenge by The Armchair Genealogist. I’m in, I signed up yesterday. I don’t know what/who I’m going to write about but I know that I want to take the challenge and see what I can do in 28 days. I’m going for the 250 words per day challenge but if your up to it you can choose 500 or 1,000 words per day. This will be an interesting experience for me. I’ve never done a writing challenge before. Anyone else up for the challenge? Sign up here.

2014 Family History Writing Challenge

The Armchair Genealogist is planning her Family History Writing Challenge for 2014. At this point she is asking what our biggest writing challenges are, other than time. You can comment on her blog or on Facebook. In 2012 Lynn did 29 day writing challenge from February 1 – 29th. And it looks like she repeated the challenge in 2013. Now she is going to change-up the challenge a bit and while I don’t know what will be, I’m committing now to participate in The Family History Writing Challenge in 2014. I’ll let you know when she posts more information about the challenge but it would be awesome if everyone would seriously consider taking on this challenge.

Remembering and Honoring Our Heritage


When telling your families stories how do you handle the less than honorable ones? I came across an interesting article on Family Storytelling by Valerie Elkins with some very wise advice on how to look at the not so good choices that have been made in all families. Here is her article:

The Fork in the Road and the Road Less Traveled

How have you handled the heroes and the scalawags in your family?

Horizon Passenger Lists

image of the Horizon passenger list

I recently created a Facebook page for the Martin Handcart Company, since there wasn’t one and since my great-great-grandmother was part of that company. I’ve started to gather information about the Martin Company and today I discovered that Mormon Migration website not only has a list of the passengers on the Horizon (the ship that the Martin Handcart Company took from Liverpool, England to Boston, Massachusetts) but they have images of the pages from the ship’s book where all the names where originally record. I’m really excited to take some time and find Mary Taylor and her family.

I love the power of the internet to share images of documents like these. Have you found something similar through the internet in your family history?

My Grandfather’s Story: in parts

One of my regular readers, currentdescendent, is doing a great project that I wanted to share with you, a multi-part story about her grandfather. Luanne has been blessed with an interview with her grandfather that was done about five years before he passed away. She has taken this interview and broken it up into short parts and then expanded on the interview with stories, photos and memories of her own. Great job Luanne!


The Family Kalamazoo

In 1994, five and a half years before he passed away, my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, was interviewed by Connie Jo Bowman, the head of residents at Crossroads Village, a retirement community in Portage, Michigan. Connie was taking a course about the elderly at Western Michigan University and chose Grandpa as her subject.  I’ve written about Grandpa in a post about our left-handed connection.

The entire interview is eight typed pages, so I’ll divide it among a few blog posts.

Connie begins by introducing my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg.  To read the excerpts of Connie’s report, you can click them for a better view (I hope):

Connie identifies my grandfather here as a “tall, gentle dutchman with a big friendly voice.” That would probably be how Grandpa thought of himself. He identified strongly with his Dutch heritage.  He had a lot of jokes, but one of his favorites was to say, “If…

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Ancestry by Heir Line

What a fun video about family history. At first it was rather hum-drum but then it takes a fun twist so don’t give up.


Ancestry by Heir Line - Blog Page

The only Heir Line that whisks you away into your past 🙂

Visit for more information about our professional, personalised services.

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“My Grandma Mary” update – hidden pictures

So I’ve official finished editing “My Grandma Mary” and now we are just waiting for the box of books I’ve ordered to print! I’m so excited and nervous as the same time. That takes me to the next step in the Doable approaching to telling your family stories, link. This book brings a whole new area to learn in sharing it with a broader audience.

One of the fun things about this book is that we have put hidden images throughout the book that represent other stories from the Martin Handcart Company that we didn’t put into the main storyline. The book refers to this blog for help in finding these images. I decided to do 4 levels of hints. The first level of hints in under the “My Grandma Mary” tab above and the rest I wrote as post that you can see below. I have links to these posts of the “My Grandma Mary” tab. Hopefully that this will work well in helping those who get stuck finding all the images. Some of them are really pretty easy but some are much harder. DOABLE Sidebar L