American Thanksgiving Traditions: Food, Football & Family History

thanksgiving-1900Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday in America with an estimated 48.7 million Americans expected to migrate, at least for the day, 50 miles or more this year!

Thanksgiving is traditionally known as the day of America’s greatest food consumption! Think turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie as the common core of the Thanksgiving banquet. Each family has other traditional favorites as well.

Football has also been a traditional favorite at this time of year. Whether it is a friendly game at your local field or watching one or more of the three NFL games offered throughout the day, it has become part of the holiday for many Americans. In addition, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year with morning Turkey Trots offered throughout the nation!

So, what about family history? Tradition speak volumes and it is never too late to adopt or create a new tradition. As individuals, we determine what we carry forward and what we create. Once again, for those who may have missed it, I found a set of questions produced by the team at Real Simple that I have carried forward to interview family members at important times of gathering. Although not of my own creation, I find these questions to be a gift from the author that I would like to extend to you, my readers. Choose the questions most relevant and cultivate them into conversations. Later, jot down those stories and memories. You’ll be making family history as you record it :-)

From our family at the Single Leaf, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

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It’s Groundhog Day Again!

Genealogists are a lot like groundhogs — they come out from the libraries and archives long enough to assess if they will have six more weeks of relatively uninterrupted winter research.

Of course, in the spring it’s time to visit the cemeteries. :-)

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!

[Groundhog Day Explained was created by C.G.P. Grey. Check out his website @ http://www.CGPGrey.com.]

Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend

stadium at nightWarning: Participating in genealogy and family history football while watching an NFL game with your significant other may cause side effects including distraction, interference with relational bonding, and failure to fully enjoy chips, salsa, and guacamole. Research responsibly.

It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend! Now that the playing field has been narrowed to twelve, the winner of the Lombardi trophy will soon be determined on the field. Although some teams are required to play more on their way to the Super Bowl, it’s anyone’s game. Since there is no NFL team in the land of genealogy and family history, the following of the locals here can change as fast as the wind. It’s a house divided. But in football, there is no place like home!

So, are you up for your game this Wild Card weekend? Do you have your goal defined for each of the games you will play? Have you narrowed the field so that you are prepared to finish the season on February 1, 2014? Each play moves you closer to a genealogical touchdown, to winning the game, and ultimately achieving the Lombardi trophy of your Family History Bowl.

Have you looked for information on your pivotal person and it’s just not where you hoped it would be? Is the record set impossible to access in the time frame of this season? Does the most obvious record set not exist? Check out this page on the FamilySearch wiki. Go to the bottom of the page to “Selecting Record Types.” There you will find a listing of objectives and a priority list of records to search. If you cannot find that record set online, check the FamilySearch catalog for available microfilm, then visit the Family History Library or order microfilm to view at your local Family History Center. If you need assistance contact me. I would be happy to provide coaching advice or execute a play or more on your behalf.

To the NFL players and coaches this season, the genealogist who struggles to find time to play the game, to our ancestors whose lives were rarely blessed more than ours, I close with a quote known as The Man in the Arena[1]:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Cheering you on in your game to win your Family History Bowl!

1.Roosevelt, Theodore. “Citizenship In A Republic.” Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. Accessed January 4, 2014. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html. [For a copy of the complete speech in PDF format click here.]

Copyright ©2014-2015 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Wishing You the Very Best This Holiday!

Assembly Hall 2014 WPAcross the street from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City there is a gated area called Temple Square. Although it sometimes serves as a respite from the intensity of researching one’s ancestors, the Friday after the American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, visitors can enjoy the lights on Temple Square complete with a scheduled concert series and an ongoing presentation of the nativity.

On New Year’s Eve  there is a series of performances beginning with a sing-a-long of Broadway tunes at 5 pm in the Assembly Hall to Vocal Point performing in the Tabernacle at 10:15 pm. [Vocal Point gave an outstanding performance at RootstTech 2014.] Fireworks are scheduled for midnight to welcome 2015!

Although the Family History Library is closed today and tomorrow to celebrate Christmas, it will be open from 8 am to 5pm beginning on Friday the 26th until the 31st. The Family History Library opens on Saturday at 9 am and is closed on Sundays. The 2015 holiday schedule is available here.

As we close 2014, I want to thank you for your interest and subscribing to my posts. If you have a friend that would be interested, please recommend me. Thanks Again!

Wishing you and yours the very best this holiday season and all that is good in the coming new year!

[There are many opportunities forthcoming in genealogy and family history during 2015. I would like to recommend RootsTech 2015. This conference will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah February 12-14. See RootsTech.org for further details.]

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

American Thanksgiving Traditions: Food, Football & Family History

The graphic in its entirety is available at nfl.com.

The graphic in its entirety is available at nfl.com.

Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday in America with an estimated 46.3 million Americans expected to migrate, at least for the day, 50 miles or more this year!

