I LIVE for This Kind of Learning! RootsTech 2022 has ended … sort of.

RootsTech 2022 is now officially over … well, not really!

It is still possible to watch classes, review what happened on the Main Stage, you can still visit vendors tomorrow, and there are Relative Connections to make (you have to register for a free account at FamilySearch – but it is SO worth it!), and so much more.

I think I spent about 9 to 10 hours online today – live presentations, recorded classes, practicing where to look in the various DNA sites (how many tabs can you have open on your computer!!!), and listening along as I tried out some of the sites and offerings that were shared.

While ALL of the classes, vendor presentations and Main Stage offerings were great, I have to give a shout out to Roberta Estes at DNAeXplained who gave a series of presentations on finding out if you have Native American DNA and from whom, a sequence of DNA presentations that showed how to use the various companies’ (Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, FamilySearch, etc.) DNA and family tree tools to help you with your research. She had a great presentation style and offered a lot of information – and I’m STILL working through all those open tabs on my computer!

And, while I’m exhausted and my brain is about to explode, I am SO happy that I dedicated myself to this time for the last three days. While I miss everyone in person in Salt Lake, the learning and comfort of doing this from home was not something that I would have passed up. SUCH a great gift for ME! I figure that I’ll be learning for a while, doing more with the tips, tricks and resources that were shared, and I’m really happy with the time spent.

Yes, your story and that of your family matters – please take the time to share it! Make a video, a book of ancestry, or share pictures from an ancestral location. I have such a deep appreciation for what I learned …. and I hope that if you are reading this, you will make every effort to research and share your family’s history.

After a bit of rest and processing, watch for more as I grow in understanding what I learned … I have TONS of ideas and websites to go through and analyze on my family. Wish me luck!

Whew …. BUSY Day at Roots Tech 2022

RootsTech 2022 – SOOOOO much to do, see, learn!

What a day! The Friday of Roots Tech is always a busy one for me – I’ve been to RootsTech three times in person and as a presenter. The last two years of course have been virtual which certainly saves on costs but the learning is still a bit overwhelming! There are SO many courses – over 1,000 in English alone! And I know there were hundreds in other languages – French, German, Spanish, Polish … I don’t know all of them, but truly a bit overwhelming.

So today I watched the live Main Stage sessions and learned about peoples’ journeys in their own families; I learned about the upcoming additions to some of the popular websites to help us with our DNA, building our family trees, learning about how to find the origins of our families, and SO much more. My brain is about to explode!!

I’ve taken notes, printed out items offered by vendors, tried my hand at some of the DNA tools that I heard about from classes, took time (while I listened) to add to my own family tree and figure out some next steps. And I spent ‘way too much time sitting in this chair at the computer when there was actually sunshine outside – but I couldn’t help myself. THIS. IS. WHAT. I. LOVE. Gads, I can’t get enough.

OK, so it’s time to get to bed and get ready for tomorrow – the “last” day of the event. That’s for the “live” content – as the class recordings are available to us for a while and I plan to take advantage! So … bedtime……

Babies are always cute sleeping …. me, not so much!

News Release – Roots Tech 2022 Registration goes LIVE!

Ready to Connect? RootsTech 2022 Registration Is Now Open!

RootsTech 2022 is free, fun, worldwide celebration of family discovery and connection. The online event is March 3-5, 2022.SALT LAKE CITY, UT–FamilySearch opened registration today for RootsTech 2022, the largest family history event in the world held online March 3–5, 2022. It offers a forum where people of all ages across the globe are inspired to discover and share their memories and make meaningful connections. Register for free at RootsTech.org today. RootsTech 2022 will be a virtual-only experience, with some enhancements and improvements.

A new set of educational classes will be featured during 2022, along with new technologies to explore in the virtual expo hall, and inspiring stories shared by a fascinating line-up of keynote speakers.

