Greetings and welcome to The Hogue Connection! Today I have a few thoughts to share on an epiphany I recently had on the subject of genealogy and family research. Recently, as in 4:00 AM this morning. I think the time change may be messing with me a bit. I agree with many who think we need to stop moving our clocks around twice a year.
These ideas I have will change my approach to ancestor hunting. I’m not sure It will be obvious to my constant readers (thanks, all) necessarily, but I hope it improves the final product. I also want to make sure I can provide the support needed to folks who come here looking for help. Connecting with cousins is cool, but discovering our heritage is REALLY cool.
RootsMagic 8 Has Been Released
I really like what they’ve done with this new version. This is the software I use at home to keep track of my family tree research. It’s inexpensive, about $40, and very powerful. I don’t receive any benefit from mentioning this product, but their “Places” feature really opened up my eyes to something I’ve been neglecting. The Places page in RootsMagic 8 lists not only all of the place names you’ve collected but also includes a database of other places from all over the world. By the way, I currently have 3,263 people in my tree that make up 956 families in 3,436 places.
When scrolling through “Places”, I found that many of my locations were duplicated with different spellings or formats. For example, I have 13 different versions of Stecoah, Graham County, NC in my database. 53 different events relate to this location. If I can standardize this Hogue homeland into two formats, then I’ll know that all 53 events will be consistently presented going forward. I’ll have to watch the event dates closely because Graham County was created out of Cherokee County in 1872.
Where Am I Going With This?
When I started this blog, I was hoping to create a place where I could discover new relatives and add them to my family tree. To some extent, that has happened. I’ve connected with blood relatives I didn’t know existed. They live in places like Pensacola, FL, Houston and Dallas, TX, Pearl, MS, Mobile, AL, Tulsa and Weatherford, OK, Winchester, VA, eastern TN, Korea, and even right here in Oregon. I’ve got a cousin from my England line in nearby Molalla I’d like to reach out to.
The connections have been fantastic, really, and I don’t want to discourage that part of it. Many of these folks have volunteered their lineage to confirm their connection. It’s not just this blog, either. I have my DNA results on four different websites (Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, 23andME, and GEDMatch) that have generated potential contacts with hundreds of new relatives all over the country.
I’ve come to realize, however, that not everybody is excited about their family history as much as I am (You should be, dammit! Just kidding.). I get a kick out of genealogy, and frankly, after 35 years of practice, I’m pretty good at it. The next post I’m planning will be a good example of that. Family research is an important hobby of mine, but it doesn’t have to be as important to you. I shouldn’t force that idea on anybody. In fact, many folks could care less about their family origins. Instead, I will focus on the accurate collection of the information about our ancestors.
If I’ve Been Too Pushy…
I didn’t mean to be, and I sincerely apologize. In spite of the amount of personal information available on the magnificent interweb, I do respect everyone’s privacy. I’m not a stalker! Try this experiment if you will. Web surf over to familysearch.org. You don’t need an account or log in. Scroll down a little bit to where it says, “Start discovering your family story”.
Next, put your first name and middle initial in the first search field and last name in the next box. Add your birth state. Skip the birth date field and click on the blue SEARCH button. On the next page that comes up, click on the Historical Records tab up near the top. You will be surprised at what you find. Of course, you can do this with any search engine, as well. I’ve been using Duck, Duck, Go lately and it’s great. My point is that there appears to be great deal of basic information on pretty much everybody out there.
Sharing is Not Required!
That being said, if you don’t want to share anything with me, I get it. I’m sorry if I made you feel like it’s a requirement. It is not. I will still gladly help out anyone who contacts me in anyway I can. For free. Google sends me stuff every month, offering me $150 of credits to get advertisers on this site. I won’t do it. I’m not interested in monetizing The Hogue Connection. I have never paid a dime to any of these internet companies for a background check while doing my research, either.
If you would like to have me add you and your family to my personal tree, I’d love it! If not, I’ll keep this thing running for a while in case you change your mind. Recently, I took steps to remove all living relatives from my tree on Ancestry and make that tree private. I use Ancestry for research because they seem to have a pretty good algorithm working. Living cousins personal info won’t be stored here. Of course, if you want access to my private tree, I’ll gladly send you a guest invite if you have an Ancestry account.
A Few Thoughts To Share Became Many…Focus!
To date, I’ve discovered 102 descendants of Charley and Nora Hogue. I’ve accomplished this mainly through use of the California Birth Index (1905-1995), which is readily accessible and pretty easy to navigate. I will find more, but that idea should become more of a side project. Because of my experience with the new RootsMagic, I will focus my efforts differently. In the future, I’ll concentrate on these future goals:
#1 – Strive to make sure that people understand that, due to DNA studies, our line of Hogues does not descend from William Hoge and Barbara Hume, who came over to America from Mussleborough, Scotland in the 17th century.
#2 – To break down the brick wall down surrounding our earliest known Hogue ancestor, John Hogg, who died in Franklin, North Carolina in 1795. This, too, is based on DNA research.
#3 – To clean up and improve the information I have collected to make it as accurate as possible. I’ll also like to spend more time researching the non-Hogue lines of my family tree.
#4 – To continue to share information and encourage (not require) collaboration to all interested cousins out there.
#5 – To make every effort to eliminate one of my pet peeves. Namely, that my 3rd great grandmother Hollin Hogue’s maiden name is not Hafer. We don’t know what it is. For Pete’s sake.
Woah…1234 words. My search engine optimization plug-in is not gonna be happy with me today. A few thoughts to share turned out to be more than just a few. But, hopefully I’ve been able to clear up some of my thoughts about my research and my endless hunt for cousins and ancestors. I really appreciate your time and attention! I’ll be back soon with another post. Thanks for visiting The Hogue Connection! You can return to the Home Page here.