Saturday, September 8, 2012

Genealogy & Family History - Fastest Growing Hobby

That's a photo of my Granny and Grandpa that lived on a ranch in Texas. I spent every summer there working in the heat and loving it.  I got to ride a horse, explore 1,000 acres (Granny & Aunt Grace's ranches), and learn a lot about animals and nature. Granny cooked on a big wood stove, Grandpa broke wild horses to saddle when he was young, and they had a 1 acre garden and a 3 acre orchard.  I learned so much from them about gardening, horses, wild animals, foraging (edible plants, honey from bee hives in trees), cattle and chickens.

Thursday, I invited Karen Ward and her husband to speak at the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association.  They are the former directors of the local Family History Center in Tacoma.  Karen Ward got interested in genealogy when she was a teenager and they both spent time in Salt Lake City volunteering and learning at the Family History Center there.

If you have a local Family History Center near you, check it out!  They have local histories donated to them, computers that you can access various on line genealogy sites for free, and you can pick up any microfilm or microfiche that you ordered online from Salt Lake City. They have blank forms, and many, many reference books. You do have to pay for copies (15 cents each), but that helps the center pay their expenses like the electric bill.   They have about 45 volunteers to help you. Volunteers have 4 hr shifts, so this is a learning and volunteer opportunity.  We all need to know where we came from and what we can learn from our ancestors. By researching their lives, you can learn some of the things they had to endure and maybe learn from them even if they passed a long time ago. 

Please write things down for following generations. Wouldn't you love to have a letter or a diary from your great-great-great grandmother or grandfather?  Your descendants will love you for it.  Tell them what we are going through now, lessons you have learned during your lifetime, and what you value.

I taught a class a few years ago called "Writing Your Life Story" and everyone in the class was interested in Genealogy and Family History.  When I have some time, I may teach another class but I will spend more time on genealogy and less on just writing. 


Volunteers Needed to Raise the Flags!

These flags are put up in Tillicum, all along both sides of Union Ave. SW in Lakewood (Tillicum area). We have a trailer to store them in, but sometimes need a driver and we can always use more people to help put them up.  They are on wood poles that are inserted in sleeves along the roadway. Near certain holidays you would need to get up early and get out there, then a few days later repeat but take down.  Sometimes JBLM soldiers volunteer and we've had Jr ROTC groups help out also. Most of the time it is just a few people from the TWNA (Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association).  The flags are kept at Bill's Boathouse, so contact Dave Anderson there to find out when they will be put up. There is nothing like driving down Union when all the flags are up to put tears in your eyes (at least that is what happens to me). I am a veteran and I love my flag and my country. We are so lucky to live in America where people run the country, not dictators or the military. Hope to see you out there soon, if not helping then at least drive by and enjoy.