|William and Signa at the edge of Folsom Lake, August 2013|
Confession: The past year has been an extremely difficult one for me on many different levels. I've had family issues, health issues, financial issues, house issues and general loss of happiness issues. Today I'm taking a moment to be thankful to my ancestors for helping me keep these issues in perspective.
If you are one person with no knowledge of your ancestors, your "big picture" perspective is relatively small. You could get stuck in your problems without a way to see outside of them. But MY big picture includes generations of ancestors. I can see their big issues from the beginning, middle, and, most importantly, end. I can see the other side of my problems, because I can see the other side of theirs.
This isn't why I started doing genealogy, but it has been a very pleasant byproduct for which I am very thankful!
Using Excel, and free time, I created a workbook of the San Francisco city directory entries. The first tab has the listing of all the directories and the link to them. The second tab has the snip of the actual page they appear on with the documentation of page number, etc. The third tab is my database listing of each and every piece of information from the directory. Once I finished, I could sort by street and see who lived in the same houses generation after generation. I could sort by name and follow a person through their homes, and I could sort by date and see how many lived there during that particular year.
When I completed this, I added all the data from the census records as well as all the data from the Great Registers.
Now I have a big picture of every Mariani man (and many women!) who lived in San Francisco since they first appear in directories in 1863. I have been able to make family trees for the original families and when I find a newspaper article about a Mariani in San Francisco, I can usually figure out which Mariani they are talking about using my own database of 2390 entries of Marianis in San Francisco throughout time!
The first recommendation is for Frank Myers' Lucas Countian. My family spent a few generations in Lucas County, Iowa. Frank writes about the past, present, and future of the county. He brings it life for me and makes it the #1 place I'd like to visit.
The second recommendation is for Caroline Pointer's 4 Your Family Story. I love her daily Things You Need to Know.