Open! Open! Open!

I made it into Pro Gen 15!!  Starting tomorrow, I will embark on a focused genealogy journey to learn how to be a more professional genealogist!  I can’t wait to start.  It’s like that commercial where I am standing at the glass door looking in, saying “Open!” “Open!” “Open!”

I will post more about my experiences and assigment if and when I can.  Woo Hoo!!!  I can’t believe I made it!  Congratualtions to everyone in ProGen 15!

Its My Genealogy Obsession’s birthday, but who’s getting the prize???

Well its the Blog’s birthday and I posted a contest to celebrate.  You can read it here.  Well I had eight prizes and anyone who commented on the contest post would be entered to win.  I was going to use to pick the winners, but there was actually eight posters so you all win a prize.

Please email me at  and put MGO Birthday Prize in the subject line.  Include your mailing address and I will send you your prize.  The prizes won are as follows:

  1. Christiy Stambaugh – Chasing Women: Finding Your Female Ancestors presented by Leland K. Meitzler
  2. Gini Web – Backing Up your Genealogy Data presented by Thomas MacEntee
  3. Suzie Henderson – Dropbox for Genealogist presented by Thomas MacEntee
  4. Lynne Carothers – Blogging for Beginners and More Blogging for Beginners both presented by Dear MYRTLE
  5. Linda Sampson – Building a Research Toolbox presented by Thomas MacEntee
  6. Nancy – Genealogy At A Glance African American Genealogy Research by Michael Hait
  7. Zena – Chasing Women: Finding Your Female Ancestors presented by Leland K. Meitzler
  8. Christopher T. Smithson – Genealogy At A Glance on African American Genealogy Research by Michael Hait

Thank you all for reading and posting your comments.


Happy Birthday to My Genalogy Obsession blog!!!

On January 19, 2012, my blog will be 1 year old!  I remember when I made my first post…I was so nervous that no one would read my blog.  I’m glad to find out that I didn’t need to worry about that.  Well I would like to celebrate but instead of normally receiving gifts, I will be giving gifts to you, my readers as a thank you for your readership.

What do you have to do?  Well, just post a comment to this post sometime between now and 6:00pm on Thursday, January 19th.  You can let me know what you like about my blog and what you don’t like, advice, anything that has to do with my blog!  I will use to pick the winning comments and post them at 8pm.  After your name is listed as a winner, you have to email me your address with the subject line “Blog Anniversary Contest”.  Once I receive your address, I will mail your prize to you.

Their are several prizes to be had.  They are webinar-on-CD by Legacy Family Tree and Genealogy At A Glance on African American Genealogy Research by Michael Hait.  I received them with my Geneabloggers swag bag when I attended the SCGS Jamboree in 2011.  I have six CD’s prizes and one At A Glance available.

  • Chasing Women: Finding Your Female Ancestors presented by Leland K. Meitzler (I have two of these)
  • Backing Up your Genealogy Data presented by Thomas MacEntee
  • Dropbox for Genealogist presented by Thomas MacEntee
  • Blogging for Beginners
  • More Blogging for Beginners both presented by Dear MYRTLE
  • Building a Research Toolbox presented by Thomas MacEntee
  • Genealogy At A Glance African American Genealogy Research by Michael Hait.

So there will be eight (8) winners total.  Come on people, comment and win a prize!!!  If you feel the urge, subscribe and become a regular reader.  That would be awesome too!

Have a great weekend!!!

Saturday Updates – 14 Jan 2012

The updates are as follows:

Contest –  I looked at my family group sheets and the pedigree chart for this research line and realized that I have some on most everyone except for my grandmother, Vicenta Luna (Robles) who is the brick wall in this family line.  I don’t know who her parents are or if she had any siblings.  So this week I focused on her.  I created a timeline for her and after analyzing the timeline, I realized that all I have is her birth, marriage and death date but no original documentation to back it up.  Her birth date came from the California Death Index which may not be correct.  Her marriage date came from my Grandfather’s (her husband’s) Immigration Record.  It was filed two years after her death.  Her death info also came from the California Death Index as well.  I also noted that there is a different spelling of her name on the Death Index as opposed to the spelling on my Grandfather’s Immigration documents.  So, when I search for any documents for her, I couldn’t find a thing.  I believe that when you have a brick wall, it means that some piece of information that you have is wrong.  It could be the dates or places of birth or death.  So I decided to get a copy of my grandmother’s death certificate.  I figured that working backwards, the death certificate would be a good place to start.

Well that is all that I was able to focus on this week.  I am hoping that the death certificate will bear some fruit that will be useful in my research.

Have a great weekend y’all!!!

Military Monday – Bentura “Benny” G. Sanchez

Bentura "Benny" Sanchez (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

This Military Monday I would like to post about my Uncle Benny.  My uncle was always a man who could command the attention of those around him whether at a family function, or on stage.

