Mondays for Me #56 ~ A Great Resource

For some of you this may be old news, but for some of us this is a new experience! I recently joined a few Facebook groups designed for reminiscing about the town I grew up in. I was very surprised at how many there were, and they seemed to cover every topic available. One was called “Retro Tucson”, another one was “Remembering Tucson” and one was “Our Sonoran Arizona Ancestors”. To be honest, I ended up joining 6 groups.

As I get older, I realize that my memory isn’t what it used to be. I did buy a book about 23 years ago that asked questions about your life. It was structured to prompt you to write as much as you could remember about such topics like “What was your house like?”, and “What is your favorite memory of grade school?”. There were over 200 questions that you could answer and then you could hand the book on to your children or grandchildren so they could read about your life. I found this book a few years ago and it has helped with my memories. This is one reason I joined these groups, they help bring back memories of places and events.

Francisco & Ramona Acuna

The bonus to these groups is one I just discovered a couple of weeks ago. In the “Our Sonoran Arizona Ancestors” group I saw a lot of people posting photos of their parents or Grandparents, and writing a short paragraph about them. Now, I personally do not have any ancestors from this region, but my husband does. I have researched his family as far back as I could. Once it got into Mexico, the language barrier and the naming practices hindered me. So I decided to post a photo of my husbands Great Grandfather and I included a link to the story I had written about him. The response was amazing!

Letter to Francisco Acuna asking for his daughters hand in marriage

Yesterday, I posted about his Great Grandmother, and I was excited to see the response and very surprised to find so many of the people asking if we could be related. In one day I had contact with and verified 6 new cousins for my husband. The best part is one of his new-found relatives have offered to help me with the research in Mexico and with my lack of Spanish. I am now anxious to join other Facebook groups pertaining to my side of the family!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Freaky Fridays ~ A Strange Happening

freakyfridayI belong to several Genealogy groups on Facebook, both in my personal account and my authors’ account. Most of them I have been in for years. I started writing blogs to document my family almost 7 years ago and I have always posted a link to the blogs in the groups that allow it. Because of this, I have been contacted by the family that I never knew I had, and we have been able to share information. It has been a great experience. At least it was until today.

At the beginning of the year, I made a decision to try to write one blog a day. I had a rough start of it and I only wrote about 15 of the 31 days in January. Starting February 1st I took it more seriously and I have written at least one blog a day since then. I have Facebook Groups in both my pages that I post my blog to daily, as well as on other social media sites. The response has been wonderful and I have made a lot of great friends this way also.

So, here is the strange thing that happened last Sunday. In my personalFacebook groups Facebook page groups, I posted my blog as I always do. Later in the day, I saw that I had a few comments on the blog in one of those groups. I started reading the posts when I noticed that I had one from an administrator. It was a combative post, asking why I included a certain newspaper clipping in my blog as she felt it didn’t go with the storyline. She demanded to know where I got the clipping and wanted to know “why” I used it. She said she was confused by it.

I had to run an errand, so I thought I would respond to her when I got back. I figured that would give me time to think about her questions and provide her with an adequate answer. When I got home, I couldn’t find the Genealogy Group’s name in my list of shortcuts on the left side of the page. I then typed the name in the search bar and when the page came up it said I had to join the group in order to see the content. Imagine my surprise to find that I had been removed from the group! I tried to rejoin the group, but I was denied. I didn’t get a chance to explain the use of the newspaper clipping, where I found it, or my reasons for using it in the blog.

Newspaper Richard's PlaceThe clipping I used was about a house that my 5th great-grandfather had built back in the late 1700s and that is still in use today. It gave a little information about him and his occupation when he had lived here. I thought it was an interesting article. Let me say, I do not write my blogs to please other people. I have two reasons that I do it, 1. To document my ancestors’ lives for future generations and 2. To tell the truth about them and their lives no matter what may have happened during their lives.

I am sorry that adding the clipping confused this person and that they thought it didn’t belong in the blog but did that really warrant me being removed from the group? This particular group is one that I have posted in for at least 5 years. There are 6 administrators but only this one had a problem with it. It is just disheartening to think this type of thing would happen in a Genealogy group. Just to clarify, none of the content of the blog was against group rules. I follow all instructions to the letter in all of the groups I participate in.

Has this type of thing ever happened to you?


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.