Saturday, December 7, 2013

SNGF: My 2013 Dear Genea-Santa Letter

So....this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver is to write a letter to Genea-Santa, including information on how good/bad you've been this year and what you'd like Genea-Santa to bring you in terms of genealogy gifts this year.

Dear Genea-Santa,

I may have sloughed off a little this year in the genealogy good deeds department, because after 4 years I finally rotated off the Seattle Genealogical Society's Board of Directors the first of June. That doesn't mean I've stopped volunteering; but I have definitely cut back from my 20 to 40 hours per week I had been putting in over the last 4 years. I did still write 3 grant proposals, managed another funded grant (for digitizing and indexing VFW membership cards we found in our storage area), made several presentations for SGS (with another one next week) and several more for other area genealogy societies, served as desk volunteer in the SGS library at least once a month, proofread the SGS Newsletters and Bulletins, and helped at least a dozen people with their family history research. I also attended my first RootsTech (never again) and submitted 5 presentation proposals for the 2014 FGS conference (all declined, so likewise never again).

In theory, not being on the Board should give me lots more time for my own research, but that really hasn't happened. My husband and I have done a lot more travel since June, but he's not terribly patient when I veer off to visit courthouses and cemeteries. We did stop in Oquawka, my father's father's father's birthplace and burial place to half of his US ancestry. But that was for less than 4 hours; I could have stayed for several days digging into the Henderson County courthouse and surrounding towns. And I have managed to convince a couple of relatives (one I've never met) into doing DNA tests for me. But there's a lot more I'd like to do.

What I would love to see under our Christmas tree (if we manage to get one up this year; we're still on the road right now), dear Genea-Santa, are the following genealogy gifts:

1. Leads to finding direct line male descendants of my Henry Collins (abt. 1802-1852) and Nicholas Campbell (1808-1876) who are willing to have their DNA tested.

2. An introduction to one or more of my living SHARP relatives who is interested in our family history and willing and able to share stories, photos and information about my Dad and his family.

3. A good quality, lightweight LCD projector (link is to one on sale at Staples, but if you know of a better deal....) so that I can offer a beginning genealogy class to the folks at Desert Gold RV Resort where we spend February and March. I promise I won't charge for teaching the class.

4. A pile of money and willing relatives to fund more DNA tests (especially FTDNA Family Finder tests) so that I can better respond to queries I receive about how I'm related to other people with matching strings on individual chromosomes.

This is beginning to sound a bit greedy, so I'd better stop here.

I can't promise there will be treats left when you get to our house, but I will put them out. The kids will be home and may beat you to them. If there's any left, be sure to try our family's favorite holiday cookie, Chocolate Krinkles, and some of the Caruva Horchata Cream liqueur.

Thank you for whatever you bring me to help with my genealogy pursuits, dear Genea-Santa. I know there are many family historians more needy than me, but I have been at this a long, long time and would really love to break down some of these pesky brick walls in 2014.