Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

It has been a long time since I have blogged. My only excuse is that I have been fully engrossed in my last year of studies toward completion on my masters degree in public history.

Oh I have been doing genealogy research. Fear not. I just have not done much on my own ancestry. This is what I have been doing.

Mr. Boller's Scrapbook
My project this past semester has been on a scrapbook that mysteriously resides in the archives of the college at which I work. The book belonged to Mr. Claude Villette Boller (1869-1951). You can check the wonderful resource out at my online exhibit at this link:

In an effort to discover how the library acquired his scrapbook I have used to search for living descendants of Mr. Boller and just this morning I believe I may have made contact with a great grandson. Back in August I sent an email to an Ancestry user who linked to the same document about the Boller family that I found on I received a message from him today. I hope our communication continues.

Genealogy Librarian

Back in March 2015, I picked up a part-time job at a library way out east in Suffolk County, Long Island at a public library. Once a month I meet with up to 5 patrons for one-on-one hour long sessions during which time I show them the online resources available to them.
Sometimes I am teaching them how to research on their own but in many instances the patrons are not computer-savvy and thus, I promise to continue research for them. I give them each an additional hour of my time researching their family history. So that has cut into my blogging time, for sure. But it has given me the opportunity to explore records I have not used before in regions where my ancestors did not reside - Slovakia, Puerto Rico, the Southern U.S.
It has been incredible fun for me. I have learned so much. And many of the patrons have been truly grateful for the service which is the real reward for me.
Maybe in the future I will share some of their stories, pending their permission.
Family News
This year was filled with a great deal of happy news. I had several cousins give birth to beautiful, healthy children.
  • 9/6/2015: Cousin Jacquie gave birth to fraternal twins: Silas and Sora
  • 11/11/2015: Cousin Therese gave birth to her daughter, MaKenna
  • 12/1/2015: Cousin Lisa gave birth to a boy, also named Silas but from the other side of the family, so different last names.
  • 12/5/2015: Cousin Mary, of Threading Needles in a Haystack fame, gave birth to her son, Julian.
Mary's new website is Heritage & Vino where she not only blogs but also offers her genealogical research service for a very affordable price. Check her out.
Following the line of vital record creation this year, we had births AND marriages. My sister Rachel got married on 9/27/2015. And she has announced that they are expecting my niece Breanna in late February.
And I thought perhaps this would be a year our large family would escape the pain of collecting death certificates but unfortunately I just recently learned of the very unexpected passing of my Uncle Ronnie. Just typing his name brings me to tears. He passed due to complications during surgery this passed Monday, 12/28/2015. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who knew and loved him, especially Cousin Lisa, his only child.
In May I will finally be done with my second masters degree which will hopefully permit me more time to research my family history, and perhaps yours ;-)  ...and to blog about it all.
In any case, I resolve to do more posting on here in the year to come.
Happy 2016, everyone!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Cousin April! So sorry to hear of your uncle's passing - as genealogists, we know that every person's story has a beginning and end but it doesn't make a loved one's passing any easier. Happy to see you're back to blogging - looking forward to reading more once your master's is complete! Have you done a whole blog post on your genealogy librarian position? I'd be interested in reading more about how you found that position, what your typical day is like, what you enjoy most about it, and if you can get permission from your patrons, some of what you've helped them with! Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year, Cousin Mary! Thank you for your comments, as always. How's that sweet baby boy? Big sister adjusting well it seems?

    Thank you sincerely for suggesting I post about my genealogy librarian experience. That's exactly what I'll write about next. Thanks.

    Lots of love, Cousin April