I have been in a little funk when it come to my genealogy research. I just couldn’t get motivated! I know I have several projects that need to be started or worked on, but the motivation was just not there.
Well I just didn’t sit on my behind, that’s for sure. I was a bit overwhelmed at the projects looming ahead and decided to take that first step. I remember someone telling me, for the life of me I can’t remember who, but I was told that you can’t get anywhere, unless you take that first step. So I did. I looked at my list of projects and started on the one with the most priority, putting my family history up on this site. The best thing I did was to not look at the project as a whole, which is intimidating, but as broken-down smaller portions. First I broke the project down into families; Luna, Sanchez, Stanard, and Sullivan. Then I picked the family with the smallest amount of information, the Sanchez Family. I then broke that down a bit further by decided to just, at the moment, concentrate on my maternal grandfather’s family. My goal was to compare and contrast the information I had with the information that my mother had. My mother has been researching her family while I was working on my dad’s.
I love my mother very, very much and I loved seeing her get excited as she found new information on her family. However, she didn’t cite most of her sources and most of the documents that she has are stuffed into and semi-organized in several filing cabinets. So half of my work is done, the information has been found out. Now all I have to do is get the proof to show that the information we have is correct. I started by doing a few searches on familysearch.org to verify the information that I have and, to my surprise, I have found several christening documents that I could request from the Family History Library. This was the boost, the positive reinforcement, the motivation I needed to get me “on the jazz” as my husband calls it.
I am more motivated now to finish with my maternal grandfather and am looking forward to moving to other branches and soon to be done and have it on the website.
I have started to participate in a Facebook event called 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History. It was created by Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog and this week’s focus is food. Week 5: This challenge runs from Saturday, January 29, 2011 through Friday, February 4, 2011.
Week #5 – Favourite Food
What was your favourite food from childhood? If it was home-made, who made it? What was in the dish and why was it your favourite? What is your favourite dish now?
I have wonderful memories of when I was a child and my mom was cooking in the kitchen. I would say that it was tough to come up with my FAVORITE food because everything my mom made was delicious. She used to make flour tortilla from scratch and by hand. I remember the first time she allowed/taught me how to roll out a tortilla. I rolled it out myself and when I was done, it was in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. She helped me cook it and put butter on it and boy was that yummy!!! I also remember when I would peek around the door into the kitchen unbeknownst to my mom, I would catch singing to her favorite spanish song that was playing on an old transistor type of radio that was on her favorite spanish radio station. She would cook and sing at the same time. My mom has a beautiful voice too! I loved watching her in the kitchen. She looked so very happy when she was cooking!
It was hard to come up with my FAVORITE, but I did. I loved my mom’s Chicken Mole. When I was a kid, she would make it from scratch. I can tell you that it isn’t easy to make this dish from scratch. I do know that there are a lot of spices that go in there and one of them is chocolate! (Maybe that’s why its my favorite???) She would make spanish rice and put a mound of it on our plate and top it with a piece of chicken that had been cooking in the mole sauce then she would pour mole sauce over it. With her freshly made flour tortilla, I was in heaven! That is, in my opinion, the ultimate comfort food…my favorite food.
I have made chicken mole and it has come out ok. It would never been as good as my mom’s, maybe because I use the pre-made jar of mole sauce concentrate. You just add the concentrate to the boiled chicken and cook it for a little while so that the chicken absorbs the flavors of the mole sauce. Like I said, it is good, but it’s not close to the “from scratch” version my mom made.
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.” — Alex Haley, Roots
The quote by Alex Haley begs to ask the question, what legacy will you leave behind for your future generations?
I started researching my family tree because I wanted to find out about my dad’s side of the family. Back in the mid ’80″s, my parents had been divorced for quite sometime and I was at my Dad’s annual family reunion. My father had just introduced me to one of my aunts and as we were walking away from them, he asked me if I remembered my Aunt, I said no. A few days later, I was thinking about the reunion and thought that it was very sad that although I knew a lot about my mom’s side of the family, I knew so little of my dad’s. So started my quest to learn more, not just about my dad’s family but to also find out who I got my nose from! It has been a hard quest, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. I not only found out about my grandfather, but of his brothers, and his parents as well. I found out what a musically inclined, hard working family I come from. I found documents online that shows my grandfather’s trek to California from Mexico, where most of his children are born and where a few have died. It would have been wonderful if he would have just jotted down what he knew of his family and where he came from, it would have given me great clues and furthered my research even father.
