Posted by Chris Anderson on Apr 15, 2019
Pictured (l to r): Sharon Hamilton, Janet Wahlberg, Katie Geise
 
Janet grew up in a military family and traveled quite extensively.  She spent 35 years as a nurse at Warren General Hospital in Pennsylvania.  Janet has been very active in Falconer Rotary and the Fenton History Center!
 
Janet admitted she has a lifelong obsession with Genealogy.  She explained Genealogy as the search of the stories of your family history.  This also includes the unique story of your distant ancestors.  
 
Janet herself become interested in family history while in Junior high school.  Very interesting to her.  Maternal grandparent were immigrants.  One from England and from Scotland.  Her family itself was obsessed with history. It was only natural for her to catch the bug as well!
 
Janet’s tasks to find family history:
  1. Gather what you know and what you think you know (who, what, where, when)
  2. Interview family members and neighbors
  3. Interview cousins
  4. Write all of this down so there is a record
  5. Write your own personal story down (todays items are tomorrows history)
  6. Gather your documents (birth, marriage, death, immigration records)
  7. Gather letters, cards and postcards
  8. Gather many photos
  9. Spend time with other family members looking at those photos
  10. Ask everyone to bring their boxes of photos to a family reunion and take digital photos.  
  11. Take time to identify the photos you are taking today.  Make sure you label them
 
Once you have gathered the above, you are ready to investigate your family history.  Start with yourself and move backwards listing surname, forname, middle name, birth date, birth place, marriage date, marriage place, death date, death place, etc.  Do this all nice and neat in a notebook or on your computer.  
 
If possible, locate the missing info before continuing to move backwards in your family history.  You are going to find you need lots of help.  The Prendergast Library and the Hall House at the Fenton History Center can assist with getting you started in Genealogy.  There are a lot of resources available in Chautauqua County and Jamestown in particular.  Prendergast Library is free. Hall House is $10 per day or $40 for an entire year.  There are also local libraries and churches and a few historical societies.  Not everything is on the internet!!!!  Although there are great places to do research online.  
 
Ancestory.com is a good web site to use.  Many ways to maximize your dollar with a 14 day free trial!  Really dedicate an hour or two every single day to try and do the research in that two week window.  Can use Ancestory.com at the Prendergast for free and for a fee at the Hall House at Fenton.  
 
Janet mentioned that stories of people are very interesting.  She had a lot of family members who were veterans.  Some from the War of 1812 and others.  Janet also shared some wonderful stories with us about her family from historical perspectives.  She found her family had many connections to New England and the Boston area.  
 
Road trips are also part of the Genealogy experience.  Janet travels to Salt Lake City every year for a couple weeks.  And, has traveled to other areas as well to do some of her Genealogy research.
 
There are so many different ways to find information.  On the way, Janet has met many interesting folks.  Janet left the club with a “Give it a Try!!!” 
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