Posting [my] family roots – Welcome

Welcome to the ‘Posting family roots’ blog!  My name is Susan Posten Ellerbee and I am the designated family genealogist.  I have been doing genealogy for 20+ years.  My primary research focus has been on the families of my parents and my parents-in-law, specifically:

  • Posten (dad’s family) – Northeast Pennsylvania & New Jersey with French origins on his mother’s side.
  • Tucker (mom’s family) – New York with German origins on her mother’s side.
  • Ellerbee (father-in-law’s family) – Texas, Alabama, Georgia with English & Scandinavian origins.
  • Johnson (mother-in-law’s family) – Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, with English & Irish origins.

I am starting this blog to catch up with my Genealogy Do-Over, hosted by Thomas MacAntee,  

After 20+ years of genealogy, my files (both digital and paper) are a mess!  Re-organization and improving research techniques are the overall goals for the next year. 

My history as a genealogist

Like most of us, as a child, I heard family stories from mom, dad, grandparents and other relatives.  And, like many, I acted like I was interested then went on to other things.  As an adult, I had a unique opportunity when I decided to attend graduate school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  I attended a beginners’ genealogy class between formal courses and classwork.  I bought an early version of the Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program on a floppy disk for use on our now archaic 40 MB home computer. 

Finally, I began really listening to my parents and writing it down.  I also began tracking information from my in-laws.  The result was 4 notebooks, multiple pedigree charts and family group sheets.  The internet opened a entire new world of information and contacts.  Two children meant that genealogy work was intermittent, at best, during the next 10-15 years.  My parents’ deaths ( in 1998 and 2007) temporarily closed those sources of information.

In 2008, I asked for, and received a copy of Family Tree Maker software program.  At about the same time, I discovered the Ancestry online website.  My research became a little more organized.  Then, in 2010, a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in our community.  Family oral history from my dad’s great-aunt showed a Revolutionary War patriot ancestor.  This would be easy!  Well, the named ancestor, Jacob Posten, might be related but I am not directly descended from him. That is a story for another time!  I was able to trace lineage to another Revolutionary War patriot through dad’s mother’s grandmother and I became an official Daughter of the American Revolution in 2011.  A first draft of dad’s family history was written and sent to his youngest sister, the last of the 6 children still alive.  (Note:  This history needs serious revision!)

Genealogy then turned to my in-laws, to fulfill a promise made to them.  The results were scrapbooks for each of them — a new hobby found!  I traced my father-in-law’s mother’s family to North Carolina in 1780s.  Branches of my mother-in-law’s family were traced to early 1800s/ late 1700s Maryland.

My research techniques became sloppy and scattered.  I relied mainly on one or two online websites and did not routinely check sources for consistency and reliability.  Research logs?  Practically non-existent.  Searching at 2:00 am for the father-in-law of  the stepson of a 3rd cousin?  Been there, done that!  Need a copy of a census record? Just print it, then discover that I already have 2 copies.  Which brings me to one purpose of this blog – to document progress in my Genealogy do-over.  

In my next blog, I will start with Month 1 activities.  See you then!





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