What Are Your Genealogy Goals?

Setting Genealogy Goals

What do you want to accomplish when you do family history?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what you hope to accomplish? Probably not. Many people, regardless of how long they have done genealogy, start collecting and researching without any particular goals in mind. It's no wonder that many people become frustrated and give up too soon. Others are addicted to piling up copies of documents that record their ancestor, or potential ancestor,

Before you do anything else related to genealogy, define what your goals are. Begin with the end in mind.

Pusecker Declaration Discovered

Pusecker Declaration Discovered

Previously, I shared in a post "How Many Ways Can You Spell Pusecker?" twelve ways this name has been spelled and now I have another variation. Let's add Boesecker to the list.

The Pusecker family traveled with my 2nd great-grandmother Caroline Mack Geis├čler Billmann to America together from Gillersheim, Hannover, Niedersachsen (Germany). Caroline's brother married a Pusecker daughter and joined the families by marriage.  So, this record for Charles Boesecker, is believed to be Karl Pusecker (1808-1886), the elder Pusecker in the immigrant family.

Declaration of Intention.
Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County Ohio.
The State of Ohio, Franklin County, SS

Be it remembered that on the 9th day of August of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six, PERSONALLY APPEARED before me ALBERT B BUTTLES, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, within and for said County and State, Charles Boesecker an Alien, a native of Hanover who being duly sworn according to law, on his oath doth declare and say that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State, or Sovereignty, whatever and more particularly all allegiance and fidelity to the King of Hanover whose subject he is.

Attest: A B Buttles, Clerk
by M M powers, Dpy

What Kind of Interview Should You Conduct?

Types of Family History Interviews


Interviewing relatives infuses genealogy with a wealth of stories and clues that are waiting to be harvested. However, not all interviews result in the type of information the interviewer had wanted when they coerced their relative into a painful audio recording ordeal. Okay, perhaps all the researcher had to do was ask but why did they not gather the gems of genealogy from their relative? The key is knowing which type of interview will produce the results you are seeking.


Dear Genealogy Santa

Dear Genealogy Santa


My online buddy Elizabeth Swanay O'Neal has a blog party this month asking what do we want the Genealogy Santa to bring this year. My Roots-Tech buddy Randy Seaver, who traded blogger beads with me so that I could have maroon & white (Texas A&M colors) of which I still wear regularly, also wants to know what we want from dear old Saint Nick. I made a video to accompany my Christmas letter.

Dear Genealogy Santa Claus,

This year has been so fun and blessed, I'm not sure if I could ask for more. I've taught beginner genealogy classes at a local library, served at a local family history center, accepted the role of vice-president for my local genealogy society. In return for my service, I have taught at the Clayton Genealogical Library in downtown Houston, the Texas State Genealogy Conference in Dallas, and have been accepted to teach at RootsTech 2017. My wish list to teach and educate has been granted in 2016, along with breakthroughs in two family lines. So, what would I possibly ask for?

Here's my list in no particular order:

  1. The entirety of the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch digitized, indexed, and available in one source (be it Newspapers.com, GenealogyBank.com, or Chronicling America)
  2. The photo album in the home of the ex-husband of my distant cousin that belonged to my grandmother to magically appear in my mailbox
  3. The opportunity to teach at the BYU Family History Conference
  4. More love for editing my writing so I'll finish the narratives
  5. More subscribers for the FamilyHistoryFanatics.com YouTube Channel
Hey Nick, if you don't have time to read, I made this video especially for you!

Click the video to play


I'll understand if anything on this list isn't yet possible. I already have everything I want for Christmas, a wonderful husband, five amazing superhero children, a lovely house, and thousands of ancestors on my family tree. I will consider any gifts from you a delightful bonus.

Take Care,

Devon Noel Lee

PS Thanks for helping me complete my memoir, From Metal to Rhinestones: A Quest for the Crown. My children love it, and so does my mother-in-law.

Merry Christmas Daddy

Merry Christmas Daddy


Christmas is a great time to be with family and a perfect time to remember family no longer with us. It is a great time to share family legends and make new memories. It's also a time to flip through the family photos and reminisce.

70 years ago, my father was born to Bob and Helen Geiszler of Columbus, Ohio. A few years ago, I received these photos of my daddy at Christmas time. Though the photos didn't arrive on Christmas Day, I remember thinking, I don't need anything for Christmas this year.

Stop Messing Up My Family Tree

FamilySearch Family Tree Changes

Admit it. You don't like FamilySearch Family Tree because it's open edit. For a few years now, FamilySearch thinks people should play nicely in the genealogy sandbox. But man oh man is it irritating to see changes to MY family tree by clueless wonders!

Do you have similar thoughts? Have you heard anyone with these thoughts? If so, then Andy Lee has a few tips on how to deal with people making changes to the family tree.

Click the player to view the video.

Do you agree or disagree with the thoughts in this video? Let me know in the comments below. And if you like the video, share it with your friends! 

Capturing the Crown

Photographing a Shiny Family History Treasure


At RootsTech 2016, Thomas McEntee passed out blogger badges to hang from my nametag holder. I naturally gravitated toward the sparkles! The first one I saw was "Diva." I offhandedly remarked that I would love one that said "Princess." Thomas didn't miss a beat and quickly pulled out a black strip with a sparkly "Princess" in script font!

Why do I prefer princess over diva? I was a princess!

Actually, I was a teenage beauty queen with dreams of being crowned Miss Teen USA. When I was in my early 20s, I won another pageant title and moved one step closer to the Miss America title. As such, I have two rhinestone treasures on display in my home that recall the times I turned for the judges and became a princess.

If my children and future descendants are going know the story of how I became Miss San Jacinto Teen USA, they are going to need to focus on my pageant years. And what is a beauty queen without a crown?

You Need to Make a Heritage Scrapbook

Make a Heritage Scrapbook Today!

On December 10th, it will be 4 years since my mother passed away. But two Christmases before her death I gave her a gift that she treasured the remainder of her life. It was a heritage scrapbook. And if you were anywhere near her house, you would have to stop and take notice of the gift I gave her.

Self-Publish Your Genealogy

Self Publish Your Genealogy


Do you have a story that needs to be shared with an audience beyond the walls of your home? Are you hoping to sell your educational or research material to earn a side income (or potentially replace your income)? Considering self-publishing your manuscripts.


Do You Have Charlemagne DNA?

Genetic Genealogy and Charlemagne


Have you had a DNA test taken with AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA or 23 and Me? If you haven't you should! Now. Today! While you're at it, you should purchase and deliver tests to your oldest living relatives. While the test results come in, it's important that you understand a little about inheritance. Not the inheritance of property, titles, or money, but of genes.

Andy Lee, my amazing husband, discusses DNA and how it is passed down through generations. The key is that when you reach your 7th generation of ancestors, you have 128 direct ancestors. Of your 5th great grandparents, you are only related genetically to 120 of them. You are related to all of them genealogically. So, you could change out 8 of your 5th great grandparents with anyone else in the world, and you'd still have the same DNA makeup that you have today.

Is your mind blown?

Check out Andy's video that further explains whether you may have a genetic relationship to Charlemagne flowing through you.



If you want to have Andy answer more Genetic Genealogy questions, leave comments and question below on this blog or in the comment section on our FamilyHistoryFanatics.com YouTube channel.

And if you haven't ordered a present for Christmas, purchase a DNA kit today. It makes a gift that keeps giving for decades!
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