Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Genealogy Revelations (A Review and Giveaway)

Review of Genealogy Revelations

Genealogy is a pet project of mine - I've loved delving into family history every since I was in grade school and first had to write a family tree.  When Luke was an infant, he needed some genetic testing, so I was asking aunts and cousins to help me put together a rough medical history to help figure out what else we should be looking for -  the plan was to test for the obvious stuff that the geneticist saw flags for, but then also try to piece together any familial issues and look there.  Back then,  I was  dependent on other relatives and their memories.  In the process of getting a medical/genetic family history, I got a real genealogical education - not only was I finding out the medical history of our family, but also the general history of our family.   Fast forward about twenty years and add in the internet and a general reawakening of preserving family histories, and I've found everything from ship manifests to census ledges to cousins I didn't know I had!.  However, the availability of all of this information comes with a few drawbacks, mostly that there is far more internet than I have time to explore.   Several of my cousins are amateur genealogists, and we all have agreed not to give up on each other if we send messages and don't hear back for months. There just is so much out there to sift through, and it can be overwhelming at times!  What makes working with Genealogy Revelations exciting is that I am going about my everyday chaos and there is a wonderful lady named Anna Mae doing all the research I just can't squeeze in.

For this review, I received a Genealogy Revelations Family History Project - 5 hours of genealogy work plus a written and bound report.  This package, valued at $175, is idea for people who are looking for "just a little more" information.  If you've been trying to find out more about a particular person, or navigate census or military records, etc., this may be a good package for you.

My grandfather,
William W. Shade c.1945
(family photo)
My father,
William P. Shade & me, 1993
(family photo)
Having done so much work on my own, I admit, I'm a bit cross-eyed.  In a moment, you'll see how names repeat.  All of my children have at least one family name, and the same can be said for nearly everyone in prior generations.  When we would go to Christmas dinner at my Great Grandmother's house, last names had to be used so that when someone said "Bill" the right man appeared to carve the turkey.  At one point, I had two grandfathers Bill, a, Uncle Bill, and a father Bill.  My brother got the moniker "Bj," for "Bill Junior," because it was so confusing.  Although our Celia is actually the fifth girl to have the name Celia, the Celias are a bit easier to distinguish; we have Mom Mom Cel, Aunt Snooky (a family nickname for Neal's Aunt Celia), cousin Celie, and our Celia.  (Celie's daughter has Celia as a middle name and is called by her first name.)  The hardest part of naming Damien was finding a name that hadn't already been used over and over.  It probably doesn't help that my mom's father was one of 15 children, with grandparents and aunts and uncles for namesakes.  Searching out relatives and figuring which Bill or Celia or Vincent belonged to which family and generation is a a task I was very happy to leave to Anna Mae, and she did a marvelous job.   If you were researching on your own and had come to a point where you just couldn't keep people straight even with a scorecard, then it is well worth considering this package to help you sort through and group people.   If five hours isn't enough time to unravel the knots, Anna Mae can increase the time of the package at the rate of $30 per hour.

Anna Mae also offers two other packages - her Basic Package costs $735 and the Deluxe Package is priced at $835.  Both of these packages include Descendent Charts, Pedigree Charts, and an Ahnentafel Report.  The basic package contains a report up to 250 pages and black and white pictures (if available), while the larger deluxe package will include a larger report (up to 400 pages), color pictures, and a time line.

Anna Mae included a timeline in my package as an example, so I could share it with my readers.  I found these pages fascinating.  When I've illustrated family trees, I tend to think of them in terms of "generations on my side, your side, his side, her side."  For example:

This is our tree, from our children back to our grandparents.  The kids are centered across the bottom, and from there you can see how it branches back to Neal and me, our parents, and our grandparents.  Even looking at the dates, you can see the generations are on "equal" footing - though there is a wide span of ages in my grandparents' generation,  I usually just assume they're all about the same age, since their children create the next generation.

But look at this timeline page from my report:

Here you can see my great-grandparents, born in 1890, 1891, and 1899 (George Emig, Agnes Cranston, Louise Spang), but then my grandfather William W. Shade was born in 1906.  Though they are of different genealogical generations, you can see my grandfather was born when my great grandmother was not quite seven years old! It help to put ages in context.  He was nearly 70 when he died just before I was born; my great-grandmother Louise Spang (Emig) died twelve years later, at the age of 87.  An impressive age, yes, but maybe not as impressive a feat for my "great grandmother" to still be alive during my childhood (when my grandfather had died before I was born) as I first thought, given women generally outlive men and she really didn't have that much of a head start on him!

I've really enjoyed reading the report that came from Genealogy Revelations.  Working with Anna Mae has been wonderful - her research is thorough and she is a detective at heart.  If you're looking to research your family history, and want help either getting started or getting past a sticky point, this may be a good way for you to find "The Heart of Your Past."

How would you like to win a free package to get you started?   Enter to win a 5 hour package from Genealogy Revelations and start learning your family's history!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

©2012- 2013 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

1 comment:

  1. Dizzy Busy & HungryJanuary 9, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Very cool! And great giveaway! Thanks!


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