Saturday, January 2, 2010

Looking Back on 2009

It's time to reflect on my genealogy journey in 2009.

I have been doing genealogy so long that I rarely have great surprises, but there were a few this year. For me, the biggest surprise was the very unexpected find of a photo of an oil portrait of my ancestor, Elizabeth Wildey Rosevelt, done in about 1808. I had no idea a portrait existed, but Karen Morris, who also is working on this line, saw the original portrait at the home of another of Elizabeth's descendants. I had no idea a portrait existed and had never pursued looking for one. In 2008 I worked with a friend to add gravestone photos of a local cemetery to Find A Grave. This year I was able to contribute in a different way by taking photos requested by others. I replaced my old digital camera with a new model that is very good at taking gravestone pictures but wasn't expensive. I can also now be more a part of the digital world by using it to take photographs of documents. This was very useful on my genealogy trip to New York City. I was able to photo a large number of documents at the New York Historical Society. It wasn't a surprise to find these documents, but it was a pleasure to actually see them. It was also very fulfilling to visit the graves of so many of the family buried in New York City. Over the year I was able to add a large number of descendants to my Jacob and Lydia Butts Rosevelt line, so all-in-all it was a successful year.

It is also time to give appreciation for the efforts of so many who have added documents and saved them to be shared online. Missouri has a tremendous site with digital copies of vital records. Other state and societies, such as South Dakota, Michigan, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Ohio have added many vital records also. I have been disappointed that Ancestry hasn't added more American records this year, but several other have added records that were difficult to locate before. The Family Search pilot project has added several state censuses with indexes to them. Footnote is making available some great Civil War records. I especially want to thank the Old Fulton New York Post Cards site, http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html. Part of his site has copies of many old New York newspapers. This is a great site that should receive more commendations. I also want to give a special thank you to all of you that took gravestone pictures I requested on Find A Grave.

Here to to a great 2010.

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