Monday, January 23, 2012

Genealogists, Genealogists, Everywhere!

My AAA TripTik
This past weekend I drove down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a family gathering. Getting together with family is always a wonderful occasion. It's kind of like a weekend-long group hug from your favorite people.

But I have some other favorite people too. My friends and colleagues in the genealogical community.  As I was driving from Boston to North Carolina I passed by the states of many colleagues, some whom I've met and some I haven't.

When I wasn't doing the driving, I pulled out the AAA maps and scanned the towns and places along my route. I thought about many of my colleagues as I passed by each state.

As I drove first through Connecticut I thought about so many friends I have there - Noreen Manzella, Dick and Pam Roberts, Jennifer Zink, Nora Galvin, Michael Spellmon and Dan Lynch.

I gave a pass to New York City and instead chose to take the Tappan Zee Bridge. Talk about a state full of genealogists! I wish I could have detoured to meet Laura DeGrazia, Lisa Alzo, Karen Mauer Green, Jane Wilcox and Joy Rich. I would have loved to stop and share a cup of coffee and great conversation with Mel Wolfgang.

New Jersey always makes me think of Megan Smolenyak! I chuckled a bit when I realized I was passing close by Megan's town. I sent along a virtual wave. If I had the time I would have stopped by to visit Russ Worthington so that we could go on some historic cemetery and house adventures. Or I would have gotten the scoop on historical legal cases with Judy Russell.

Crossing the river into Delaware I thought of Michael Hait and wondered where on earth he might live in this little tiny state.

Moving through Maryland I thought about some wonderful genealogists - Angela Packer McGhie, Rebecca Koford, Missy Corley, Deb Ruth, Felicia Mathis and Jillaine Smith. And I hoped that I would bump into the knowledgeable yet fun Sandy Clunies again at the next New England Regional Genealogical Conference where she has been, thankfully, a perennial speaker.

Genealogists, Genealogists Everywhere! 
Our community is large and vast!

I left Maryland and gritted my teeth for the usual gridlock traffic surrounding Washington DC.  What a great surprise to pass through without so much as a single delay. Instead I could think about more interesting things like the APG National Capital Area Chapter. It would be fun to attend meetings there sometime. Not to mention stopping by NARA and the DAR.

You know Virginia is one large state! It takes a long time to drive through it. Luckily it was a traffic-free enjoyable time. I was able to think about one of Virginia's greatest gifts to genealogy - Dr. Thomas W. Jones. I've been inspired by the few lectures of his that I've been able to attend.  Virginia also gave me the time to think about one of my personal favorites, Pamela Boyer Sayre.

And lastly on into the realm of North Carolina and the land of another genealogy giant, Helen F. M. Leary. North Carolina is just chock full of genealogists! I would have loved to stop for coffee with Tami Glatz, Jeff Haines, Ginger Smith, Diane Richard, Melanie Holtz, Mavis Jones, Lauren Richardson, Jordan Jones and Craig Scott. And I could have spent some time getting homework done with my ProGen 14 group member, Tanya Marsh. Hopefully my next trip will allow me more time to do that.

Twelve hours later I had reached my destination.  I wish I had had the time stop and network and laugh and debate with all those I thought about along the way. And I'm sure I missed remembering many friends and colleagues that should have been included on my list.

Throughout my travels I couldn't help but reflect on what a lucky bunch of people we genealogists are. We have friends and colleagues and heroes everywhere in the country, and indeed, the world. All we are lacking is the time to meet and visit them all. I guess that's what conferences are for. Someday I will make it to a national conference. Someday.

Genealogists, Genealogists Everywhere! 


  1. I thought this was the coolest post! It is so amazing how many genealogist friends and colleagues one has throughout the country. I liked how you mentioned many as you traveled to your destination.

  2. I loved this one, too! I wonder if there is there any way we can post a virtual map and mark it with our locations? Very handy when searching for researchers in specific localities. And more intuitive than a regular listing. Maybe in Google Earth or something? Must investigate.

  3. Hi Marian, thanks for the shoutout! I wish we had nicer weather here in Chapel Hill, but hey, at least it's not snowing! And I bet you could find us all in one spot if you stopped by the NC State Archives ;-) Have a safe trip!

  4. Marian,

    Like Megan, I was wondering if that was you waving.

    Glad you have a great time and a safe trip. Hope to see you in the next couple of months.

    Will be rooting for you in the Genealogy Idol, from SLC.


  5. Stop by anytime! What fun that would be!

  6. Hey there, Marian!

    Thought I saw someone waving to me! Next time you venture down south make sure to stop by for a visit.

    What a fun post! You should compile a handy list for the traveling family researcher! Would be a fun tool. Love Polly's idea of using Google Earth.

    And as Russ stated - will be rooting for you during the Genealogy Idol competition!


  7. Great post, Marian!

    And, yes Polly, we can do that. =)


  8. Here, I started one on Google Maps. Anyone can add a place marker, but I did make it unlisted. Therefore, you need this URL to navigate to it:

  9. Fabulous post Marian! Caroline while you are at it can you make that into an App please! LOL

  10. Great post, Marian. Too bad you weren't able to come to our NC APG meeting last Wednesday--Helen Leary was our speaker, and many of us were all in the same room. We would have loved to have had you visit!

  11. Well, sure, Lynn. Just for you. ;) LOL.


  12. That was fun to read. And as you drive through Maryland on I-95 on the way back as you pass through the Baltimore area, give a virtual wave my way as well.

  13. And don't forget me over here in Falls Church (within easy driving distance of DC)! Caroline - I added my pin.

  14. this was a great post Marian, but you forgot to wave to me, I am in Delaware also!!!!! maybe next time

  15. Ah Marian - when we do finally meet each other face to face there are no awkward moments. I feel as if that person who I "know" online has been my friend for ages and ages. The magic of social media has allowed me to meet other genealogists virtually and friendships are created because of the ability to "reach out and touch someone" in a matter of seconds. Hell, I don't communicate in person with people who live down the block from me as much as I do with my online friends!
    Love and passion for genealogy and everything that is connected to it that is our common bond and it is a strong and powerful one we all share!

    Great post!