I’m one of those people who keeps a Bucket List and actually follows it. I keep my list in its own three-ring binder, in page protectors, and update it with some regularity. The binder sits in plain view to remind me that life is short and one needs to be consistent about making strides to accomplish everything they can. I’ve found that my Bucket List is a great motivator and it has often inspired me to do things I wouldn’t have done without it. I suppose that’s why my interest was sparked when I ran across The Bucket List GeneaMeme created by Jill Ball on her blog, Geniaus.
After running across Jill’s post, I started thinking about what I expect out of my genealogy journey and where I hope it leads. Jill’s post also forced me to do a little research on genealogy conferences and speakers – making me figure out which ones I would most like to attend and why. I thought I’d share my list with all of you today as a way of keeping me in focus and motivating me by serving as a reminder of the genealogy goals I’d like to accomplish.
The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you would like to do or find: Bold Type
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments after each item
- The genealogy conference I would most like to attend is… RootsTech. I’m not sure why I’d prefer this conference over any of the others. Maybe it’s because the RootsTech conference is so large and has so much to offer, or maybe it’s because the extra activities and lunch menus appeal to me. Either way – this is definitely the conference I am most interested in.
- The genealogy speaker I would most like to hear and see is… Elizabeth Shown Mills. Elizabeth has a lot of genealogy experience under her belt and an impressive resume. I can imagine that being at one of her lectures would be a once in a lifetime experience where one would walk away with new perspectives and ideas that would help to further their research in ways they’d never imagined.
- The geneablogger I would most like to meet in person is… Thomas MacEntee. The term ‘geneablogger’ is almost synonymous with Thomas MacEntee. Thomas is the driving force behind Geneabloggers and the very reason we all join together and support one another in our genealogy blogging efforts. I can’t imagine choosing another blogger over him and I’d love to have just a few moments to soak up any wisdom he’d be willing to share.
- The genealogy writer(s) I would most like to have dinner with is… Carla Love Maitland from SassyGenealogist and Magda from hungarianfamilyrecord.org. I find both of these women to be intelligent, interesting, sweet, and down to earth… I couldn’t choose one over the other, so I’d have to break bread with them both! Carla has been wonderful to me since I very first began blogging almost two years ago. She welcomed me into the community with open arms and occasionally pops up to check on me. There is a small chance that Carla and I could be related through our Sanford lines and I’d love to sit down with her over a plate of Southern food to discuss our research. Magda has also been one of my supporters since the very beginning. She is extremely sweet and pops in to comment or give encouragement from time to time. I keep up with her on Hungarian Family Record and find myself wishing I had some Hungarian links of my own that I could research. I would love to sit down with her and discuss the research she has done in Europe and find out what advice she could offer for when I take the leap into researching my ancestors in the old countries.
- The genealogy lecture I would most like to present is… None. I’m terrified of public speaking – I’m more of a behind the scenes kind of girl.
- I would like to go on a genealogy cruise that visits… Scotland. My Sanford line are direct Crawford descendants and there is strong evidence to suggest my Crawfords were Scotch. I’ve always been interested in the Scotch culture and wanted to experience it in person.
- The photo I would most like to find is… of my maternal great grandparents, Calvin Wesley Owens and Sarah Jane Williamson. The Owens family interest me to no end. They were a family of poor potters from Randolph County who have some pieces on exhibit in the North Carolina Mint Museum. I’m very curious over what my great grandpa and grandma Owens looked like. All of the Owens children were tall and lanky – and I’ve often caught myself wondering if they inherited these traits from both sides of their family.
- The repository in a foreign land I would most like to visit is… the National Archives of Switzerland. One of my Owens ancestors is Anna Garster who immigrated from Switzerland and settled in North Carolina. I have not yet begun to dig into her family’s history, but the idea of it is beyond exciting. I hope to one day go to Switzerland and visit the village she was born in. I’m hoping that the National Archives of Switzerland will have some information that will unlock some of the mysteries of Anna’s family for me.
- The place of worship I would most like to visit is… Red Hill Pentecostal Church. The church was practically founded by my Mills family and I’m very curious what kinds of records the church has kept on them over the years. Luckily, Red Hill Pentecostal is in Delco and less than a hour drive from my house. The closeness of this church to where I live gives me hope that I’ll accomplish my goal of visiting in the very near future.