He was born in 1925 in Colorado and died in 1979 in Riverside, California.  He served in the Korean War.  I don’t have the details on his service yet, but I have wonderful pictures.

This portrait of my uncle in his uniform was a picture that he sent to his grandmother, my great-grandmother.  The writing states:  “(dated: 2-29-52) Con todo carino, dedico esta foto para mi abuelita = La Sra, Conception Lopez=  Sinceramente= Benny Sanchez.”  It translates as follows:  “(dated 2-29-52)  With all my affection, I dedicate this picture to my grandmother, Ms Conception Lopez = Sincerely = Benny Sanchez.” (As translated by Google Translate.)

Here are more military photos of my uncle:

(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

My uncle has always been a musician.  He played different guitars.  I remember at his house, that the den/game room which had a pool table, had his instruments hung on the wall.  Whenever there was a family function at his house, all of the men would end up in the pooltable room, drinking and playing pool.  Eventually, my uncle and a few other men would take the instruments off the wall and play music.  I love that my uncle loved music.

Eventhough he was in the military, it didn’t stop him musically.  As you can see from these photos:

My uncle benny is in the center standing. (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

The back of the previous photo. (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

The back of this photo is transcribed as follows:  “23 Oct 1953 – Mama, Dedico este retrato como un recuerdo de su hijo Benny, y los tres latinos, se le fue tomado cuando ______ el con curso de la Division 24th el viejito que este sentado es el Col. Alexander. (de derecha a ________)  Julio Rivera = Puerto Rico – Benny Sanchez = California – Raul Mercado = Puerto Rico – THE THREE LATINS – Sinceramente – Benny.”

There is a word or two that I was not able to transcribe but the translation is approximately as follows:  “23 Oct 1953 – Mama, I dedicate this picture as a memory of your son Benny, and the Three Latinos, when he was taken with ________  of the 24th Division that the old man is sitting Col. Alexander.  (from right to _______) Julio Rivera = Puerto Rico – Benny Sanchez = California – Raul Mercado = Puerto Rico – THE THREE LATINS – Sincerely – Benny.”  The translation was done on Google Translate.

He was even mentioned in the newspaper.  Although I don’t have the name of the newspaper or the date it was published, I have a photo of the small mention of my uncle.

Uncle Benny's mention in the newspaper. (Name of Newspaper and date of publication unknown. Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

The transcription reads:  “WITH THE 24TH INFANTRY DIV. IN JAPAN – Pvt. Benny G. Sanchez, whose wife, Maria, lives at 716 S. Burger Ave., Los Angeles, recently took part in a variety show put on by the 24th Infantry Division’s 21st Regiment in Japan.  The production, entitled “Trip-a-let,” drew on talent from the entire regiment and included musical comedy, dancing and exhibition of professional archery.  Sanchez, a rifleman in Company B of the 21st, arrived in Japan last November.  The son of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Sanchez, 4225 E. Folsom St., Los Angeles, he was a vocalist before entering the Army in January 1952.”

I am very proud of the service my uncle gave to our country and of his musical ability.  My uncle Benny was not just my uncle, but also my “padrino” or godfather.  I loved him and still to this day, miss him very much.  I have always felt a strong bond with my uncle, but until I learned more about him, his military service, and the Three Latins, I realized that I our bond is musical.  Although I am not a professional, I do sing and I know, that if my uncle were still alive he would be at every single performance I had.  Its not just me who was touched by my uncles talent, my cousin, my uncle’s youngest son, sings and sounds just like his dad.  I also have several other cousins who play guitars.  We all have been touched by my uncles talent and carry his spirit with us everyday.  I feel him closest when I am singing.  RIP Uncle Benny!

Saturday Updates – 07 Jan 2012

Good Morning y’all!  Its my day off and its a wonderful, beautiful day here in Southern California.  Here is my list of updates for this past week.

Volunteering – I have signed up and committed to index 100 pages by May.  Well, on Monday, my day off, I completed 21 index pages and I am off to a wonderful start.  I may even surpass my original 100 page goal!  Woo Hoo!

Contest – I determined which generations of my Luna line that I want to use for my entry into the NGS Family History Contest.  This is a big step in getting this submission and the subsequent research going. I’m feeling very positive about this entry.  The story from this line has grabbed my soul and I feel that it is a story that needs to be told.  I hope I do it justice.

Editorial Calendar –  It is one of my resolution to keep up with the posting that I have made a commitment to for this blog.  One step in that direction is to update my editorial calendar and genealogy calendar with all of the blog posts, genealogy classes, webinars, and events that will take up my time.  This allows me to plan my time and when to write the posts that are needed for this blog.