So what legacy are you leaving behind. Are you going to let your future generations struggle in finding information on where you are from and who the family is or are you going to give them some clues by just jotting down a few notes???
Today was a very productive day. I had my first try at photographing a tombstone and it was productive to say the least. I went to Ressurrection Cemetary in Montebello, CA. It was the nearest cemetary and I had a few relatives there. I went with my mom, my daughter and one of her girlfriends from school who spent the night.
We first drove to where the cemetary is to make sure we had the right directions. Then we drove to the nearest market so that we could get batteries for my camera and some flowers to leave at the gravesites.
My mission was to photograph my maternal grandparents Antonio & Helen Sanchez and then my paternal grandfather Tiburcio Luna. We went to the admistrative offices and the people there were very helpful in finding the gravesites. However, it was easier to see where it was in the office than to actually look for the sites. We had the hardest time finding the gravesites. Thankfully there was a caretaker there and he helped my mom find her parents site then he helped me find my paternal grandfather.
Unfortunately we found out that my mom’s parents site didn’t have a headstone. We don’t know why. This was the first time my mom has been to the grave since the funeral. The caretaker helped up find the cup for the flowers and left the flowers anyways. We are looking into getting a headstone put in for my grandparents.
Next, the caretaker and I went to search for my paternal grandfather and thankfully we were able to find it. He also helped us find the vase for the flowers but when he tried to take it out, it was stuck pretty good. My paternal grandfather was buried in 1975 and I don’t think anyone was visiting it. It had a ton of mud and some of the grass roots were holding it pretty good. Finally, after about 10 minutes of struggling, the caretaker finally was able to get it out and we were able to put flowers in it. It looked nice.
I really enjoyed going and trying to find the gravesites. Next weekend, my mom and I will be going to Rose Hills in Whittier, CA to look for other family members. We plan on going to have breakfast then head out to the cemetary. I have more family members there so it will take a longer time.
This is my first official on my new blog/website!!! I originally wanted to wait until I had everything ready to launch my blog/website, but because I had several things happen this week that I just wanted to share, I couldn’t wait and decided to start posting and will upload my family history information and photos as I get them done. I hope you all don’t mind.
My first exciting thing: Last Saturday, I had three of my sisters and my mother over for dinner along with a cousin that I haven’t seen for several years. As you can imagine, there was good food, a few tears and a lot of reminising that night. I was able to firm up some information about my uncle, my cousin’s dad, and my cousin was able to make sense of a few things by talking to my mom. I was so happy to have found my cousin again and I hope that his brothers and sisters will soon follow and reconnect with me and my family.
My second exciting thing: I had this past monday off due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and my mom called me and ask me to go with her to breakfast. After a delicious breakfast, we went back to her house. She told me that she wanted me to go through her genealogy research and help her organize it. My mother had been concentrateing so much on the research that she wasn’t keeping track on where she was putting the documents. She has 5 filing drawers full of files that need to be organized. I am excited to take on this project and estimate it could take up to a year to complete if I keep it to the weekend, shorter if I can work on it during the week.
My third exciting thing: My daughter has been eager to help with my genealogy research. I haven’t been able to find anything for her to help me with until now. With the help of my older sister, we have compiled a list of where our family members are buried and which cemetaries they are located in. With my daughter’s help, who is also a budding photographer, we will try to go to each grave site, pay our respects, tidy up the gravestone if necessary and photograph the gravestone for my genealogy records. We are both very excited for this project and we can’t wait till we start this project.
This has been the beginning of my week and I have been bursting at the seams to post it.
I hope you all have a great day and happy genealogy hunting!!!