“RootsTech 2022 is sure to be an incredible experience once again” said Jen Allen, event director for RootsTech. “Earlier this year, we organized our first-ever virtual event amid a pandemic—something we never thought would happen. But as we watched the participants come together to provide joyful learning experiences in many different languages, we knew something special was taking shape.”

Classes for the event will have a mix of on-demand, livestream, and interactive sessions that will allow attendees to learn, grow and connect to people all over the globe. Participants will also be able to connect with fellow attendees, speakers, experts, and enthusiasts. In 2022, the planners of RootsTech are looking to take that experience to the next level.

RootsTech is a place of connection. “We witnessed incredible connections [in 2021] between participants all over the world,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch. “As they connected to their homelands and ultimately to their families, they then connected to each other. At FamilySearch, we choose connection, and we witness every day the ways family history transcends all walls of separation and unites us as the true story of humanity unfolds.”

While there will always be some differences between the in-person and online experiences, RootsTech will continue to expand its online experience while working towards a time when the hybrid model of both can once again be offered.

“We are busy creating innovative ways to capture and share messages of culture, unity and connection that push the boundaries of what a virtual conference can be. We can’t wait to share what we’ve got in store,” added Allen.

The event will take place March 3–5, 2022, and you can register for RootsTech right now by visitingwww.rootstech.org. The conference is free and open to anyone. For updates, be sure to follow RootsTech on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Creating A Locality Guide – Wayne County Michigan

Locality Guide:  Judy Nimer Muhn

Research in Wayne County, Michigan

Historical Background:

The City of Detroit Flag (see below)

While David E. Heinman created the Flag of Detroit in 1907, it was not officially adopted by the city until 1948. The background of the flag commemorates the countries that have controlled the city over the years, and it is divided into four different sections. The lower left features the fleur-de-lis to represent France, who founded Detroit in 1701.  The upper right includes the gold lions of Great Britain, who controlled the city from 1760-1796. The upper left and the lower right sections represent the United States, the thirteen stripes and thirteen stars stand for the thirteen original colonies. 
The seal in the middle of the flag represents the fire that destroyed the city in 1805. Two women stand in the foreground while the city burns in the background.  The woman on the left weeps over the destruction, while the woman on the right consoles her by gesturing to a new city that will rise in its place.  Two Latin mottos read “Speramus Meliora” (meaning “We hope for better things) and “Resurget Cineribus” (meaning “It will rise from the ashes").
Description obtained from:  https://detroithistorical.org/learn/encyclopedia-of-detroit/flag-detroit

Early history of the region now known as Wayne County, Michigan reflected the changing of hands between the French, British and American – this fact being represented in the City of Detroit’s flag.

The area of Michigan that became Detroit and SE Michigan, was the home of thousands of Indigenous peoples – the Anishinabewek (Chippewa/Ojibwe), Wyandot, Sauk and Fox, Miami and more (note – these names are those of the European settlers, not those that the Indigenous people used for themselves). While the area now known as Detroit, in Wayne County, Michigan was originally settled by the French in 1701 (founded by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac at Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit on the north side of the Detroit River), the area was under French control until 1763.  In 1763, New France was defeated in the French and Indian War and the boundaries of the United States were expanded to include the region of Michigan within the “Old Northwest”.    From the French in 1701, transitioning after the French and Indian War to the British until the American Revolution when this region became part of the early formation of the United States of America, the area of Wayne County even reverted back to Britain briefly during the War of 1812.  From 1787 to 1800, Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory and Wayne County was created in 1796 as part of the Northwest Territory but it encompassed most of the what became the State of Michigan (a far longer history of the Michigan Territory can be found in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Territory). 

From 1800 to 1805, the region that was to become Wayne County and Michigan was attached to the Territory of Indiana.  Further changes occurred after the War of 1812, when the Michigan Territory came temporarily under British rule after the defeat of the Americans, but the area was later organized in 1815 as a county in the Michigan territory.  When Michigan became a state in 1837, Wayne County’s boundaries were again changed to reflect the more current configuration.

