June is Backup Awareness Month

Another article on backing up your data. If you can’t remember the last time you backed everything up, it’s been TOO LONG! Back up now!

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

I don’t know who proclaimed this month as “Backup Awareness Month” but it certainly is a good idea. Backblaze is an online backup provider that is promoting the idea of backup awareness rather heavily. The company ran a survey last year that claims senior citizens perform more backups than do the 18-44 year old crowd. In short, the older generation is kicking the collective youthful butts when it comes to regularly backing up computer data.

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1/2 Way Mark


This is June and we are 1/2 way into the year. This is a great time to review our genealogy goals that were set at the beginning of year. Everything seems possible at the beginning of the year.

Don’t give up hope. There’s still time to accomplish a lot in the remainder of the year.

Take small bites of the elephant.

Determine what your 3 biggest goals are. Take each goal and break it down into manageable chunks.

Set up a weekly schedule. Don’t forget use your research journal.  This will help you to remember what you’ve done and what you still need to do.

Try to get an accountability partner. Someone that you can check in with and who will ask you about your goals and if you are staying on track.

So you think you know your parents

The study of genealogy can be very enlightening. Especially,  if you don’t allow your preconceived notions of your family history to dissuade you from deepening your knowledge when new information is uncovered. This link http://nyti.ms/1oQKukU  from the NY Times outlines the discovery of a NY Roman Catholic Cardinal who was later found to be the grandson of a Rabbi.  This is a great example of new information adding a totally new chapter to a families history.  

Keep your eyes open for information. Don’t disregard a discovery just because it clashes against what you’ve been told previously or even researched.  Look at the information carefully, find corroborating data, evaluate it and then make your decision. 

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand baby

Nichelle ~



Who would you talk to ?


I just saw a great picture on one of the social media platforms that I frequent. The picture is shown above. My answer to this question would be, my Dad and my Granny.  My Dad because there’s so much I didn’t even know to ask him about his life growing up and what his parents were like.   My Granny because I miss her and she was so loving and we always had a great time together.

In a lot of ways family history is a way to “speak” to those who have passed on. We learn about them, where they lived, who their parents were etc.  Don’t wait till someone has passed away to think about questions to ask them about their life.  Sit down now with the people in your family and ask them questions about their life. In addition to that, let them talk. Don’t interrupt unless you need to clarify . You would be surprised what you can learn when you let individuals “ramble” on.

Develop a list of questions to ask your relatives.  Allow the interviewees to use the questions as a guide. Let them become comfortable so they can open up.  Some interviewers like to do audio or video recording.  (Ask their person if you want to record the interview.) Taking notes can, sometimes, distract from what the interviewee is saying.

Think about what you would like someone to know about you and start from there.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand baby

Nichelle ~

The Death of Microfilm

My hope is that libraries will convert all the microfilm over to digital and nothing will be lost. Bye Microfilm and Microfiche, nice knowing you.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Genealogists love microfilm. Visit any genealogy library anywhere, and you will see genealogists in darkened rooms, hunched over microfilm viewers, trying to solve the puzzles of their family trees. I have taken several pictures of genealogists sitting at rows of microfilm readers. However, I suspect that within ten years those pictures will become collectors’ items, recalling an era that exists only as distant memories in the minds of “the old-timers.” You see, microfilm and microfiche are about to disappear.

Many of the manufacturers of microfilm and microfiche equipment have already disappeared or else have switched their production lines to other products.

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5 Generations of Branhams’

5 Generations of Branhams'

Photos are a great way of looking back, it helps to preserve memories and tell stories. This photo is a composite of 3 photos. It shows 5 generations of women from the same family line, Branham. You can see the resemblance in the women pictured, especially the 2 blcak and white photos.

Female Ancestors 1/2 of the puzzle

ImageAnyone who has done even a tiny bit of research in the distant past, knows how difficult it can be to learn about female ancestors. There is a frequent tendency for women to be identified as Mrs. James Curtis in public documents. This makes it very hard to find women’s first names and often impossible to find birth surnames (maiden).


I have been blessed, in that I know most of the first names and birth surnames of my female ancestors. If you are only researching male ancestors you are missing 1/2 of the puzzle.


Today I’m going to shine a light on Mary Martin Hayes Williams, one of my direct female ancestors. She was born February 1884 in Kentucky and died November 1964 at the age of 80.  She married Hubert Hayes and the couple  had 5 children. Four girls and 1 boy.  According to one of her grandson’s she was a kind and loving woman who cared deeply for her family.

I learned Mary’s full name from one of her grandson’s. From there I was able to find her death certificate which gave the full names of her parents.

When Mary was born women didn’t have the right to vote. According to Historyorb.com  on,  “Mar 8th – Susan B. Anthony addresses the U.S. House Judiciary Committee arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Anthony’s argument came 16 years after legislators had first introduced a federal women’s suffrage amendment.”  And the Civil War had only been over for 19 years. I can only imagine what life was like for a woman of African descent living in Kentucky. How I wish I knew some of her thoughts and feelings.

This is just a tiny bit of the story of her life. I challenge you to document the story of the women of your family. Learn their birth names and that of their parents. I am blessed to speak her name and have her picture. For today that will be enough.