Professional Organizing has been my passion for nearly 5 years now and still is. The clients I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with and their stories have given me the opportunity to add this new service to my business. Pitcher Perfect is now offering a new service to her business profile that is also a passion that I have been involved with for over the last 16 years. Genealogy!!
Here Is My Story..
I started this journey after learning at the age of 35 that I was adopted. There were many emotions that came with this news especially at that age, but I set out on my journey to “Find the New Me”
Computers were not advanced as they are today, so starting was a big challenge, but I was ready. I had only 3 names to go on to start my search, no family history, no stories, nothing really. I was born in New Brunswick, Canada so that’s where all my family comes from, right!! Not so!! We will say I was a bit naïve but at the time, that was my logical thinking then but has definitely changed after many years of family searching. Yes, I was born in New Brunswick, but I am mostly British, Irish, Scottish, Wales, French, German with a wee bit of Portuguese thrown into the mix. WOW!! But I am from Canada, so how can this be. I fired up my old Commodore 64 Computer (no laughing). gathered pens, pencils and paper, took a deep breath and started my 16 year journey.
Where do I start? What do I type in? Who am I really looking for? What do I do? were all questions that ran rampant through my head. Websites were not readily available but I could still enter a name into a search engine and that is exactly what I did. I entered in one of the 3 surnames I had to go on and managed to get some information in which I wrote down. Then I continued on with the next two surnames, same thing, very little information to go on, but it was a start. I found some dates, a Military Service Number, Census Documents and a few Legal Documents. A break through!! I printed off everything I could find and started a file on each surname. I drew a tree on a piece of blank paper and added in the few names I found. I was now hooked and I spent as much time as I could finding any new leads. Some days were good, and other days, nothing, but my search went on. Days, weeks, months and years went by, gaining more and more information daily and now my tree started to take shape. My adoptive mother now took interest in my findings and asked me to assist her with finding her family. I was up for the challenge. Mom was getting on in age but at the age of 80, she purchased a computer to assist with the search. I purchased Family Tree Maker and we began to enter in names of her parents, siblings and aunts and uncles. I worked on her tree 10 hours a day for 2 full years and now she was learning about her roots. Not before long, I had gathered enough information, documents and photos, that I took it upon myself to write a book. My book went online for all to see and I was very proud of how it all came together. Unfortunately, 3 weeks before our book was bound together, God had other plans for my mom. Mom never had a chance to see the finished product. I keep that book close to my heart and now know all about the mother who chose me to raise and love. She was an amazing, warm hearted soul. I miss her immensely and out time building her family legacy.
It was now time to complete my journey on my family heritage. New online sites and search engines were available which made searching faster and easier, patience and persistence paid off. I am now at the 16 year point of my search. My tree holds 1843 members, 901 photos, 112 stories and 7541 documents. Wow!! What an accomplishment from starting with 3 names I really knew nothing of. I manage 7 different Family Tree sites and have met many relatives from all over the world. What a wonderful family I have! The stories they tell are touching, photos we have shared between us brings me back into time, the laughs we have had and the tears we have shed. What a beautiful journey.
My tree has had many twist & turns, rabbit holes, misleading information and so many skeletons that I could celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Oh My!! From hero’s to convicts, pirates to slaves are all part of my family heritage. Names change over time, many marriages take place with many children being born. Adoptions took place frequently and many were sent to workhouses. There isn’t one family that has not faced a challenge, but we all turned out okay. To date, I have found my birth father, my birth mother, 4 generations on my paternal side and 9 on my maternal side. That’s a lot of family! My search will continue to find my mothers father and more relatives that have faded into the past. The search goes on…
Things to keep in mind:
-Trust your gut feelings.
-Names change for various reasons. Do not ignore variations.
-Try to obtain 3 documents on each member.
-Follow up leads.
-Listen closely to stories of loved ones. They hold the past.
-Test your DNA.
-Become a member on a Family Tree site. You only need 1 site to keep your tree organized.
-NEVER GIVE UP!
If you need any assistance or instruction with starting a tree, maintaining one, downloading or uploading Raw DNA, finding documents, making contact with a relative, reading your matches or keeping track of your documents, Contact me Linda @ Pitcher Perfect so I can assist you with getting started on your family heritage journey..
Note: As of Nov 1st, 2108, I will be a Registered Member of The Ontario Genealogical Society.
I would also like to thank Deborah Glover UE., for all your help and vast knowledge in assisting me these last few months. You, along with my work colleagues have given me the ability to advance forward with my new endeavour.