When the early territory of what was to become Michigan was laid out, Wayne County encompassed a larger area as the sixth county of the Northwest Territory, including the lower peninsula of Michigan, much of the upper peninsula and portions of what became Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.[1]

Wayne County is bordered by Macomb and Oakland Counties to the north, Washtenaw County to the west, Monroe County to the south and west, with Essex, Ontario, Canada bordering the county to the east/northeast (portions of Ontario are actually south of part of Wayne County).  The county encompasses 673 square miles and, according to 2014 population data, has over 1.7 million residents.[2]

Maps of the progression of the development of the Michigan counties, including Wayne County, can be found at Maps of the US, providing an interactive way to visualize the changes over the centuries.[3]

The location of Wayne County now, in 2021.

Current map of the counties of SE Michigan, from Family Search, Research wiki:  https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Wayne_County,_Michigan_Genealogy

The historic Guardian Building with exceptional architecture and a spectacular lobby.

The historic Guardian Building is the current location of the Wayne County Governmental offices.[4]

Wayne County is the most populous county in the State of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,820,584, making it the 19th-most populous county in the United States. The 2014 Census update listed the county’s population at 1,764,804. The county seat is Detroit, the most populous city in Michigan and 18th-most populous city in the United States. The county was founded in 1796 and organized in 1815.

Wayne County is included in the Detroit-WarrenDearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is one of several American counties named after Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne.[5]


A wealth of genealogical and historical resources is available across Wayne County and the State of Michigan.  The main repositories and their holdings are:

Obtain Detroit Birth & Death Certificates at:
Wayne County Clerk’s Office
400 Monroe Street (6th Floor)

Hours of Operation Will Be:
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Monday – Friday

For Further Assistance, Please Call:
(313) 833-2887 or (313) 833-2881 [6]

Additional researchers’ note, per the Wayne County’s website:  The Satellite Offices only have same day certificate service for a Marriage that took place from 1996 to the present. An order for a Marriage that took place before 1996 at our Westland Satellite Office can be picked up the following business day after 1:00pm or mailed. An order for a Marriage that took place before 1997 at our Northville Twp Satellite Office can either be picked up the following Thursday or mailed. Our main office in Downtown Detroit, located on 2 Woodward Ave, has same day certificate service for all years of Marriage Licenses issued by Wayne County.

One certified copy of a marriage license is $24.00 and $7.00 for each additional copy purchased at the same time. A Marriage License search for an uncertified copy is $11.50 for years 1937 to present, whether found or not, and $11.50 for before 1937 and for each 3 year interval, whether found or not. Personal checks are not accepted. Please click here for the Marriage Certificate Order Form.

Detroit Public Library, Burton Historical Collection

5201 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI  48202



Begun as a collection of the late Clarence Monroe Burton, this collection holds documents of the history of Michigan and Detroit, including Wayne County, including photographs, original manuscripts, city directories, history books, pamphlets, newspapers, atlases, personal papers, archival materials, collections from other historians or archivists, business records and extensive map collections.  Genealogical materials include microfilms of federal censuses, church records of baptisms, marriages and deaths, family histories and scrapbooks, military records, immigration and land records, Sanborn  fire insurance maps and much more.  Over the years, special collections documenting ethnic groups such as French-Canadian, Polish, Jewish and other populations have been acquired. 

Wayne County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here unless otherwise noted)

Address: 201 City-County Building, Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: 313-224-6262

Births & Deaths: 1867

Marriage Records: 1842

Address: 400 Monroe, 7th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 224-5854

Land Records: 1703

Address: 1307 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 224-5706

Probate Records: 1797

Address: 421 Madison Ave., Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 224-5261

Court Records: 1818[7]

Genealogical Societies In/Around Wayne County[8]:

Canton Historical Society 

P.O. Box 87362 Canton MI 48187-0362; 734-397-0088.


Historic documents, archives, family surnames and compilations, land-tax-cemetery-church records and more.

