Archive for August, 2010

This summer my mother has been cleaning out my father’s things, as he is in long-term care and will not be returning to the house he had lived in since I was a young child.  She found a box full of family papers and old photos and sent many of them to me.  I haven’t fully gone through them yet but what I skimmed has been amazing. For example, there are numerous letters from my great-great-grandparents to their son, my great-grandfather; until this, I had never read a single thing they had written themselves

I have been taking Boston Unversity’s genealogy certificate course, and I’ve just got one week to go till I’m done.  This 15-week course has eaten up an impressive amount of my time, but it’s also been a wonderful learning experience.  The first thing I plan to do when I finish the coursework is to go through the papers more thoroughly.  She also found a box full of books (varying degrees of “old”) and sent me some of them, including a book on the genealogy of the Wheatley family that, in the U.S., first lived in New England; the 1905 book on the history of Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont; a book on the history of Glendale, Hamilton Co., Ohio, that my great-aunt primarily authored; and a schoolbook on the history of Cincinnati, which is close to Glendale.

The second project I plan to undertake is a “family health tree,” “health genealogy” or “health genogram.”  With no descendants of my own, I’m always looking for ways that my genealogy research can benefit both others that are currently living and any descendants they may have.  While the health genealogy will help me while I’m living, it will also hopefully be very helpful to others.  What I’ve done thus far is to input the information from the death records I already have on hand, but of course causes of death and even contributing factors towards said death are only a small part of the picture of a family’s health.  My mother’s side of the family has many, many more surviving family members than my father’s side of the family, so there will be many more people to distribute this currently mostly theoretical project to, but there are so many more people because the families were generally much larger, which also means a lot more to input in the first place.  I have been using a booklet from the Ontario Genealogical Society, Family Health Trees: Genetics and Genealogy, 2nd edition.  You can see it on the OGS site here.  I ordered it partially because I was already ordering some other materials from them, and while I enjoyed the slim read and am starting out using their suggested template, I have not looked around further yet to see if there are any more good book(let)s on the subject.

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