Thanksgiving is traditionally known as the day of America’s greatest food consumption! Think turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie as the common core of the Thanksgiving banquet. Each family has other traditional favorites as well. This year I found a recipe that adds a new twist to an old favorite. If it meets with positive reviews from the culinary critics at my table, I’ll share it with you next year :)

Football has also been a traditional favorite at this time of year. Whether it is a friendly game at your local field or watching one or more of the three NFL games offered throughout the day, it has become part of the holiday for many Americans. The NFL posted an informative graphic about this holiday tradition. Did you know that QB’s named Tom are 5-1 playing on Thanksgiving since 1950? In addition, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year with morning Turkey Trots offered throughout the nation!

So, what about family history? Tradition speak volumes and it is never too late to adopt or create a new tradition. As individuals, we determine what we carry forward and what we create. Once again, for those who may have missed it, I found a set of questions produced by the team at Real Simple that I have carried forward to interview family members at important times of gathering. Although not of my own creation, I find these questions to be a gift from the author that I would like to extend to you, my readers. Choose the questions most relevant and cultivate them into conversations. Later, jot down those stories and memories. You’ll be making family history as you record it :)

On the eve of this important American holiday, we at the Single Leaf wish you and yours a very happy holiday! As we have reached out, you have reached back, and for this we are grateful :) Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Three Wishes on St. Patrick’s Day :-)

St. Patrick's Day WPI’m dancing the Irish jig this year! I caught a leprechaun on a whim and he granted me three wishes! Since the details of my Irish ancestors have been elusive, I just had to have his help in locating the final resting place of two of my immigrant ancestors. Wouldn’t you know it, they are found in a commonly named cemetery in unmarked graves! Nevertheless, I have found them in the first of seven likely places :-)

For those who may have missed my post last year, I found a resource, available for download, that is a treasure trove of information on seeking those elusive, and not so elusive, Irish ancestors. It is entitled Tracing Your Ancestors in Ireland. It includes step-by-step instructions, including a number of websites, a bibliography, and information directory.

Other sites have created resources to assist those seeking to discover their Irish ancestry as well. The FamilySearch Wiki is a perpetual resource for international research guidance. Ancestry.com has created a 3-page guide available for download entitled “10 Places to Find Your Irish Ancestors in America.” A number of paid sites have made collections relating to one’s Irish ancestors available today at no cost. Check out ancestry.com, myheritage.com, and, as always, familysearch.org. Rootsireland.ie has the “largest database of family records in Ireland.” Findmypast.com has a large Irish collection. They offer a 14-day free trial if you are not a current subscriber.

With so many records available on-line today and throughout the year, others may be green with envy! What about my last leprechaun wish? My wish is to place headstones on my immigrant ancestors’ graves so they will be remembered by the generations to come!

So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, “may you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!”[1] For me, it’s a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream :-)

1. IslandIreland.com. http://www.islandireland.com/Pages/folk/sets/toasts.html. accessed March 2014.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Your Family History’s Future is in the Stats

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks on winning Super Bowl XLVIII. It was amazing execution on the field for the triumphant win! Seattle, enjoy your celebration today; I wish I could be there! Football is all about claiming the Lombardi trophy and statistics provide great feedback as to what happened on the field and how to approach the future.

Family history and genealogy similarly have stats we can review to orient ourselves to the game. Coupled with a research log, this feedback can help a researcher move the chains.

Numbers of the GenerationsThe most comprehensive statistic to calculate is how many ancestors you have found compared to how many are yet to be found in a certain number of generations. By dividing the total number of ancestors you have found by the sum of the total number of ancestors from the first generation to the target generation that you are interested in, you will find the percentage of ancestors found. This will give you an idea of how many more research opportunities you have before you. This can be humbling. Those who say it’s all been done are few indeed. Even if one has the essential identifiers of name, date, place, and relationship to an event, a researcher must look to see if the data has a source and then verify it.

For example, I went on Ancestry.com and found an interesting sourced tree in which I had great hope. It not only had complete vital information but the sources indicated the microfilm numbers by which the information was obtained. Nevertheless, when I pulled the film to verify the information none of it was correct! I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating, never trust an online tree. It may contain valid information and clues to further your research but always verify the information and its sources!

As far as statistics, I’ve always looked at completing nine generations simply because in the next generation there are 1,024 more ancestors to find and that can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, I never miss an opportunity to go beyond and add additional generations to my lineage when records are available. Remember, records become more scarce and incomplete as one moves back in time.

So, are you up to the challenge of finding the next generation of your ancestors and their families? In previous posts I’ve mentioned resources to get you started. This week I would like to recommend RootsTech 2014, the largest family history and genealogy conference in North America, which begins today with an Innovator Summit, formerly called Developer Day, and the Full-Access conference beginning tomorrow, February 6th, through Saturday, February 8th, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Check out the website at RootsTech.org for pass comparisons and registration information.

Not in Salt Lake City? There is good news! The keynote presentations and specific sessions will be streamed live and available for later viewing at your convenience. Whether you are at RootsTech 2014 in person or view the conference virtually you will strengthen your offense by participating in this conference. There’s no doubt about it!

[FYI: Keynote and select presentations given at RootTech 2013 are still available for viewing for a limited time. Check out the sessions here.]