During all of these things that I have done, I also have a life as well.  Although I moved on the 1st of December, I still have boxes to be emptied and items to be organized and put away.  Well this is what made me so tired and why this post is late.  This reason may cause me to be late again, but as more and more boxes are emptied, and items are organized and put away, it will happen less and less.

Have a great Monday and a wonderful week!


News Bits – 09 Jan 2012

Here are a few interesting stories I found today.

08 Jan 2012 – Bangor Daily News – Roxanne Moore Saucier – Maine

U.S. president and Maine governor have ‘cenotaphs’ in D.C. –  171 congressmen are to be honored with a special monument in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington. Their markers are a “cenotaph,” because their remains are interred elsewhere.

09 Jan 2012 – Miami Herald/Florida Wires/Gainsville Sun – Cindy Swirko – Gainsville, Fl.

Tombstone hunters preserve local history.- On many Saturdays, a band of people, from grannies to youngsters, root around Alachua County cemeteries. It’s not some “Twilight” saga-inspired mission or a gothic-themed scavenger hunt.  Instead, they do it to preserve history and to make that history easier to access on the Internet.

Monthly Aspirations – January 2012

I am sorry this is a few days late, but better late then never.  Yesterday I sat down at lunch and worked on what I would aspire to complete this month.  Well I pretty much ended up planning my monthly aspirations for the rest of the year.

When you make a goal or resolution, one way to complete it is to break it down into smaller projects.  This helps to keep it managable and keep you focused on getting it done.  So, one of my goals for 2012 is to enter and hopefully win the NGS Family History Writing Contest.  You can read about my goals for 2012 here under contest.

The prize of this contest, as it is listed on their website, is as follows:

  • The person who compiles the most outstanding family history will receive an expense-paid trip to the next NGS Family History Conference. The benefits include travel to and from the conference, hotel accommodations, conference registration fee, and a complimentary banquet ticket.
  • Manuscripts meeting the requirements will be submitted to the editors of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) for consideration and will be placed in the NGS Library.  (Read more about the contest here.)

It would be wonderful to be able to win this prize and possibly be published in the NGSQ!  So I will be submitting my entry before the December 31, 2012 deadline and hopefully win an expense paid trip to the NGS Conference of the States in Las Vegas, NV in 2013!

With this contest as one of my goals for 2012, I definately needed to break it down into smaller projects.  So part of my Monthly Aspirations for January 2012 is to complete the following:

  • Prepare and organize the information I do have on my Luna family line and determine which generations I will submit.
  • Analyze the information I do have and determine what information I still need to find out.
  • Prepare a research plan that lists what I still need to find out and determine the time frame to get it done, the repositories to visit and the people I need to talk to.

In addition, I also have the following monthly asipriation that are not related to the NGS Family History Writing Contest.  They are as follows:

  • Writing – Keep up with the Editorial Calendar that I posted about last year (read it here), and post the scheduled items as I had listed on the calendar.
  • Indexing – Index a minimum of 10 pages this month.  This, hopefully, should be easy to do.  If I keep to the 10 pages a month goal, I will accomplish my goal for 2012 of indexing 100 pages by October!
  • Research on how to breakthrough brickwalls.  Watch webinars, read books, talk to other genealogist who broke through theirs, but I need to break through my Vicenta Luna wall!

So, this is a lot to complete this month but I am confident that I will get it done.  I hope you get your to-do list done this month!


Thankful Thursday – January 5, 2012

Today, I am thankful for the family members who are helpful and encouranging in my genealogy research.  In the beginning, it was difficult.  I had one parent ask me, “Why do you want to know?”; “Its none of your business.”  However, they quickly changed their mind when I found a nugget of information that push my family back a generation or two.  They got bit by the bug and now works on their side of the family.

Even though that was years ago, there are times even now when some family members who aren’t helpful.  Is it frustrating?  Yes, it is.  But I know that I have support from the family members who believe in my quest and support me and my genealogy endevors.  It is them that I am thankful for.


The beginning…

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I love this quote.  It inspires me for what the new year will bring.  With this, my second post of 2012, I want to say Happy New Year to all of my readers.  I received the statistics for the past year from WordPress and I am so grateful to my readers.

On January 19, 2011, I made my first post to my blog and since then, my blog has been viewed 2,200 times!  Wow!  That is amazing to me.  In Northern America, 98.4% were from the U.S. and 1.6% were from Canada.  In Europe, 35.3% were from the netherlands, 17.6% were from the U.K., 11.8% were from Norway, 7.8% were from Demark, and 5.9% were from Germany.  In Asia, 48.9% Philippines, 17.8% were from India, 8.9% were from Indonesia, and Japan and Vietnam are tied at 4.4%.

It just blows me away that my little blog on researching my family history has reached people in such far away places.  Thank you seems like such a small effort to show my gratitued, but I can’t say it enough.

So, to my readers:  Thank you!  Thank you!  THANK YOU!