Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights of 2010

Well, I guess I was just kidding last month when I said I was back from studying. I haven't blogged since. Time just flies by. For a week I was just so stunned to not have to study, that I walked around in a blank stare not knowing what to do with myself. Then before I knew it, it was time for the holidays and travel home to Louisiana.

Anyhow, I thought I would blog about my genealogy highlights of 2010.

1) The best genealogy highlight is that I attended my first national conference in August. I attended the FGS Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, and had the best time. I met several other bloggers and attended many wonderful lectures, including one by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I also signed up for classes at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and attended a live version of the Genealogy Guys podcast.

2) I participated in my first genealogy cruise with RootsMagic in Feburary. This was also my first cruise ever. It was a seven-day cruise that set sail from Miami and traveled to Royal Caribbean's private resort in Haiti, as well as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. The speakers were Drew Smith and George Morgan from the Genealogy Guys Podcast, as well as Gary and Diana Crisman Smith, and Bruce Buzbee, founder of RootsMagic. We had classes on the two days that we were at sea. The morning classes were about general genealogy topics and were given by Drew, George, Diana, and Gary. Bruce presented the afternoon classes, which were specifically about RootsMagic. I also had a private session with Gary and Diana about my brick wall with my Mertena/Marteeny ancestors. On the days we were in port, there were no group activities, bbut we met up for dinner in the evening.

3) My greatest research highlight was that I think I finally broke through my brick wall on the Mertena/Marteeny ancestors. I discovered that my great-great-great grandfather, John Henry MARTEENY, born about 1854 in Illinois, was most likely the son of John MARTEENY and Hannah MILLHOUSE, of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I think I even found Hannah living with her two children as a widow in the home of her brother in 1860. The whole household was enumerated as MILLHOUSE rather than MARTEENY, which explains why I couldn't find them before. I also found a Marteeny researcher who actually had documented sources. This whole discovery really reinforces the cluster genealogy concept. I found all of this by following the trail of other MERTENA/MARTEENY's in the same Illinois counties as my MERTENA ancestors.

4) Another great genealogy accomplishment is that I have started entering my sources into my Clooz software. I've gotten about 200 of my census records entered in there so far. It is all part of my goal to go paperless over the next five years. Clooz is an electronic filing cabinet of sorts. It has forms for census records, death records, marriage records, etc. that you can fill in with information from your actual records. You can run reports by person to see exactly what records you have on a person. It helps to see if you are missing a particular record on an ancestor. You can also run reports by location to see how many ancestors lived in the same county during a particular census year. You can also link the records in Clooz to your digital copies of your records.

5) My final major accomplishment in genealogy is that I got a handheld Magic Wand scanner for Christmas. While I was in Louisiana last week, I scanned in about 200 pages from some church record transcription books on the TRAHAN family. I don't have access to these books in North Carolina, so that will be a tremendous help until I can go to Louisiana again (or save up enough money to buy the books on CD-ROM for $400). I am also excited because this scanner is a lot quicker than my regular scanner on my printer, so I think it will speed up my paperless plan. I don't have things scanned because I hate walking over to the desk to hook up my laptop to a printer, and then waiting for the scan to finish.

Some other great highlights of 2010 were these:

1) My niece, Violet, was born on 30 Sep 2010. This was my first time being an aunt, and now that she is moving to Arkansas, she will be closer to me (okay, it is still 14 hours away from North Carolina, but this is better than her being all the way in California).

2) My 1st cousin once removed, Denni, was born on 30 Aug 2010. She has the cutest little chunky cheeks ever!

3) My fiance and I welcomed our sweet little cat, Callie (aka Boo Bear), into our lives in March. She appeared outside my apartment one day, and we decided to take her in. She has been the love of our lives and has provided much entertainment.

4) I moved from Louisiana to North Carolina at the end of June. That was the biggest move I have made in my 29 years. So far, I like North Carolina a lot. I love seeing snow. People here says it hardly ever snows, but I don't think they have ever lived in a place like Louisiana. In Louisiana, it rarely snows, so two to three times a year is a lot for me. I haven't gotten to explore North Carolina as much as I want because of studying for the CPA exam, but I did get to see the Blue Ridge Parkway and Outer Banks, which are both really pretty.

5) I got my CPA exam scores in yesterday. I passed! The bad news is that I have to start studying on Monday for the next part I'm taking on Feb. 28. This time, I plan on staying on track more so that I don't have to study 12 hours a day every weekend for the month before the test. That way, I may have more time for blogging. For those of you who don't know, there are four parts to the CPA exam. I have three more to go and 18 months from 11/29/10 to pass all four parts. So far, I'm on a good track to reaching that goal.

Preview of 2011:

1) Since our wedding was called off at the end of 2009, my fiance and I have been through a lot of ups and downs in our relationship. We are finally at a point where we both feel we are ready to get married again. So, no later than fall 2011, there will be a wedding. Our only obstacle now is living several states away from one another until he finds a job in North Carolina.

2) Two more additions will be made to the family: Brynnlee in January and Connor in March (both first cousins once removed).

3) I am applying for a supervisor position within the accounting department at my current company.

4) I plan to pass the remaining 3 parts of the CPA exam by the end of August.

5) I plan to start my National Institute for Genealogical Studies courses once I finish the CPA exam.

5) I will continue on my paperless organization project with my genealogy files. I also need to finish cleaning up my sources in my RootsMagic database that I transferred over from Legacy. Then I will finally be ready to do more research, instead of focusing on organization.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Denni and Violet, Dec 2010