My Aunt Janie

My Aunt Janie died 15 years ago today. She was my aunt by marriage, but when I was a child growing up, I didn’t know that. I just knew her as Aunt Janie.

She was married to one of my mother’s brothers, and they were the parents of my three cousins, all older than me. We didn’t see them daily, but I always liked it when we did.

When my cousin called me that afternoon, Valentine’s Day 2002, I knew why she was on the other end of the phone. Aunt Janie had been battling breast cancer off and on for years, and it had finally taken hold and would not let go. Aunt Janie was on hospice in Winter 2002. Aunt Janie died on Valentine’s Day.Hearts for Aunt Janie

Lively, living, loving her daughter as a best friend, enduring my uncle’s eccentricities and not-so-niceties, always active, wonderful Aunt Janie.

You are dearly missed by your children and by me.

I wish I could give you a big hug.


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Happy Day After Christmas


After a divorce in 2014, for my own emotional and physical health, I chose to begin to see the holidays differently. Fraught with expectations and memories, Thanksgiving and Christmas were mixed with things to look forward to and many let downs. It took me a long time to realize Continue reading

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Becoming Certified?

When I was just out of high school, I became involved in genealogical research. I started with my maternal family’s JOHNSON history. There was good information to go on, including a family tale of the 1840 move from Iredell County, North Carolina, to Hancock County, Indiana, as told by Sarah (JOHNSON) KUHN to her grandchildren. At the time of the move, she was 7 years old.

dreamcloud2Everything genealogy kept me entertained back then. I was young. I was motivated. I had caught the bug. It seemed like nothing could stop me. I bought 3-ring binders whenever they were on sale because I knew I would need them. I had package upon package of lined notebook paper and notebook dividers. Continue reading

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Diggin’ Up Graves – Favorite Posts of 2014 and 2015

Diggin’ Up Graves – Favorite Posts of 2014 and 2015

I began this blog as a response to Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, which began on 1 January 2014. The name, “Diggin’ Up Graves,” is courtesy of my former spouse who, when I would be online researching genealogy, would ask me if I was “diggin’ up graves” again. Continue reading

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Genetic Genealogy – DNA Testing and You

This article is the first in a series that William H. Blue, president of the National Blue Family Association (NBFA), invited me to write some time ago about DNA for genealogy. The series is appearing in issues of The Chalice, the NBFA newsletter.

Genetic Genealogy – DNA Testing and You

For those of you who have tried to understand the topic of DNA for genealogy and become overwhelmed, believe me, I understand. You may be relieved to know that I have tried to make it so that this does not happen from reading this article. I am assuming the reader has no knowledge about DNA or DNA testing except what is covered here. Thus, I hope to begin as top level as possible. There is a glossary, and each introduced term will be in copperplate font and will be defined there.
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