Sunday, October 5, 2008

INTRODUCTION

My name is Linda Goss-Kozic, and as I stated in my profile, I have been researching my ancestors for over 30 years. When you start gaining an interest in your roots, there are always key people who give you guidance on your journey. They are the most important part of your research because without them, you would be lost in a sea of information. So I just wanted to say a few things in recognition of so many people who have contributed to helping me to grow as a researcher. My interest in genealogy was encouraged by my paternal Grandmother, Alta Benscoter Goss, as a very young girl. My Father continued where my Grandmother left off, and he always supported and helped me in my research. I lost my Father, Jerry Benscoter Goss, April 10, 2008 and it is in his honor I started this blog. I know he is walking by my side and smiling at this venture.

Along this journey, there have been many fellow researchers I am so grateful have crossed my path over these years. I've learned so much from each one, but there are too many to mention them all. There are those, however, who I could never go without personally recognizing. Linda Moss, who helped me to break my first wall; Claudette Beerman Rogers, who added more to the family tree than ever thought possible and is now one of my dearest "sisters" in heart!; Jackie Marshall who brought great treasures via the internet; Ken Goss who added immeasurable southern roots to our tree; Ken Forbes, whose knowledge and generosity continue to this day for so many researchers and Jean Johnston whose knowledge broke additional walls in this ever growing tree!

Thank you one and all! My quest would have been far more complicated without any one of you!

As I said in my profile, my purpose for this blog is honoring my Father by continuing his legacy of sharing information with others. In particular, I want to help the beginner with their first footsteps down the genealogy path. When I first started, the word "internet" was not even a word in the human vocabulary! Mind you, I'm not ancient, but I was a kid when "go-go boots" were the rage and you had to change the television channels by getting up off the seat and turning what was then called a "dial!" However, when I started my interest in researching my ancestors, I had my Grandmother Goss. She had always had an interest in her heritage, so she was thrilled to share her process with me and our lineage! What an incredible woman and role model! So my very first steps down the path of research started with my very first interview and that was Grandma! Back then I had my pen and notebook and eventually when I took a course on anthropology, I began to understand familial charting also. Those sound like archaic tools of research, but that's how it was done for a long time! Technology has made the process so much easier, but there is one thing that will always be the most important part of the picture and that is your "legwork!"

There is nothing like standing on the land your forefathers forged, or in front of the tombstone validating the very existence of an ancestor you have been reading about! It somewhat puts a 'face' to a name, although that sounds rather strange to some! But if you have no photo and sketchy details at best, just knowing you are standing on ground where your ancestor stood is rather spiritual for some genealogists like myself. If you have spent years looking for anything tangible on someone you know was an ancestor, once you find something, it's like you've reached that star you've been wishing on for so long!

So I invite anyone to comment on my entries, as I'm a firm believer there is always something to learn whether it comes in the form of instruction or question. If you are a beginner in this world of researching your ancestors, please note there are NO STUPID QUESTIONS!!! Do not hesitate for one minute to ask whatever comes to mind! If I can help you in any way, it will be my honor! If you have something share with me on your own journey in research, or suggestions of topics to cover, please don't hold back---I invite all contributions to this blog! I only ask that it be constructive, even if you think I've made an error! We can all learn from each other, beginner and experienced researchers alike, as you RESEARCH YOUR ANCESTORS!

Linda


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