- The cemetery I would most like to visit is… Longstreet Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Cumberland County, North Carolina. My husband’s family is almost entirely Scotch and almost entirely from Cumberland County. Several of his paternal lines attended Longstreet Presbyterian and more than a few of them are laid to rest in the church’s cemetery. I’ve wanted to visit this cemetery for a very long time, but it is on base in Fort Bragg. I’m hoping that the next time I end up in Fayetteville that I will have enough time to take a little side trip.
- The ancestral town or village I would most like to visit is… Cape Cod, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. My Mills line are descendants of the Weeks family who left England to settle in Barnstable County, Massachusetts long before the Revolutionary War. I have always wanted to visit Barnstable County to see if I could turn up any colonial records on the Weeks family and to soak up the history Cape Cod has to offer.
- The brick wall I most want to smash is… Linus Sanford or George Maynard Lee. I couldn’t choose between either of these brick walls, because to me they are equally important in discovering the history of my Sanford line. Linus Sanford is the grandfather of James Isam Sanford and as far back as I can get in my Sanford research. Linus Sanford is a huge mystery to me – and while I have relatives who swear he is the long lost son of Ezekiel Sanford and Sarah Chloe Cook, I remain unsure. I need hard proof to accept the reality of that and to me there are just too many possibilities of him being related to one of the other Sanford families in the Mecklenburg County area for me to cross them all off without doing some major research first. George Maynard Lee was the maternal grandfather of Claude Johnson Sanford and while his life has opened itself up to me – his origins remain totally unknown. I have found a census where he is living at home with his parents, William Lee and Eveline (Parker) in 1860. One would think this small clue would have opened the Lees up for me, but it hasn’t. I’m still desperate for more information on this family.
- The piece of software I most want to buy is… None. I’ve been using Legacy since 2004 and I’m in love with it. I am a creature of habit and once I’ve found something that works – I stick with it. I have no plans to switch over to something else.
- The tech toy I want to purchase next is … MacBook and a Flip Pal scanner. I love my HP desktop, but it needs to be updated and it presents the obstacle of being stationary. I’ve played a bit with Apple’s MacBook and found that I am in love with it – I’ve decided that at some point, I shall have it. I feel the same way about my current scanner that I do about my desktop – it’s great, but I can’t take it with me when I go. I deserve a Flip Pal scanner to take with me, and I will have one as soon as I can afford it.
- The expensive book I would most like to buy is… The brothers Crawford: Colonel William, 1722-1782 and Valentine Jr., 1724-1777 – Vol. 1& 2. I am a direct descendant of Valentine Crawford, Jr. Valentine was an aide to George Washington and served in the militia during the Revolutionary War. I take great pride in being able to claim kinship to such an amazing family. I’ve wanted these books since I first started researching, but they are out of print and copies are expensive. My next big genealogy purchase will be these books without question.
- The library I would most like to visit is… Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I wish I had something more creative to offer as an answer for this one, because every genealogist in the world who doesn’t live in Utah is going to say the Family History Library. I live in the state of my ancestry though, so I have full access to all the public libraries I currently need… leaving me with only the Family History Library to offer something I can’t get at home.
- The genealogy related book I would most like to write is…. None. Right now blogging is enough, but I am still young and one day I may change my mind.
- The genealogy blog I would most like to start would be about…. Nothing. The genealogy blog I wanted to start, The Sanford Family Misfit, is already up and running.
- The journal article I would most like to write would be about… Nothing. I’m busy enough with the blog at the moment. After I’ve gotten my site where I’d like it to be – maybe I will reconsider.
- The ancestor I most want to meet in the afterlife is…. Valentine Crawford, Jr. I feel like meeting Valentine Crawford, Jr. would answer a lot of my questions and satisfy the deep curiosity I’ve always had about the beginnings of America. I could ask him about George Washington, Colonel William Crawford, and what it was like to fight the British. Hopefully he could tell me where his father was from and who his grandfather had been. I feel like I could spend all of eternity with Valentine and never run out of questions.
Is there anything else on your Genealogy Bucket List?
- Join some local genealogy societies. Right now the societies I would most like to join include the Old New Hanover Genealogy Society, the Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society, and the Swain County Genealogy Society.
- Become a certified genealogist. I want to do this for a dozen of reasons, but mostly because I’d like to have the credentials to back up my research.
- Start a project to clean up the cemeteries in New Hanover and surrounding counties. The cemeteries in South Eastern North Carolina are in need of some serious TLC. I’d love to ensure that these places of rest are protected and preserved for the generations yet to come.