January/February 2020

Family History and Trauma

    Last week, for the first time, I had to notify a client that I'd found a piece of her family history that was very disturbing, and ask her if she wanted the details. She said yes, and so I forwarded an 1893 newspaper article telling of her great-grandfather's sentence of 20 years in the state prison for raping his daughter. My client's response: "Well, that explains a lot!" Even without knowing these details, over 100 years ago, she had seen signs of dysfunction in her parents and grandparents and their relationships.
    That caused me to think about one of the reasons it's so important to know your family history. Just as you should be aware of a 5-generation history of diabetes or heart disease, you should know about a history of trauma - whether violence, abuse, alcoholism, separations and divorce, infant death, homelessness, and how they have affected the generations down to the present time. I went back to my client archives and counted at least 10 cases where a client hired me because they suspected something in their past that was affecting their present.
     Family trauma in your family history - something to be aware of.

What I've Been Doing
*   Working on presentations - this year will be my busiest yet!
*   Participating in an online discussion group with other professional genealogists
*   Ordering records (including a 70-page divorce record from Spokane) and writing two case studies
*   Doing client research in Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Scotland and Ireland
*   Arranging a family reunion in Michigan for descendants of 4 sisters born in the 1920s; the youngest 3 were given up for adoption during the Great Depression

What I'm Reading
 I've enjoyed reading all of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's genealogy mysteries, and I think The Sterling Affair is the best yet. I really enjoyed following Morton Farrier's thoughts, and seeing his research (both online and offline) progress. DNA is a key plot point, and there's a twist at the end.
In the News
Quilts served as Morse code for escaping slaves

Why mapping your family history can help you at work and home

A horrifying holocaust I had never heard of - on the west coast of Canada
Summer counts her (mom's) coughdrops: 11, 16, 12, 20, 13.....
Upcoming Presentations

Thurs. March 5, 2020, 1pm
Discover Your Family History: An introduction to genealogy
Franke Tobey Jones, Tacoma

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 7pm
I've Done the DNA Test: Now What Do I Do?
Parkland-Spanaway Library, Tacoma, WA

Thurs. April 2, 2020, 1pm
I've Done the DNA Test: Now What Do I Do?
Franke Tobey Jones, Tacoma

Saturday, April 4, 2020 All Day Seminar
Clallam County Genealogical Society, Port Angeles

Thurs. May 7, 2020, 1pm
Franke Tobey Jones, Tacoma

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 6pm
Using Social Media for Genealogy
Tacoma Pierce Co. Genealogy Soc.

I am pleased to announce that I've been chosen as one of the presenters for the Pierce County Library System Summer Reading Program! To date, 11 libraries have booked me for presentations. Too many to list here; you can see them on my website here.

My calendar is filling up fast - contact me to book a lecture for your library or genealogy society!
DNA News

A scientist discovers his own DNA story: not one, but two unknown parents

A court tried to force Ancestry to open up their DNA database: and were refused
Read my past newsletters (July 2016 - December 2019) here
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