If you follow Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog at her blog, on Facebook, or Twitter, you know that this winner of the 2012 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant is a very busy young woman. Not only is she a full-time teacher, Elyse is also finishing her credential program at a local university, researching her family tree, speaking at genealogy societies, and planning a June wedding. So, what does she do in her free time?
Elyse recently sent us an update on her activities —
Elyse, in action, at a recent genealogy event
When I was awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genalogy Grant at Southern California Genealogy Society’s Jamboree conference, I was so excited and completely surprised. After taking countless pictures, drying my happy tears, and letting the reality of having $500 to spend on my genealogy truly sink in, my brain was going crazy with all the opportunities of what to do with the money.
To be honest, it took me awhile to figure out what I really wanted to do with the money. I explored buying books or webinars, or joining a genealogy society. I thought about renting all the microfilm that has been on my “to rent” list. I spent hours in Best Buy considering new tech tools that I could buy. In the end, I couldn’t decide on one thing to spend the money on. So I decided to do a little bit of everything.
My first bout of inspiration hit when I was sitting in front my of my closet that holds all of my family photos, artifacts,and important documents. Frankly, the closet was an unorganized mess in old boxes. Nothing was properly labeled or cared for, and it was really hard to get to boxes on the bottom. Inspiration hit: organize the closet and all of the stuff within it.
I found the best boxes to use while walking around Ikea. I brought home two different size boxes. Then I went online and bought some archival quality photo sleeves from Light Impressions. I’ve been organizing the photos in small batches as my busy schedule allows, and truly taking the time to enjoy the experience. I often notice something new on the old ancestral photos and if it hasn’t been scanned yet, then I pull out my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner.
On top of my big photo organization task, I’ve been slowly tackling my giant “microfilm to rent” list. I’ve spent a lot of time at the family history center, scrolling through microfilm for my ancestors. I’ve even been trying to tackle some of my ancestors from across the pond – particularly with my very intimidating German ancestors.
What does the future hold for me? Although I’m not planning on pursuing genealogy as a full-time profession (I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher), genealogy will always play a huge role in my life. Speaking and writing about genealogy and technology is a huge passion of mine and something I will definitely continue to do. I’m not sure where my genealogy addiction will take me, but I know it will be one amazing journey.
The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant has been awarded to three student genealogists since being founded in 2010. The goal of the program is to assist young genealogists in the pursuit of genealogy education and experience. The 2012 grant was presented to A.C. Ivory and Elyse Doerflinger at the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California; the 2011 recipient was Anthony Ray of Lancaster, California.
P.S – I’m more than a little happy to see that Elyse used some of the grant funds to purchase archival storage containers for her family history treasures! And I’m glad she is finding helpful preservation tips in my new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes.