I Love a New Year

Each year I try to close out the old year with a recap of the year’s goals and my progress toward those goals. Then I begin the new year with a new set of goals. The close of 2015 and opening of 2016 was rocky to say the least and the blog was definitely not at the top of the list. But, it’s the weekend and I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to get warm by sitting on the couch under a blanket and in front of the heater. So why not write that post now.

Last year’s goals:
1. To learn more about my great-great-great-grandmother’s family (Mary Elizabeth LANE). (Research goal)
2. To blog consistently using No Story Too Small’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge as an inspiration. I will be doing this alongside my sister-in-law who will be using the same challenge and blogging at Down in the Root Cellar. (Writing goal)
3. To start over in reviewing and organizing my family history utilizing ideas from Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over Challenge. (Organizing goal)
4. To share some of the family history and research with relatives by publishing. To help me with this I’ll be attending Thomas MacEntee’s and Lisa Alzo’s Genealogy Self-Publishing Bootcamp online. (Sharing goal)
5. To attend a conference/workshop/educational event. This year’s choice is Family History Conference of Northwest Arkansas 2015. I’ll be attending with my mom and hopefully my sister-in-law. (Self-Improvement Goal)

Goal #1 (research) Learn more about Mary Elizabeth LANE’s mother.
BIG WIN!! I blogged about the LARKIN-LANE families several times this year and was so fortunate to even get to take two short trips to Ohio to research the families. It seems like each year when I advertise my goals to the universe, somehow those goals come to fruition to some degree. I love that! My very first blog post about Mary Elizabeth LANE LARKIN was posted on 25 April 2012. After that post (and sometime before the next post that included her) I made a second trip to locate the cemetery in which she was buried and the area in which she lived (Camp Bliss Hollow, Barry County, Missouri). I spoke with the woman who owns the property and she did not have any knowledge of a cemetery on or near her property. I went armed with a map of the location. I also had copies of photographs of the probable location of the cemetery thinking it might be possible to visually identify at least the general location of the cemetery. (I was wrong, in case you’re wondering.)


Camp Bliss Hollow map

You can see the photos I took with me here. (McDowell Mill Cemetery dowsing photos and a photo of the Old McDowell Mill.)

The information above was what I took with me on the second trip to McDowell, Barry County, Missouri. I feel I got much closer to the gravesite but was ultimately unsuccessful. I’d like to return and try again some day- maybe when I have time to talk to some local researchers and learn more about the area. You can find the gravesite and mill photos plus a little extra information about the family at this link. I have tried contacting Donna Haddock Cooper who hosts the link and photos but she did not respond. (Just for the record- I never found that rattlesnake again. Thank God!)

On 18 July 2015 I wrote about the LARKIN family. The post included a tiny amount of general information about the LANE family as well as information and history about the area in which they lived in Ohio. I haven’t yet written about what I learned about the LANE family on my 2016 trips to Ohio but I will hopefully write about that soon. But back to the research goal to find the mother of Mary Elizabeth LANE- the answer is Nancy CONKWRIGHT LANE. This information comes from Ancestry.com but I am confident enough in the information to post it here. I am continuing to research the family and, in case you are wondering, her father’s name is James LANE.

Goal #2 (writing): To blog consistently using No Story Too Small’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge as an inspiration.
I’d call this a win, especially compared to the previous two years on the blog. I did great until the last month of school when everything was going haywire at work and I was just hanging in there trying to survive. I recovered a little in June but was never quite able to catch up. In July I became obsessed with learning the true story of Theodore Clay LARKIN and that pretty much completely derailed the process as it took me about 2 months of research to write the blog post. Starting in June through to the end of the year I did quite a bit of traveling when I wasn’t at work. So after the August blog post about Theodore, I only got in two more (long and very involved) blog posts about Nicholas REITER. Nicholas was the subject of my 2012 research goal. Better late than never, right? It just so happened that in 2015 Bart worked a job in Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma which provided me opportunities to go down on the weekends to visit him and also get in some very productive research time. See? The universe DOES listen. 🙂 So- I’m calling this win #2 for 2015.

Goal #3 (organizing): To start over in reviewing and organizing my family history utilizing ideas from Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over Challenge.
Yeah…total fail. I am still following this challenge’s Facebook group though and I will eventually get to it. (Because the universe really does listen, right?!)

I’m 2-1 going into Goal #4 (sharing): To share some of the family history and research with relatives by publishing. To help me with this I’ll be attending Thomas MacEntee’s and Lisa Alzo’s Genealogy Self-Publishing Bootcamp online.
I wasn’t able to get into the online Bootcamp so that failed almost immediately. Once again, I didn’t get anything published in 2015. I’m going to have to work harder on that this year. However, if I count this blog as “publishing”, I at least got that done. So this one is just going to cancel itself out. I didn’t publish in the format or way that I wanted/intended but I did get a lot of the stories out there in a public forum and that’s important.

So we’re still 2-1 going into the final goal (self-improvement): To attend a conference/workshop/educational event. This year’s choice is Family History Conference of Northwest Arkansas 2015. I’ll be attending with my mom and hopefully my sister-in-law.
BIG WIN!! I was able to attend this conference with my mom and had a great time. I went to one workshop where I got a sample of a product called D/2 to clean gravestones. It was fantastic!! See before and after photos below of one of the SEELY gravestones that we cleaned.


This was Charles SEELY’s gravestone in May of 2015. (His wife Synthia SEELY’s was even worse!) This is what the stone looked like before we cleaned it with D/2.


This was Charles SEELY’s stone approximately two weeks after we sprayed it with D/2.


This was Charles SEELY’s stone in December, 2015. Looks great, doesn’t it?! D/2 is biodegradable and is used by monument conservationists. I was introduced to the product by conservationist Rusty Brenner. You can learn more about his business and purchase D/2 from him here.

So I say goodbye to 2015 which happened to be a fabulous genealogy year. And I usher in 2016 which, frankly, hasn’t been a good year so far- but we won’t muck up the blog with all that.

So here is 2016 in 200 words or less. (It’s less- so keep reading.)

Goals:
1. To learn who my great-great-great grandfather Charles SEELY’s parents were. (Research goal)

2. To blog at least once per month. I think that is a much more achievable goal to create as full and complete of a story as possible. My goal is to have more interesting and complete stories versus a quick introduction. Also, to convert some of my blog stories to articles and try to get them published in small local or specialized genealogical or historical publications. (Combined writing and sharing goals)

3. To start over in reviewing and organizing my family history utilizing ideas from Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over Challenge. (Organizing goal- keeping the same goal since I didn’t meet it last year.) You can learn more about the challenge here.

4. To attend a conference/workshop/educational event. This year’s choice is Family History Conference of Northwest Arkansas 2016 (same as last year). It’s a free event with some good workshops. If you’re interested you can find more information here. (Self-Improvement Goal)

So there you go, universe. Let’s make it happen. (Also- a better year than what I’ve had so far would be totally awesome. Thanks.)

~ Lisa at Days of Our Lives

Leave a Reply