Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buzzy Jackson

This week's program features Buzzy Jackson talking about searching for her ancestors: why she did it, where she started, how a DNA sample helped, and why she decided to go on a Caribbean cruise. Her genealogy adventures are chronicled in her new book, Shaking The Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist.

Jackson used her prodigious research skills to trace her roots back more than 250 years. In the process, she connected to distant relatives and discovered the true meaning of family.

During this program, Jackson talks about her long search for her people (Jackson is the 20th most common American surname) and gives some helpful tips hints to beginning genealogists.

  • Start with yourself: Write down everything you already know and can verify about your family history. Interview siblings and other family members.
  • Interview as many living relatives as possible.
  • Ask to see family mementos such as Bibles, photographs, journals, even quilts.
  • Collect relevant records: birth, death, and marriage certificates; military, employment, census, city directory records.
  • Ask for help from librarians, members of historical organizations, other genealogists.
  • DNA tests and visits to locations where your ancestors lived help you dig deeper.
  • Stay organized: be methodical in your research, write everything down, keep notes about what you've done and what's left to do. Invest in a computer program if that helps.
Tune in to hear Buzzy Jackson on The Write Question Thursday evening, July 7, at 6:30 ( or 7:30 (

Find more information about Buzzy Jackson and listen online.

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