Where I Left Off…

Where Was I?


My hints have grown exponentially over the last two years and I’ve not done very much work on it at all. I’m not real sure where all of the new hints came from but I more than tripled how many people were on my tree somehow.  I am noticing that there are tons of photos for some Gunterman folks that were just recently added as hints.  Perhaps that accounts for a lot of this new information.

As I find these additional people, I add them to my list of people to research.  Naturally, as I research those people, I will work through their hints and clear them from this list.  But, of course, working through those people will also add additional people to my list.

I’m still fairly certain I’ll never get my hints down to zero.  I’ll never be able to get through all of them unless I actually hit so many roadblocks that I run out of people to research.  I don’t see that happening…at least not any time soon.

September 8 – 14

This week, most of my focus was on researching people that I had already researched.  Since it has been about two years since I really focused on research, many of those folks had new hints.  So I went through and processed the new hints.

I researched the following new people in order this week:

Now I know that’s a super long list for just one week.  But there weren’t a ton of hints for these folks because most of them had already been processed.  So many of these people were real quick and easy to get updated in my records.  I did not come out to the website and update each person.  I will be working on that in this week and next.

I have not published posts for all of these folks yet, but as I do, I will come back to this page and update the links to them.

Plan Going Forward

In my previous Progress post, I laid out a plan for continuing my research.  I need an organized plan in order to get all of this done in a systematic way.

I planned to start at one generation and research all of the people within that generation.  For example, I started with Viola Mildred Beyl.  Once I’ve done the research on her, I will also research her spouse, children, and siblings.

Next I planned to move on to another person within the same generation.  Again, once I finish that person, I will research their spouse, children, and siblings.  This will include the spouse and children for each of the siblings as well.

I planned to continue from person to person until I have completed that entire generation.  Only then will I move back to the next generation.  This way, I will be able to balance out the work and ensure that I am researching each line and nobody gets left behind.

That being said, I started with Viola and had already done her siblings and parents, as well as her father’s siblings and parents.  So I was already a few generations back on her line.  And I focused last on the Global Search.  So I have several other family members from Viola’s generation that need to be researched still.  I will be focusing on them for now.  That includes their spouses, siblings, and children.

Now that I have updated each of the generations up to Viola’s, I will get started on where I left off and work on Viola’s generation.

Extra Credit

I did a few of my other activities a lot in the past two years to advance my genealogical experience a little bit further.  While these tasks certainly aren’t necessary for every family historian, they are tasks that I find beneficial and therefore I would recommend to anybody pursuing their own ancestry.

  • Grave Hunting
  • Grave Tagging

Ancestry Academy Courses

I did not take any of the ancestry academy courses during this time as I was focused more on research and graves.

Start Your Free Family Tree

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Find A Grave Memorials

I try to conclude each person’s story with their burial.  I do this because the burial represents their resting place.  I have found that the Find A Grave website has been an invaluable asset in finding out where my ancestors are resting and obtaining photos of their headstones.

Search Kris M.’s cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


When I don’t find a memorial, I will make every attempt to get a photo and create a memorial for them.  Unfortunately, if I don’t know where the ancestor is buried, I can’t create a memorial.  So I do have a few family members that still need memorials and I am working to find the appropriate information to get those created.

That said, I haven’t worked on Find A Grave since the move.

Grave Hunting

I know there are mixed feelings about people photographing headstones of people that aren’t their own family.  It is unfortunate that some folks get offended by this or when it causes unintended grief or heartache for someone.  I try my hardest to be respectful when I go out and document graves.

Since I rely on this in order to find my own family members, I feel it is important for me to give back.

I can say from my own personal experience, when I go out to a cemetery for this purpose, I pay the utmost respect to each grave I visit.  When there is trash around the area, I pick it up.   When there is overgrowth growing on the headstone, I pull it and clean it up.  When the flowers and memorabilia have fallen over, I pick them up and set them right.  This is just my way of paying respect to our ancestors before us…whether they are my direct ancestor or not.

Grave Tagging

Billion Graves sends volunteers out to local cemeteries to take photos of the headstones in each cemetery.  As you take the photos, Billion Graves attaches a GPS tag to that headstone.  This allows people to find the graves of their family members online and know exactly where they are on the map.

Since I live in a new area now, I researched the area cemeteries and spent a lot of time this past two years documenting graves.  I tagged 8,991 graves at Florida Hills Memorial Gardens.  I transcribed 6,798 of the photos that I took while tagging them.  Obviously, this took more than a week to do… several months actually.

8,991 Graves Tagged

Transcribing the headstones makes the people searchable within the database.  This allows family historians like myself to find the resting places of their family members as well as obtain the dates of their birth and death.

This year, I’ve helped 8,298 people find their ancestors by tagging graves and transcribing headstones.  This is my way of giving back, I’m super proud to be able to help.

It’s been a super busy couple of years and quite the chore trying to figure out where to start up again.  But I think I’ve got a good idea of how to proceed.  So I should be back by this time next week with a decent amount of progress.

With that…it’s time to start the week!

Take care and hug your loved ones,


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