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Genealogy – Moving to the Internet

January 20, 2011

Tracing your family history is a skill…It requires patience, thoroughness and a passion for history.  Through my own experience I’ve learned it’s okay to take breaks when you’ve hit a brick wall and it’s okay to move past something when you’re just not 100% certain you’re on the right track.  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not tellng you forget about accuracy and move on, but clear your mind and come back later with a fresh prospective on the subject.

Apparently in the genealogy community its frowned upon to advertise yourself as an Internet Genealogist.   There is no shame in being proficient in internet genealogy.  I honestly believe it’s the new way to research with everything going digital as it is.  With internet research I am able to locate almost anything by doing the correct searches.  Many beginners don’t know there are dozens of free websites available to find the documents that you’re searching for. 

Another interesting note is there is so much information you can compile from really disecting a document.  Don’t just look at it for it’s face value, but really look at it.  Census records are a perfect example, if you really look at a census record you can discover things like:  Immigration date, language spoken, age at first marriage and occupation.  All fascinating if you’re trying to determine who you are and where you come from.  Next time you’re looking at a census record really look at it, column by column and see what you discover about your family, you might be surprised.


Aging Gracefully (wrote in October 2010)

January 18, 2011

I recently read an article about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s pre-midlife crisis and realized I’m feeling the same as her.  I’m going through a pre-midlife cricis!

I’m approaching my 33rd Birthday and would rather it be – just another day.  Birthdays should be a celebration of the day of your birth.  Great.  It’s all peaches and cream until you hit 30.  Once you hit 30 you feel like you should behave a certain way.  I’ve struggled for the last three years with that very issue. 

Every day I ask myself (as does Jennifer Love Hewitt apparently), “should I be older than I am?”  Until I saw this article I thought I was losing my mind.  I think, just maybe, women have their midlife crisis’ earlier.  I think it’s time to buy a …

It’s About Time

January 17, 2011

In my life I’ve heard many stories about people volunteering their time to spend time with the sick, or work with the less fortunate. I always wondered where they found the time in their day to be so generous, to do something they are truly passionate about. I was always very envious and couldn’t see what it was that I was truly passionate about.

Eight years ago I was pointed in a direction that just fit for me.  I’ve always been dedicated to family and always wanted to know more about my family history.  I started researching my own family tree and became addicted with finding out more.  I never knew my Grandfather and I believed this project was a little way to know him a little better and where he came from. 

I have recently been fortunate enough to be paid for what I love to do.  It took me thirty-three years to get here, but I’m finally here.  I’m finally getting paid to do what I love…genealogy.  Why did it take so long to get here?  I don’t think I was ready before now.  I needed to get to a certain point in my life to be able to help others research their families.  It could also be that I am finally wrapping up my family history and I don’t want to stop researching.  It has consumed so much of my life that I can’t imagine not doing it anymore.

Family history is so facinating…I’ve learned so much from other families as I did my own.  I love the stories that every family has to tell.  I had one family that was looking for the name of their great-Grandfather they never knew, and another family had a relative who was kidnapped by robbers and later was released unharmed.  The stories go on and on.  It’s like finding a secret piece of history.

I look forward to all the history I am blessed enough to find in the future!

My Top 5

October 2, 2010

In no particular order…my current choices for my Top 5 Actors…they’re easy on the eyes. 

Robert Downey Jr, Patrick Dempsey, Dermot Mulroney, Hugh Jackman and Matthew Macana…hay (I never remember how to spell that one).  Not sure why I added the last one.  I couldn’t come up with a fifth and didn’t want to name George Clooney like everyone else.

Why do you need my phone number?

September 2, 2010

When did stores think it was okay to start asking you for so much information at the checkout?  What happened to just paying for your stuff and leaving?  Can I get your zipcode?  Phone number? Email address?  Why on earth do you need my phone number?  I can understand email address because many companies do marketing through email…but phone number?  I don’t remember ever getting a call from Payless asking me if I enjoyed my purchase of size 9 boots from them.  So, why?  Are they just collecting phone numbers to sell to another company?  Is that even legal?  I’m sure it is but it’s not right.  Why do we give them this information?  We don’t have to.  I’ve decided, the next time I’m checking out and someone asks me for my phone number I’m going to ask them why they need it.  You should too.  Like I said, unless they are going to check on me and my satisfaction with their product there is no reason for needing my phone number.


