Mar 282010

We’ve enjoyed watching the new Who Do You Think You Are? series on NBC, in which experts help celebrities trace their families’ history. Isn’t it amazing what a person can accomplish with the knowledge, experience, and the right tools?

I have been researching my family tree on for a few months now, and while I have been able to trace my maternal grandfather’s line back to the 10th century in England, I have run intro a stone wall on my dad’s side. With both of my parents and all of my siblings gone, as well as all of my uncles and aunts, I had very little to go on. Basically, everything stopped with my paternal grandfather.

I asked my friend Judy Bayless, who presented two excellent seminars on genealogy at our Yuma rally, for advice, and she volunteered to look into it, since she happened to be in Salt Lake City, which has the largest genealogical research facilities in the world at the LDS Family History Center. Their extensive records are not just limited to Mormon histories, and anybody can go there to conduct research.

Within 24 hours Judy sent me my grandparents’ wedding certificate, and information she found out about them from census records and city directories dating back to 1892! Wow! Thanks for all of your hard work,  Judy.  You helped me make a big step forward.

Judy also discovered a possible connection between my paternal grandmother’s family and her own husband Walt’s! How cool is that! I always liked “Cousin” Walt!

Genealogy is a hobby that fits perfectly with the RV lifestyle, because besides doing online research, we can go back to the places where our ancestors lived and research local records, find their graves, and even walk on the land where they worked and lived.

It can also put you in touch with long lost family members. Over the years, I had lost track of my older brother’s family, and though I have tried to find them many times, I never got anywhere. Recently, while doing some research on, I came across his name in someone else’s family tree. I sent a message to that person, who turned out to be my brother’s granddaughter. As it turns out, my brother’s sons and daughter had also been searching for me, and we plan on visiting them all when we get down to Florida later this year. Hmmm…. I wonder if I can convince one of my nephews to install a full hookup RV site in his yard for his old Uncle Nick? Wouldn’t that be nice!

Thought For The Day – If you shake your family tree hard enough, some nuts are bound to fall out!

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “A Boost Up My Family tree”

  1. Will Judy Bayless be presenting any seminars in Elkhart at the fall rally?

  2. Wow very interestinmg Nick… It would be fun reshearching our family history. Funny the connections we have in todays world. Or is it scary??? Have fun and if you get to Florida next winter look us up!
    Have fun & travel safe

  3. Our daughter did a bit of research on our family…She did find a bunch of “hog rustlers” by the name of Pace in VA in the mid 1700’s, however she wasn’t able to make a positive connection. However I must admit members of my family have always had a great fondness for all types of sausage

  4. I just stumbled onto a site called Find A
    It is quite interesting and may be of help to some of you or you can help out members of the site. The neat part is that you can request a photo of a grave stone for an area that you can’t get to. Also since most of us travel a lot we can take a photo of a grave stone for members on the site. I placed request for a photo in Washington State and already have person working on it for me. Hope he is successful.
    Check it out and see what other info it has for your use in your genealogy. Enjoy.

  5. Chris,
    Thanks for the blog comment. I have used Find A Grave for years. It is a great resource for writers who are looking for story ideas, as well as for genealogists.

  6. Clairese,
    I don’t know if Judy can make it to Elkhart, but I’d love to have her come and present her seminars to our Eastern rally..

  7. Doing research and finding new relatives is one of the most enjoyable things we do while RVng. Over the years I have met many cousins once, twice or three times removed and enjoyed meeting every one of them. It sure has gotten us into many areas of the country that we would normaly not travel to and we never felt we are imposing, if we stayed a couple of days, because of our self contained rig. Judy gave two very helpful seminars in Yuma.

  8. Thanks, Nick and Arley, for the nice comments about the seminars. I’m afraid a trip east isn’t in the cards for us this year, but we’ll be back in Yuma next March.
    Keep up the good genealogy research, everybody!


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