Sunday, September 9, 2012

Recharging, Charging Forward

Every once in a bit, usually around some holiday or other, I have a slump. Maybe you do too? Don't get me wrong: I do love genealogy for a lot of reasons. But even with something you love, a break does a body good:)

What pulled me out of the Labor Day Slump of 2012 was a wonderful seminar sponsored by the San Diego Genealogical Society featuring Lisa Alzo yesterday. It was top quality and I couldn't have asked for more... or taken it because my head was full! Lisa was a wonderful speaker and for just $40, including lunch, what's not to like?

I love the intellectual stimulation and challenges a day like this brings. Sitting there listening to a well-crafted presentation and having my mind feel like it's free to roam and come up with other thoughts, other solutions as I look into each of the concepts presented. I keep a list going during times like this where I capture all of the random thoughts that come so freely flowing: blog topics, places to look for brick wall ancestors, new strategies to employ.

Here's an example something Lisa included in her first presentation that might apply to my recent quest looking for Jane James Williams my GGGM. Birds Of Passage, or those who come to a country and later go back to their homeland. Some stay put, wanting nothing more to do with The New World. But Lisa expanded that definition for me to include individuals who might have gone back and forth bringing over relatives and helping them get settled in America, then going back for others. This brought a new thought to the Williams family and had me thinking differently about some ships lists.

At lunch I randomly sat next to a fellow attendee and we got chatting about our interests. I mentioned the Williams people from Wales and she reminded me of a film Mom had talked about but I'd forgotten: How Green Was My Valley. Made in 1941 in black and white and directed by John Ford, it tells the story of hard life in a Welsh mining community. I saw it a number of years ago but I wanted to revisit it now in light of the Williams people. My luncheon companion said that she'd read the book and it was really nice... so when I got home I popped on Amazon and bought it for -- are you ready -- a penny!! Can't wait to read it:)

It did me a world of good to go to that seminar yesterday. Now I'm all charged up and ready to go:)

Photo of the day from Aunt Betty:

The Congregational Church of
Frostburg, Maryland,
about 1928.

Photo below cropped and numbered by Aunt Betty,
in an effort to identify everyone.
All identified except for about two dozen, mostly boys.
Good work, Aunty Betty!!

Mom thinks this might be the church choir
of which she and her sister were members.
Mom is number 31 and her sister, Dorothy is number 1.

Stained glass window in memorial to
Johanna Harris, Aunty Betty's GGM.
Beautiful and still there, special and precious.


  1. It's nice you were able to attend such a helpful meeting to get you out of your slump. How Green Was My Valley is one of my favorite books. Do you have coalminers among your Welsh ancestors?

    1. Oh yes! Many miners, or colliers as they were often listed on the Welsh census. And one musician and one green grocer:) Do you also have Welsh miners on your tree, Nancy?