Dearborn Genealogical Society 

P.O. Box 1112

Dearborn 48121

Cemetery records, ancestor charts; this society is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Dearborn Historical Society 

915 Brady

Dearborn 48124

Detroit Society for Genealogical Research

c/o Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

5201 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI  48202


Quarterly publication includes transcriptions of documents, stories of the region and local cities ; annual indexes available for purchase or available on members-only portion of website.  Extensive list of publications for purchase includes Mt. Elliott Cemetery Burial Records, 1845-1861; Elmwood Cemetery Register 1862-1874; Wayne County Newspaper Marriage and Death Notices, 1809-1868, 1998; Passage to America 1851-1869: The Records of Richard Elliott, Passenger Agent, Detroit, MI; Cadillac’s Village or Detroit Under Cadillac, 1701-1710 (reprint of 1896 edition); Marriage Records of Ste. Anne Church Detroit 1701-1850; microfilmed Catholic church records from 1701, Protestant records from the 1820s (also at Ann Arbor’s Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan).

Detroit Historical Society 

5401 Woodward

Detroit 48202


Founded in 1921, the Museum was opened in 1928 with holdings including the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  Thousands of artifacts, exhibits and documentation of the history of the region and events are exhibited and rotated through the two facilities.  Educational programs.

Downriver Genealogical Society 

P.O. Box 476

Lincoln Park 48146


Materials on 17 “downriver” communities including cemetery records, family charts, death records, research materials and local high school yearbooks.

Flat Rock Historical Society 

P.O. Box 337

Flat Rock MI 48134; (734) 782-1269


Collection includes historical buildings, archives and papers of the area.

Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society 

c/o Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

 5201 Woodward Avenue Detroit MI 48202


The first genealogical society in the State of Michigan dedicated to the research and preservation of African-American history.  Newsletters, educational programs, publications and SIG (special interest groups) are part of this active society.

French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

P.O. Box 1900, Royal Oak, MI 48068-1900


This society was founded to promote awareness, research, educational and social connections for those of French-Canadian descent.  The Society’s website includes extensive resources, original research, historical information and photographs and detailed information about Acadians, French-Canadians, Native/First Nations, Fille du Roi and Carignan Regiment surnames and stories, and more.  Extensive research focused on historical Detroit, and nearby communities.  Monthly educational programs, books and more. 

Irish Genealogical Society of Michigan

Gaelic League of Detroit

2068 Michigan Avenue

Detroit, MI 48216


Assistance, educational information and resources supporting Irish genealogical research.

Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan

The Gayle Sweetwine Saini Memorial Library of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan is located inside the library of the Holocaust Memorial Center. The materials are non-circulating and a catalog is available for download from the website (below).

Holocaust Memorial Center
2nd Floor
28123 Orchard Lake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3738
(248) 553-2400 ext. 16


Lincoln Park Historical Society 

P.O. Box 476

Lincoln Park 48146


Collections and artifacts of early French and German settlements; documents include articles about old families, historic photographs and more.

Northville Genealogical Society 

P.O. Box 932

Northville MI 48167


Meeting at the Northville District Library, the group includes neighboring cities and the collection includes obituaries, indexes, cemetery records, historical and church publications.

Plymouth Historical Society 

155 S. Main St.

Plymouth 48170; (734) 455-8940


Census data, information about old Plymouth families, manuscripts, old photographs and an anthology of Abraham Lincoln (unusual!).

Polish Genealogical Society Of Michigan 

5201 Woodward Ave.

Detroit 48202-4007


Public and members-only databases; books, past publications/newsletters, surname lists and more.

Romulus Historical Society 

11121 Wayne Rd.

Romulus 48174

Redford Township Historical and Genealogical Society 

P.O. Box 401175

Redford Michigan 48240-9175


No updates since 2009/2010 so it is not clear if they are still active.

St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit “Charles S. Low Memorial Library”

Kilgour Scottish Centre

2363 Rochester Road

Troy, MI  48083



Scottish books, artifacts, culture and information about clans & tartans, history, biographies and genealogies submitted by members for membership and more. 