September 1, 2010

My Grandpa passed away in 1976 just one year before my birth.  He was a first generation American.  His father immigrated from Germany in 1865.  He spoke german and english.

 My Grandpa’s  childhood was quite sad.  His mother, Maria passed away shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Rose.  My Grandpa was only 3 years old.  Maria was very young as well,  only 36 years old.  Maria’s life, short as it may have been, had been full of family.  She was married to Nickolas (my grandpa’s father) for 20 years.  They had 11 children together.  She had her first child at age 17 and her last at 36.   I’m only slightly younger than her and have only a fraction of what she had when she died.  I have given birth once and been with the same man for twelve years.  In comparison… I’ve been lazy.    

A few years later (7 years) Nickolas passed away.  Grandpa was ten years old and had lost both parents.

My Grandpa grew up to be quite the man, or at least I’ve been told.  Relatives talk of his humor, witt and charisma.   I remember relatives telling me as a kid, “He would’ve loved your red hair.”  I wish he had.

A couple years ago a friend of mine had a group reading with a medium, Troy.  I attended the reading and had the opportunity to receive a message from the man I always wanted to know, my Grandpa.  I’m so proud to be part of his family.  He was able to show me his humor, witt, charm and pride.  Can I say it completed me in some way?  I could, but I believe it just eased a part of me that had been alone.  I smile every time I listen to the recording of the reading.  I hear the messages my Grandpa delivered and know everything is going to be okay.  

Grandpa wanted to say that he has heard family members asking for signs from him.  He wants them to know that he is okay and doing the same work in death as he had in life.  Most likely he was inspiring other farmers instead of actually farming.  Maybe even my Dad.  Wouldn’t that be something?  He also said that he was impressed that he was able to communicate through the medium.  If I remember correctly the exact words were, “yeah, I knew I could do it.”  Sounds just like something I would say.  It was also mentioned that Grandpa looked young, maybe as he would’ve in his twenties (just like the picture).  He was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans and was very tan.  He was a handsome man, as Troy stated. 

Now, with that being said I can understand if you’re skeptical.  Normally I would be too.  However, Grandpa was able to deliver a physical reaction with the medium to indicate something specific I would know about him.  Troy kept swallowing hard and I knew instantly it was my Grandfather.  He started clearing his throat and then said that he sensed the person coming through had a problem with their throat.  He thought that maybe the airway was cut off or that communication had been cut off.  My Grandfather had esophageal cancer.  What are the odds?  How could someone just guess that?  They can’t.  Troy was also able to say October was a celebratory month for him.  My Grandpa was born in October (as was I).

After my Grandpa died my Grandma held the family together.  This is who taught me family pride.  I will now and forever be proud to have been born a Brinker.  For in that name is humor, witt and charisma…I could do worse. 🙂

When did driving take a genius?

August 31, 2010

It seems to me that in the last 5 years driving has gotten worse.  I’m starting to think that there are a lot of people out there who either need glasses, or a new prescription.  Is following the road signs so difficult?

I have a feeling that cell phones are to blame (maybe not, but it sounds good).  From yelling at kids in the back seat, to singing along with music, to texting while driving…all of these attribute to drivers being distracted.

On my way to work  this morning I was almost T-boned because of a driver who wasn’t paying attention.  Instances like that happen to me at least twice a month.  Twice a month my life is in danger because of one person not paying attention.

I try to be a good driver.  I don’t text while driving.  I hardly even talk on my cell while driving.  Maybe I don’t because I like to be in control.  I like to know what’s happening in my surroundings.  This probably has something to do with my perfect (knock on wood hard) driving record.  I drive the speed limit (okay, maybe a little over but not much),  I use my blinkers, and I read road signs so I know which lane I should be in.  Why is it so difficult to others to do those same things?