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Some Musings on the Day of Super Bowl XLVIII

A horse and his football WPIt’s never happened before. It may never happen again. For the first time in my life my pick for the AFC and NFC Championships made it to the Super Bowl. Wow! It’s been an exciting two weeks as I’ve followed the preparations for the big game. Whatever happens today, I will win and I will lose. Go Denver Seahawks! Go Seattle Broncos! Yes, it’s been a long week celebrating the winning stories and statements made on both sides!

Today is the first time the Super Bowl coincides with Groundhog Day. It reminds me that in the history of the Super Bowl only seven teams have won the big game back to back. The Pittsburgh Steelers did it twice! A win today is only the beginning for the team that triumphs!

Super Bowls Back 2 Back WP

Football is a part of American history, but it’s not necessarily covered in schools unless it happens to be the passion of the teacher. The National Archives has posted an article “10 Football Facts Featuring U.S. Presidents” in case your teacher forgot to tell you :-)

In the land of genealogy and family history there is no official NFL team. And even though, according to Bing, we are identified as a Bronco supporting state there are Seahawks among us. Personally, our house is divided making it all the more fun! Not only do we have Skittles, we have M&M’s in honor of Bronco touchdowns. May it be a high-scoring game!

So, what impact has football had on your family? What teams have you cheered? What memories do you share? Did you play or were you a spectator?

I recently discovered a journal that I kept when I was in elementary school. Not only did I record the Miami Dolphins winning their second Super Bowl, I even recorded some of their birthdays! [A true historian :-) ] Later in the year I recorded, “[T]he Miami Dolphin game is tomorrow. I hope my dad gets tickets. I want to see them very much. All together it would cost $4.25.” The next entry indicates that my dad invested in some memories. “I met some Miami Dolphins, Bengals and Colts and got their autographs.” Since it was before digital photos and social media, there are no pictures to share but I recorded it. Children grow up; stories are forever!

May your memories of today be the kind you want to last! Wishing all of you a very Happy Super Bowl!

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Super Bowl Weekend!

It’s Super Bowl Weekend and a new year here at The Single Leaf! With Super Bowl XLVIII falling on Groundhog Day for the first time in its history, would you take a moment to predict the win for the big game?

During the past week a number of stories have been shared that chronicle the journey of players to the NFL and to Super Bowl XLVIII. My favorites were the story of Knowshon Moreno and the commercial that went viral of Derrick Coleman.

What were your favorite stories this week? Was it one of your own? Did you record it?

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Seeking the Win-Win in Genealogy Football

The Genealogical Touchdown32 . . . 12 . . . 8 . . . 4 . . . 2 . . . . There’s no such thing as a win-win in football, unless it’s two consecutive wins. This is the obvious goal of the NFL Conference Championship games today. Only two teams will triumph on their respective playing fields . . . . Two more weeks and only one team will prevail and claim the Lombardi trophy at Super Bowl XLVIII.

I’ll leave the commentary to the NFL analysts. They’re good at what they do. But if you’ve been following along with genealogy football, the same principle applies: win, and win again! The objective is to win from the first down to touchdown again and again for as long as there is time on the clock. It’s the play-by-play effort that makes the difference. One can never win in the present what the future holds. It is elusive. But, if in the present a play is successfully executed, and then the next, and then the next, soon the outcome is the goal and the goal this season is your Family History Bowl.

One of the ways you can track your plays is with a research log, or research calendar as some call it. When you track your plays you keep on track. There are many ways to keep this log so that it can be an effective tool as you make your plays: paper and pencil, a pre-printed form [like the one from Ancestry.com], a spreadsheet, your database computer program, or your favorite journaling app. A research log is kept for each individual or family in your lineage. It’s traditionally suggested that a child remain the subject of his or her parents’ log until that child marries. One of my favorite things about automated logs is that with tagging and/or search capacity that child who became a parent can be found on either log. [This log may be incorporated into a research report, but remember that a report that contains suggestions for further research may be completely outdated on the day of review. Check for updated availability of records.]

Recently, I was going through a fifth-generation grandfather’s file. The research I completed for him is decades old but a question came to mind. When I opened the folder I found a piece of paper with a list of sources I had reviewed and the result for consulting each particular source. The paper was dated, written in pencil, and did not look like more than scratch, but it was as if this piece of paper, this research log, transported me back in time to briefly relive the plays, make the catch, and enabled me to run and score the genealogical touchdown. The answer was found among the documents that I had already secured. It’s not always this easy, but it is always the place that you, as a researcher, want to begin. The research log is your punt return; it shows your position on the field and where to begin your drive for that touchdown!

Over the years as I have reviewed the work of a number of genealogists, including my own, I have found that the key to efficiency is the research log. It’s helpful to know what information was sought for and why, the title of the record and in what form the record was recorded, whether online, microfilm or fiche, or paper, the date [especially when using online databases], the place where the information was accessed and the result, even if what you were looking for was not there. By recording this information you will be in great field position to evaluate the source, identify inconsistencies, make wise judgements about the contribution of this source to your research, and determine where your next play begins. Wishing you all the success on this game day!

[In it’s simplicity, The Genealogical Touchdown Playbook is available in PDF format for personal, non-commercial use. It provides a place for interested youth, and others, to record their drive downfield to the ultimate genealogical touchdown!]

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.