West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society 

3245 Junction Street

Detroit MI. 48210


Oral interviews and articles about people, history and culture are featured on the website.

Wayne County Irish Society 

31975 Cowan

Westland 48185

Western Wayne County Genealogical Society

 P.O. Box 530063

Livonia 48153-0063

Meeting at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center, the website offers surname research list, cemetery research and the Society sells publications that are compilations of cemetery and other records.

Wyandotte Historical Society 

2624 Biddle Avenue

Wyandotte Michigan 48192; 734-324-7299


Genealogy, historic buildings and businesses can be researched at the Burns House; must schedule an appointment.

Michigan History Center/ State Archives of Michigan

702 W Kalamazoo St, P.O. Box 30738

Lansing, MI 48909-8238; (517) 373-1408


http://www.michigan.gov/hal  (website wasn’t working when checked)

1870 Michigan Census Index and Images, Michigan Cemetery Sources, Michigan Naturalization Records, Vital Records, State and Local, Public Land Grants and Private Claims, Circuit Court Records, Michigan Local Histories and Biographies, and more.

Library of Michigan

702 W. Kalamazoo St,

Lansing, MI 48909


Newspapers, law library, rare books, genealogical materials and online databases, family histories, county indexes and directories, and more.

Historical Society of Michigan

1305 Abbott Rd,

East Lansing, MI 48823; (517) 324-1828


Hosts history conferences and education events; tours; support to county/regional historical societies.

Record Losses/Extant Records:

There are no known record losses in Wayne County.

LDS Family History Centers

The following family history centers in Michigan offer the most comprehensive genealogy resources, including census records, death records, family history records, obituaries, marriage records, vital records, court records, and various other public records.:

Closest to Wayne County, Michigan are:

Ann Arbor Michigan 
914 Hill St
Ann Arbor, Michigan (734) 995-0211   Bloomfield Hills Michigan
425 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (248) 647-5671
  published sources/ Online resources and databases/ digital collections:   Ancestry.com www.ancestry.com Census records for Wayne county, from 1820 as well as regional and state census from 1799 to 1894.  1906 to 1957 immigration arrival records in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) record group 85.  Many other Wayne County records found by typing “Wayne County, Michigan” in Ancestry’s search box.   Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library www.detroitpubliclibrary.org/burton/burton_index.htm A special commemorative brochure was compiled in honor of the collection’s 100th anniversary:  http://www.detroitpubliclibrary.org/sites/default/files/Burton_Historical_Collection_100.pdf An extensive digital photo collection can be searched and copies ordered from the website. The Detroit Death Index (1920 to 2009) includes records from the Detroit Health Department but is not entirely searchable online.   Cemeteries, Death Records, Obituaries See “Seeking Michigan” for Library of Michigan indexes.  Most Detroit and Wayne County churches and cemeteries have compiled their own indexes and burial records. And the following website has links for indexes, cemeteries and obituaries. https://www.deathindexes.com/michigan/wayne.html   Jewish Beth-El Archives http://www.tbeonline.org/cemetery The oldest synagogue in Detroit has shared it’s records online – of those of Blessed memory are recorded with birth date and death date in the synagogue’s cemetery.    Newspapers The oldest paper in Wayne county is the Detroit Free Press.  Previous newspapers include the Detroit Tribune, Detroit Times, Detroit News, Detroit Journal and there are several historically ethnic newspapers.  The Detroit Public Library has clippings on file or microfilm and DPL staff will do look ups for a fee ($15-25; call for information). detroitpubliclibrary.org/services/services   Seeking Michigan www.seekingmichigan.org Provides access to nearly a million death records, indexes, military records, Michigan census and maps, cemetery indexes and more.  Immigration and naturalization records are now being indexed with the help of thousands of volunteers.       

[1] Wayne County, Michigan.  Wikipedia History at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Michigan

[2] Ibid.

