Randy Seaver asked the following question on his blog, Genea-Musings, "What was your best Genealogy Moment during 2009?" It made me mentally review my genealogy year. I realized that it's been an incredibly fun and successful year for me, so I thought I’d share my highlights here. So here is my personal “Top 10" best genealogy moments for 2009.
10. Being able to travel back to the dairy farm that my dad grew up on, and having dad with me as a tour guide to the history of this very small, very rural farming community.
9. Joining SecondLife, and meeting other genealogists from around the world online, having weekly discussions, learning and sharing information, and best of all, getting to meet several of them in real life as well.
8. Attending the Federation of Genealogists Convention in Little Rock in September, which ties in to the previous entry. Not only did I learn a lot from so many great classes and presentations, but I got to know so many really fun and interesting people there, and made some great friendships with other genealogists that I really admire.
7. Joining the Berkshire, MA Family History Association, and as a member benefit receiving 3 hours of free research, which broke one of my main brick walls - finding the father of my 4th great grandfather, David Stevens of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
6. Having the solution to my other main brick wall literally fall through cyberspace into my lap... reminding me of how important it is to share your own research, as what goes around, comes around...
5. Not only just figuring out how to put together my Internet Genealogy toolbar, so that I can have all of my favorite genealogy websites easily accesible at my fingertips, and be able to share them with others as well, all for free, but discovering, on Christmas eve, that it is being featured in the March 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine!!!
4. And speaking of Family Tree magazine, another bright spot was being nominated for their list of 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. A thrill if I make it, but the nomination alone is such an honor! The whole blogging business has pretty much been amazing. Imagine my surprise of having over 2,000 visitors to my blog since July, when I think there’d only been about 12 readers so far!
3. Providing a good friend and his family with information about the grandparents and other relatives they had never known. I’m always honored when someone trusts me to research their family, and I’m always thrilled to be able to introduce people to their ancestors. Nothing better than connecting families.
2. I’ve enjoyed so many opportunities this year to speak to societies and other groups all over Texas about genealogy, and nothing is more exciting than watching people have those “aha” moments, frantically scribbling notes, and then commenting to me later, that they will probably be up all night using the new information they’d learned. But nothing made me scream so loud this year as receiving an invitation to speak at the 2010 BYU Conference on Computerized Genealogy and Family History. Wow - I absolutely cannot wait!
1. But I think my best genealogy moments for the entire year are the wonderful friendships I’ve made both online and off, with so many other like-minded genealogists, as well as the connections I’ve forged with so many deceased ancestors - both my own and those of people I’ve helped. It’s an incredible life-affirming feeling, to realize that you are a part of something so much bigger than your own tiny life... to connect to your heritage, your ancestry – your tiny string that is part of the much larger fabric of life.