Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Getting Started

How I got started in oral history of Jack and Pauline:
In June of 2007, I took a 3 day course across the street from San Francisco City Hall.  This course was called "Legacy Oral History Workshop" and it got me started in interviewing Jack and Pauline in July that year. These interviews (approximately ten hours) were audio recorded and later transcribed. Conducting the oral histories of my parents was a combination of fun and work but humbling at the same time. By spending so much time with them, I not only heard their personal stories but also developed more of a rounded view of them on a whole life scale rather than from the sole perspective of a son.

How I got started in genealogy:
On a visit to see my brother, Bruce, in the mountains of North Carolina in May 2008, I was given the monthly meeting brochure at the housing development where he lives. On it they listed the monthly meeting of a genealogy group that meets on a regular basis. I hoodwinked Bruce's wife, Joan, to go with me. That meeting spurred me on to visit the local library in Brevard to try a "Siulinski" search on ancestry.com. What was nice was the library was walking distance from Joan's art gallery. I was excited to find a record within minutes of searching...

The record was a WWI Draft Registration Card of 'Joseph John Siulinski' (shown above). Thinking this person had to be a direct relation to my grandfather, Adam Siulinski, I called Jack and Pauline right away. They reminded me that Adam's father was named Albert not Joseph and besides, the record was from Massachusetts not Upstate New York where Adam was raised. Could this man be Albert's brother? Since I know so little about Adam's life prior to his service in the Coast Guard, I have yet to break through this "brick wall". A brick wall in genealogy is not being able to find somebody. Impacting the wall will most likely happen when I make a research and discovery trip to New York where Adam grew up...hopefully in the near future. I do have some ideas of possible family members from Adam's life before his residence in Maine which I will report in this blog.

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