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    Welcome to the Crossroads!

    Welcome to Genealogy Crossroads, where your ancestors and history meet. 🙂 Today marks the launch of a new adventure!

    Genealogy Crossroads

    The adventure starts here with the blog. Genealogy Crossroads’ primary purpose is to explore where our ancestors intersect with history. We often get caught up in the pursuit of finding more family members and data but don’t spend much time thinking about what life was like for them.

    However, it is important to also think of them three-dimensionally. They were living, breathing people whose lives and choices have brought you to where you are today: reading this blog on technology they couldn’t have dreamed of!

    Exploring the history around our ancestors can also help us break through brick walls, answer important questions, and bring us closer to the events that shaped their lives and ours. Why did your ancestor move across the country? What was it like to travel across the ocean on a wooden ship or fight in the Civil War? What did they eat? And the eternal question: Where on earth did all the records go?

    Just a few members of the family

    Who am I?

    After leaving corporate America last year, I’ve been on a long, strange trip involving teaching, writing, training, surviving a pandemic (knock on wood!), and stalling out on a move abroad–thanks to said pandemic. After all of these pivots, I needed to figure out what to do now instead of waiting for the world to figure things out.

    What has emerged in these uncertain times is that you just have to grab the bull by the horns. And buy the toilet paper when you see it.

    I needed a new career. What I wanted was a career that would be sustainable, allow me to help people, and also let me do what I love.

    When I reviewed my skills and passions, I realized that there had been an obvious choice all along: genealogy!

    My interest in genealogy really blossomed back in 2003. I had been laid off but not yet let go, so I had a lot of free time. I was also engaged to be married and thinking a lot about family. And online genealogy was taking off. Voila! A new love was born!

    Remember when?

    What To Expect

    Genealogy Crossroads (GC) will look at the big and small events and the details that were a part of our ancestor’s lives, including:

    • Daily Life: What life was like, such as food, music, clothes and more.
    • Social & Cultural History: What was going on in the community? And in the country?
    • Migration: Why the wilderness of Arkansas Territory? Or the wilds of Wisconsin?
    • Wars and Conflicts: No dry battle facts! Instead, we’ll look at what these events meant for our ancestors’ lives.
    • Maps and Geographic Challenges: We’ll examine changing boundaries and place names plus historic map goodness.
    • Last but not least: Genealogy Skill Building–the eternal pursuit!

    Never fear, resources to help you on your own journey will be included in the articles. The primary focus will be on American history, though also expect some exploration of foreign lands (especially Europe–my area of expertise).

    You’ll get to meet my own family along the way and find out how I’m working through my research challenges. Like what happens when your ancestor’s regiment burns down the courthouse full of family documents. 😣

    My goal is to help expand your understanding of your ancestors and their lives. I also hope to help you with your own research as we go along.

    I look forward to our journey through the past. Please let me know below what area of your family’s history interests you most or that you find most challenging!

    Thanks!

    Michelle 🙂