Keeping an open mind for the new year

I’m trying to stay positive for the new year of researching and finding family. The last two months of 2013 were filled with disappointment.

My latest attempt to get my maternal grandparents’ Alien Case Files, the gems of immigration records, failed. I’ll have to wait a few years to see whether the reorganization of the files nationwide will put them in the right place eventually.

A researcher in Kiev could not find my grandfather’s nor his sister’s birth record in a book of the church nearest to their childhood home. I’ve asked a cousin from my mother’s generation to see whether she knows which church our family attended before the revolution. We’ll see if she knows.

I thought it would be easy to find the birth record of my paternal grandmother’s oldest brother. The rules changed for obtaining information and records from archives in Lugansk, Ukraine. A power of attorney letter and documents proving ancestry are required.

That meant the researcher jacked up his price from dirty cheap to ridiculous for one record. So, I am praying archives will answer my e-mail message. I know the exact location of the record from the researcher so I hope that will motivate archives to answer my e-mail message.

Then, I was hopeful when my mother took a DNA genealogy test from FamilyTreeDNA. Some of my matches were confirmed as those from my maternal line but I have yet to get any breakthrough matches to solve family mysteries. I guess I will have to keep waiting.

My mother keeps telling me that I have 95 percent of everything done. I know I have accomplished a lot in finding family and uncovering new information but I hope I am not that done.

So 2014 will be an interesting year. I don’t have any major items from my to-do list that is getting me excited. Maybe I will have some unplanned surprises this year.

If you are stuck in a rut in your search, e-mail me at bepa.miller at I answer all messages asking for help.


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