Meet the Family Tree Firsts Blogger!

Editor’s note: A little while back, we looked for a newbie genealogist to be a blogger for us for six months. From the dozens of entries we received, we selected Nancy Shively of  Skiatook, OK, as our Family Tree Firsts blogger! This was the entry that secured  her the gig:

I never fancied myself as a detective, no matter how many times I read and re-read Harriet the Spy or watched CSI. But that’s exactly how I feel now that I’ve become interested in genealogy.

For most of my life I have been a busy mom, too occupied with raising the next generation to think much about the previous ones. Now that I have an (almost) empty nest, these mysteries seem to have come knocking at my door insisting that I find their answers. I’m what you would call a genealogy “newbie.”

It started 6 months ago with The Case of the Missing Baby, my mother’s brother, who died in infancy. That case is still under investigation. Then there are The Mysterious Twins and the Spanish Flu, followed closely by The Case of the Missing Grandfather. And all that is in just the first few generations! What is awaiting me as I travel farther back in time? I can’t wait to find out!

The last 6 months have been a kind of hobby oxymoron. I have always enjoyed traditional crafts that employ the old technologies of knitting needles, spinning wheels and looms. Now with the addition of genealogy to the roster of my obsessions, I am getting to play with all kinds of new technology from the Internet to digital scrapbooking. (Photoshop and Google anyone?)

But when I think about it, whether I am spinning or scanning what I am really doing is bringing together the past and the present, preserving them both and sending them on into the future. I love the connections that genealogy creates…connections to family that I barely remember or never knew. Finding clues about the kind of lives that they lived, the kind of people they were. And it gives me hope that as I acknowledge their lives my own life, in turn, will be remembered. Not a bad way to spend one’s time.

— Nancy


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

14 thoughts on “Meet the Family Tree Firsts Blogger!

  1. Welcome to the world of genealogy. It is a wonderful hobby and a gift we can leave to our family. I still get excited when I find something new about one of my ancestors or discover another link in the tree. What is history to us was there lives,I wonder what they thought about the events around them. I hope that you have great joy in your journey into the past. Grace

  2. Congrats, Nancy! I also entered the competition but am glad to see a fellow Oklahoman got the nod. I’m subscribing and will look forward to your updates!
    Jan

  3. I found your first blog very interesting.. and explained exactly how I felt 7 years ago when this all started. Nancy it just keeps getting more captivating.

  4. Great job, Nancy! I started about 16 years ago and I still get excited as a kid on Christmas morning when I move back another generation, emotional when I learn of family tragedies, and happy when I get old photos which gives me a face to go with a name.

  5. Thanks all! I’m so excited and honored to have been chosen. This is going to be so much fun!

  6. Hi Nancy,
    The very best of luck to you in your Genealogy pursuits. The
    “health dept.” WALL of secrecy is NOT the last time you will encounter this type of thing !
    I live in Virginia and maybe YOU need to get the interest a an Oklahoma legislator to rewrite the “data Accessability” laws there!! Virginia (still needs some revisions/updates) to
    it’s laws BUT they are far beyond what you encountered. There is a number XX of years for all Births,Deaths,Marriages,Etc. to become “Public Records” and available to ANYONE!! (There are different years XX for the different items.)
    YOU need to get a legislator interested, who likes Genealogy!!
    Barry

  7. This is my first reply and I am looking forward to reading other replies, entries etc but would love to see some Australian content. Like myself many australians who have ancestors from “across the pond” some came here and some to america.
    I have been doing this for several years now in a small way, but since I married last year and added my husbands tree I am now the proud mother of around 8 trees, and what intrigues me is the similarities of all the families who as it turns out came from english villiages within walking distance to each other. The largest migration of my family was the Eddingtons of Middlezoy to Mcoupin county.
    karen

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