Gifts for Genealogists and their Families

hoiday giftSomeone asked me for a list of gifts for family historians.

They had in mind gadgets and other tangible things you could wrap up with a bow. But I thought, “Most of the things I want don’t cost money and can’t be wrapped.”

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Mom’s Boxes Part 9: Mom’s Good Silverware

Grandma's good silverware

UPDATE: Mystery solved! (scroll down)

What do you think happened when I offered my mom’s good silverware to my niece, Vinca, as a wedding present?

One never knows what will happen when you pass a family keepsake on to the next generation. Will they love it? Or, not so much? There’s only one way to find out….if your kids are adults now, ask them!

 

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Talking about death won’t kill you, LOL!

Depositphotos_14013050_l-2015

(Originally published Jan. 2016. Updated Oct. 2021.)

I recently (in Jan. 2016) spoke at a business networking luncheon attended by 80 women. My topic was “Who Will Check My Email When I Die?”

I worried that no one would want to come hear me talking about death, especially when it started snowing that morning. But they did! And they loved it. I could tell because they nodded, and laughed, and told me later that they had started conversations with their loved ones about virtual wills and such as a result. Mission accomplished!

Here are some of the ways people reacted to my topic before-hand: (more…)

“We Remember” our loved ones

This post is about how to use the free, interactive, social, memorial platform We Remember, by Ancestry.

So, my dad died recently. It was somewhat unexpected — I mean, he wasn’t in the best of health at age 88, but he was in remission from lymphoma. And I can only hope to go as peacefully as he did, in my sleep, when it’s my turn.

If you knew him, and if this is the first time you’re hearing the news, I’m so sorry! I invite and encourage you to click over to Dad’s memorial page and post a photo or a memory. Well, maybe wait until you’ve finished reading this page. His ashes will be inurned, at some point, at Santa Fe National Cemetery, in a private family ceremony. There will be no traditional (or Zoom) funeral. His choice of a place to donate, if you so wish, appears at the end of his obituary (farewell letter), which he wrote himself and would want you to read.

I’ve learned a few things while creating and moderating his We Remember memorial page that I want to share with all of you — whether you knew him or not. I hope to make it easier for you to use the platform as a guest, as a registered member, or as the potential moderator of your own loved one’s memorial page.

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If you can’t find something, clean up!

If you can't find something, clean up

The missing photo album (white binder next to pink binder)

I thought this phrase — If you can’t find something, clean up — was a well-known adage. But random people I’ve queried have never heard it. So, I Googled it. Turns out it’s one of Gretchen Rubin’s many Secrets of Adulthood, which she introduced in her bestselling book The Happiness Project. I guess it made so much sense to me when I read it (years ago) that I thought I’d always known it!

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Do you know where your photos are?

September is Save Your Photos Month!

>>> Free Online Event — Register Here! <<<

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Letting Go of Perfectionism as a Writer

Writing a book is a prolonged exercise in perfectionism. One must strive for quality while resisting the urge to make it perfect. Why? Because perfection, which is highly subjective in this case, falls somewhere between unlikely and impossible to achieve. And perfectionism can lead to procrastination, writer’s block, stress, and the inability to finish one’s manuscript. Ugh!

If you don’t consider yourself to be a writer, perfectionism can prevent you from even trying to tell your story. My advice for you is to consider it a first draft that you never have to show anyone if you don’t want to. Even “real writers” start with a first draft! It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be a good start.

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Trouble in Ancestry Paradise

Blank genealogical pedigree chart

Uh-oh. Ancestry.com just updated their Terms and Conditions in a way that has people up in arms.

>>> SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR UPDATES. <<<

I’m not saying I like it, but I do tend to stay calm in situations like this and wait and see what happens next.

Meanwhile, though, I want you to know about it too, because the clock is ticking and you may feel differently about it than I do.

If you want to take action, it needs to be within 30 days of when the new policy was announced, which was August 3, 2021.

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Do you think it will work? Why not try it?

I was attempting to help my aunt solve a cat-related problem. It involved purchasing a couple of items and changing a couple of human behaviors. To me it seemed like a potentially easy fix. Not guaranteed, of course – nothing is guaranteed when it comes to cats! — but why not try it?

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The 80/20 Rule is Your Friend

80/20 RuleOne of my favorite concepts in life is The 80/20 Rule.

What is it?

The 80/20 Rule, a.k.a. the Pareto principle, stems from observations made by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906, including the fact that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Or, generalizing to other situations, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes.

But why do I like it so much, and why it is your friend?

Because it can help you make decisions…and not worry so much…and get stuff done!

 

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