Are Genealogists Wired Differently?

Are genealogists wired differently?  I have asked myself that many times in the past.   It isn’t our remarkable ability to flesh out the dead.  Though, that is a remarkable skill.  No, I am talking about our love of making lists and organizing data into different forms and fashions.

It isn’t enough for a genealogist to collect data.  It isn’t enough to input it into our databases and to file it into folders.  No, we must play with it.

For instance, I’ve been over the moon with two new projects I started.  Project number 1 involves using Google maps to create a map of my Portuguese relatives who left Kauai, Hawaii for E. 25th Street in Oakland, California.  Oh, I’ve got all that data on a handwritten map and on lists.  But, I needed to see it on a map.

I spent a week pinpointing the houses where my grandfather’s 30 or so first cousins and his great aunts and great uncles lived.  Next, I will probably add the “marry ins” because they also lived on the same street and came from Kauai (many of them also from Kilauea)

This project gives me joy.  I consider in fun.  Once it is done I will be able to share with my extended family and everyone will be able to see where their grandparents and great grandparents lived in connection to all the other relatives.  Isn’t that exciting?

My second project involves putting photos into RootsMagic for all my relatives.  I plan to create descendant wall charts, then post them to my private family Facebook group.  I think this will make it easier for cousins to figure out where they fit in.  I’m having fun finding the photographs and adding them to the media gallery.

The neat thing about this project is that the last time I added photos to Rootsmagic I didn’t have many.  This time when I did three generations of my de Braga tree, there were only three blank spots on my chart.  One is my great great grandmother.  I probably will never have that spot filled.  The other are two of my grandfather’s cousins.  I hope to some day fill in those faces.

Both of these projects have been challenging, interesting, and fun.  Only genealogist would say cropping photos, pinning addresses on a map, and researching when houses were built is fun.


Yes, I do believe we are wired differently.


My Hawaii Pinterest Board

Part two of the Pinterest rainy day fest ;)  I’ve created a Pinterest Board with some of my articles, other people’s articles, and some lovely photos.

If you would like to follow my Hawaii Pinterest board, click on the link:

Follow Melody’s board Hawaii: The Sights and the History on Pinterest.


My Mother Does Not Abide Photography

I am reading a surprisingly wonderful biography called The Rocket Girl.  It’s about Mary (Sherman) Morgan, American’s first female rocket scientist.  She worked for a company that did government contracts during the infancy of space race. Her many achievements included an inventing the rocket fuel used in our first rockets.  Many of her contributions were lost until after her death when her son started digging up her story.

The chapter on Mary’s early childhood caught my interest. She grew up in North Dakota in the 1930s.  Mary’s family never took photographs because, as the author wrote, her mother did not abide photography.  When offered to have their photos taken, either by friend or a professional, her mother refused.  She was completely against the whole practice.

It surprises me that this kind of view was present in the 1930s.  I could see in the early years of photography that it might hit up against religious or societal views against vanity and the like.  But, you would think by the 1930s, most people would have had a baby, school, or marriage photo done.

I’ve never run into a relative or ancestor who refused to be photographed on the grounds that it might not be morally right.  Was this a widespread view?

I wonder if this was really what Mary (Sherman) Morgan’s mother believed or if there was something else behind it.  As a genealogist, I find it sad especially for her offspring.  Her son realized too late that preserving photographs would be important to her story and to himself.  How sad it would be to have no photographs of ones family.  And, how thankful I am that my family has many!

Have you come across anyone in your tree who was opposed to photography? Don’t count those who seemed to avoid cameras…LOL

In this video, Mary Sherman’s son discusses her achievements.