[3] Maps of the US.  http://www.mapofus.org/michigan/

[4] By Funnyhat at English Wikipedia – Self-madeTransferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Werewombat., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4381767

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Michigan

[6] http://www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Find/Birth-and-Death-Certificates

[7] Website – Genealogy Inc.  https://www.genealogyinc.com/michigan/wayne-county/

[8] Crediting Genealogy Inc. at https://www.genealogyinc.com/michigan/wayne-county/ for this list of genealogical and historical societies.

National Genealogical Society 2021 Family History Conference – Virtual Event!

Focus On Societies: Join me for the session – Society Management: Volunteer Motivations – Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers for your Society!

The National Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference is coming! Hope you registered early to get the discount, but register TODAY here:  conference.ngsgenealogy.org and join one of the most interesting, educational and important conferences of each year.

This year – new – is the fact that the Federation of Genealogical Societies merged with NGS and there is a “Focus on Societies” section, offering help, resources and information to genealogical societies to help them to thrive, grow and engage with their communities and interested researchers. That’s where my session – Society Management: Volunteer Motivations: Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers – appears. Join me?

NGS 2021 LIVE!
 is 19─20 May and continues with NGS 2021 On-Demand! on 15 June. Additional events throughout the week include the Delegate Council Workshop on Monday and the SLAM! Idea Showcase on Tuesday.

#NGS2021LIVE, #NGS2021OnDemand, and #NGSFocusOnSocieties.

Exciting Content at RootsTech Connect 2021!!!

LOOK at some of the Keynote Speakers coming to RootsTech Connect 2021! There will be these “live” segments and then HUNDREDS of classes, workshop series and more! An Expo Hall with vendors that you can connect with and the always wonderful Relative Connections that happen when you link your FamilySearch tree with your registration. There are well over 100,000 people registered from all over the world at this point and with FREE registration, there will be more. You could find a breakthrough in your genealogy because there’s a cousin out there in Poland or Brazil or Australia or Sierra Leone who knows something you don’t!

Can you tell that I’m excited? Gads, am I! And please find your way to my presentations – three of them. The virtual setting of this year’s event made us think about what is reasonable for people sitting in on virtual technology – so sessions are about 20 minutes long. So my sessions – The Big Five: Researching the Largest Tribes – is broken into three parts: Part 1 is an overview of Native research generally, and how to think about your families and where the hints may lie. Part 2 is about the Cherokee and Choctaw. Part 3 is about the Chippewa, Sioux and Navaho. Watch one, watch all! And there’s a PDF handout there to give you some resources. And please feel welcome to use the Chat feature that will be with each of these, to connect, ask questions or just meet other family historians who are doing similar work.

Click on the pictures above to register and join the fun! Or click here to register – it’s FREE!

Happy Birthday, Grandma! Because she was, I am ….

Mary Elsie Cecelia Elliot Sutinen – My grandmother: Because she was, I am.

Remembering my grandma on her birthday….

Today is Grandma’s birthday – Mary Elsie Cecelia Elliot Sutinen – she was of French-Canadian, Acadian, Scottish and First Nations descent. Born in Ishpeming, Michigan to immigrant parents who came from Maskinonge, Quebec. She had five children – my mother was the youngest girl and the fourth child. Her life was not easy … hard work, poverty, difficult circumstances and more. But my memories of her are of a loving, doting, beloved woman who gave us kids sugar-free (she was diabetic) Jello with whipped cream, the BEST snuggles, learning from her about tatting, needlework, hearing occasional Quebecois words from her, her sisters, and the wonderful smells of a grandma’s home. A devout Catholic, she endured a lot and relied on her faith to get her through – AND was happy, smiling, welcoming, gentle and very obviously loving me and my brother, my cousins. Missing her now when I would like to ask SO many questions. Bonne Fete with our ancestors, Grandma!!

