If you are in the United States, Thanksgiving is a holiday that you most likely will be spending with family. The holiday lends itself to a nice family feeling, so it can be an important time to get some research done.
Prepare a small questionnaire and have your guests fill it out. For those that seem too busy, offer to fill it out for them.
Here is the email that I have already sent out to my family near and far. Those who will be with us, and those who are too far away:
Happy Thanksgiving to My Family!
I am working on a small project for our family and I need the help of each and every one of you. Please read this letter, fill it out and email it back to me. I will compile everyone's and get a copy to each and every one of you.
If you have a family tree completed, either send me the link or send me the info so that I can include it in the family database.
Please include place and date of birth and death if you know it.
I would love to have a copy of all of the family members that you have in your tree. Include little ones and those who have passed away, too.
Houses, Cars and Food! Thanksgiving is all about going to someone's house and eating food! I would love photos of home exteriors and interiors from time gone by. Cars that our family drove. Houses. Let me know who and when. Who's house this is, if there is anyone in the frame, who are they, and about when it was taken. Details are always awesome. Food photos! Send those photos of the table weighed down, groaning with food. The photos of people sitting in the living room with plates of food. All of it. Mama in her mini-skirt, balancing food. Send the photos via email. If you don't have access to a scanner or similar, take a photo with your camera of the photo and email it to me.
Recipes are also great. If you want to share some of the family cooking goldmine, then please, share all of the details with the recipe and it will be shared with the family.
I look forward to hearing back from all of you!
That email is constructed to be happy and family oriented. If you want, you can copy and paste it straight into an email for your family.
Share with me the details of success that you have. Happy Hunting!
Here is a Halloween Eve Challenge for all of you.
Think of all of the "skeletons in your closet". You know, the black sheep, the convicts, the spicy ones. Do you have those in mind?
Let me help with some examples.
Anyone that was arrested, fined, jailed, did any time at all. They should be on your list.
Anyone who had babies that they placed for adoption. Anyone that was placed for adoption. (Nothing wrong with adoption, I am in that triangle at all sides, but there was a time when there was a lot of shame going on.)
Anyone who was a ward of the state, the court, the city. Anyone who resided in an orphanage, a county home or anything that was not a familial home.
Anyone who had children out of wedlock and parented them.
Anyone who died from anything unusual. (gunshot wounds, knife wounds, abortions, unusual injuries.)
Anyone who was involved in unusual car accidents. (Car versus train. Car versus river or bed of water, car versus horse, etc.)
Anyone who was committed to a sanitarium or asylum.
Anyone who was a fugitive of justice.
Anyone who left their country on the run and came to a different country.
Anyone who was in a debtors prison.
These are only some of the reasons that a person might have a record for you to look for. If you have heard stories, see if looking them up online is something that you are available to do. You could uncover amazing amounts of information about a person who is a relative. I found a grandparent's records for when he was in prison. It listed his physical appearance, home address, next of kin, what his charges were and how he behaved in prison as well as accounts of money coming in and going out of his bank account there in prison.
Additionally, when he was deceased, that was also listed, as well as the exact date and what he died of. Those records were very valuable for breaking down a brick wall in research. Share your brick wall stories with me at PirateDixie@gmail.com