Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Search: Planning For 2020

Five years seems a long way off but if it goes by as fast as the last half decade (and especially the last six months) it won’t be long before we are all, once again, heading down to Virginia for another reunion. Over the last couple of months (yes, it has been that long already) I have been thinking about different things to include the next time around and what I would like to see organized by the next time we get together. Some of these things are general ideas while others are specific items I want to finally check off my list (a number of these things I have been meaning to get done for some time now).

Bear in mind, these are things that I hope to do in order to enhance or build upon the fantastic work that has already been done in previous years. We are a big family and it is similar to herding chickens when it comes to getting us all together. Each reunion, from what I have heard since I have only been to two, has been a great experience for all in attendance and a tremendous success overall. Like putting the pieces together in the family tree, I hope to build upon what has already been done.

So, let’s start with the general, yet specific, things that I hope we are able to arrange. The first big one is a project that I am not spearheading (but I will be happy to assist) which is getting the family tree (all branches) loaded onto a website where all family members will have access and can notify us of any updates. This will also be a great place where documents and pictures can be shared and enjoyed by all. I really hope to see this up and running well before the next reunion.   

Personally, I hope to coordinate tours of some of the towns and places where our family once (and still does in certain instances) lived. This was a great experience when we walked around these places over the summer and I hope to have a larger group next time around. Additionally, I hope to have a listing of the local cemeteries where we can find our cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Hopefully, we can add a few names to this list as well before the next reunion. Lastly, it would be nice to have access to the local records offices so that we can have basically a group research project. It should be a lot fast with each of us searching for pieces and putting them together at the end of the day.

Of course, there are also numerous goals that I hope to reach by the time we meet again. First and foremost are the applications to the Sons of the American Revolution and the Monacan Indian Nation. The former is purely a formality as we have more than enough documentation to satisfy the membership requirements. The latter is proving to be more difficult as specific documents need to be found in order to prove lineage. It is not an impossible task just a tedious one. However, it will all be worth it in the end.

In addition to the above, I hope to secure some donations for the raffle and coordinate what I hope will be some fun activities. As I think about it, Genealogy Jeopardy or Six degrees of family history could be interesting games to play. Pursuing raffle items could be interesting as well given that there are a variety of books that pertain to our family history, memberships and application fees that would be great auction items, as well as prints and other items that would be great to create (although I don’t think we could do better than the quilt that was raffled off this time around).

I am also curious to pursue various possible partnerships. It would be great to partner with a site like to add another dimension to the gathering. I hope to have mutually beneficial things like this coordinated so that we get some great insights into the family research while they (ancestry or some other site/group) have a perfect opportunity for a case study. After all, many of us are on ancestry already and can tell our family story through the leaves on the trees and the items that we have personally uploaded.

In the end, the most important thing for me to do personally is to keep working on the family history. Not just searching for and collecting the facts, documents, and photos but telling the stories of the family on this blog. Who knows, maybe I can pull enough stories together over the next few years to publish a book. The stories are certainly plentiful, it is just a matter of sitting down and recording the family history.