And thank you! You birthed my mother, who birthed me … and you loved and cared for all of us in your family, and the HUGE family of your birth (she was one of 16; 14 lived to adulthood). She connects me to my matrilineal ancestors, my distant past, going all the way back to Benouville, Rouen, Normandie, France where my 10th great-grandmother Guillemette Rolleville was born in 1625 and any paper trail further seems to end (for now … ). From Guillemette to her daughter Marie-Catherine and on and on, for generations, it comes to me and my only female first cousin in this line, Karen … Neither Karen or I had children, so this part of the lineage ends with us. Feels sad … but there are others who descend from her in the mitochondrial lines so the DNA continues. Merci, Grand-mere …. je me souviens!


What an opportunity! I’ve been invited to speak about some of my favorite work – researching Indigenous Peoples. This presentation will be in THREE parts as it is about “The Big Five – Researching the Five Largest Tribes”.

Researching Indigenous Peoples can be a challenge, as much of our histories are oral tradition, stories told by skilled orators in our tribes, and lineal descendants in families who are sure to share the stories of the ancestors to the whole family at funerals or births. These beloved leaders can share from memory and long study the names and relationships of the broader tribal community. So mostly, this information hasn’t been written down – partly because it is sacred, important, cultural information that would be misinterpreted or added to by those unfamiliar with the stories and heritage. And some of the information isn’t written down in defiance – we don’t want some of our precious ancestral information shared with outsiders. And it’s not written down because .. well, that isn’t our way. And we are holding on tight to our ways.

HOWEVER there were many reasons and purposes that information WAS written down – census information, school records, military service and more. These resources and some of the cultural constructs of researching Indigenous families will be part of this course.

The session will be offered in THREE parts. RootsTech CONNECT 2021 is entirely virtual and, as such, the organizers wanted to consider good ways to utilize webinar technology while recognizing that people tend to learn best in non-live interaction in 20 minute intervals. So, because each of the five tribes is different, with different records, this session will cover these five tribes in three parts: Part 1 – Broad overview of Indigenous research generally; how to get started; what to do if you’ve been told that you have Native ancestors; how to move backward in time to look for clues, hints, cultural information that can help in finding an elusive ancestor. Part 2 – Will address the specific record sets of the two largest tribes – the Cherokee and the Cochtaw. The Cherokee are the largest tribe in the United States and the Cochtaw are third largest but both originate in the SE of the U.S. and have shared history that can help in your research. Part 3- Will cover the Navaho, Chippewa and Sioux. And, by the way, I will also offer you the names of each of these tribes in their own languages, rather than the English names (names used for them by the colonial people, settlers) that the Europeans gave them.

Interested? I hope you will join me! But in the meantime, as RootsTech is FREE – have you registered? Check in here: Registration

DNA Weekly – An Interview About Lineage Journeys!

The heading on my interview at DNA Weekly – Hope you will check it out!

There are some moments that remind you of why you do your work, why it is more fun to do what you love. I had that moment with Ditsa Keren from DNA Weekly, who had contacted me for an interview about my genealogy work.

It had been some time since I had thought about why I started Lineage Journeys and my motivations for continuing to work in this field. I truly love searching for my family and I love helping others get excited about their family history too. So the combination of the two had been great for me, but reflecting on it to answer Ditsa’s questions was particularly enjoyable. In our interview on Zoom, she had a thoughtful way, was fun and asked good questions. And I was grateful for the opportunity to share about what I do and how much I enjoy working with clients – I LIVE for those wonderful “ah ha” moments that all family historians or genealogists have when they learn something new about an ancestor or where they lived, what they did for an occupation.

While I can’t quite place my hands on the article that I read that shared the importance of sharing family stories, I remember that the psychology of it was that it builds resilience in children to hear about the trials and troubles that their ancestors got through. And for the children to hear those stories from their grandparents (or great-grandparents, as so many are living longer, thank God!), has a direct and deep impact on their own ability to manage in tough times.

Thank you to Ditsa Keren and DNA Weekly for the opportunity to do some reflection. Hope you all will think about checking DNA Weekly out – http://www.DNAWeekly.com