Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community. Meet Jayme. Jayme has been a member since 2014 and is one of our wonderful Leaders.
Locations you are researching:
The locations I research can honestly vary based on which family line I happen to be focusing on since I have such varied family history. My Italian, Irish, and French-Canadian ancestors lead to a lot of research in Buffalo, New York; a portion of my German ancestors settled in Shelter Island, New York, a portion in Caldwell County, North Carolina, and another portion in several areas of Iowa; and, lastly, the Patten and Stone surnames lead to a lot of research in the Massachusetts area, which is where my current research is focused.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
I became interested in genealogy early on in high school when I was assigned a school project on constructing a family tree. I realized I had no idea where to begin on creating one and I quickly reached out to my parents for their help. My mom reached out to my grandfather, who I only then learned had been researching his family line for years and he was thrilled to pass his knowledge along to another generation. Needless to say, I had more than enough for my school project, but now I had the beginnings of what would now be a lifelong dedication. Now that he has passed, I take a lot of solace in the fact that I am able to build on what he began.
Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?
My favorite ancestor is my great-great grandmother, Lora Camp. She was the epitome of one of those ancestor stories you’re told that you imagine has been skewed along the years, but the reason she’s my favorite is that all the records I’ve found indicate that all the stories I’ve been told were, in fact, true. She was born in the 1800s, out of wedlock, and she grew up as a boarder in the household of cousins of the family, the Prestwoods. As soon as she was able, she ran away to Kansas with my great-great grandfather and got married. He became a railroad engineer and they built their life there. It’s always been difficult to find the records for her birth and the census records since she wasn’t living with her mother, but I’ve pieced it together slowly.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.
I, honestly, haven’t broken down an actual brick wall in quite some time now, but the most recent piece of information I’ve found that had me legitimately excited, because it both filled in a gap of information and confirmed a family story, was a newspaper clipping I found for my great, great, great grandfather. I was able to find an obituary for John Mullins that both confirmed his death date as well as the fact that he owned a bottling company in Buffalo.
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
I’m sure I could think of several people, but the one that currently comes to mind is Marcus Tullius Cicero. I admire his Latin works and, if I were related, maybe I could have inherited just a little bit of his oratory skills. : )
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
My main interests outside of genealogy are reading and travel. My library is currently at 700+ books and counting and my goal is to travel to at least one new country a year; so far I’ve been to 10 countries outside of the U.S.
How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?
I’ve been on WikiTree for a little over two years now. I’m typically very active (daily), but since I work full time and am currently pursuing my MBA as well, my recent activity has been a little bit slower just in the last two months. My last semester ends this May though, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?
I love a lot of features of WikiTree, but specifically I really enjoy features like the Sourcerers and Database Errors projects that give every WikiTree member the ability to improve and see improvement in the site. I think before those projects it was a little like stabbing in the dark.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Always feel free to ask questions. : ) The learning curve can certainly seem overwhelming, but there are a lot of people here that are happy to help.
If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?
Look for my research if I’m no longer around to ask about it directly! I do this for my enjoyment, but also so that someone else can learn from it and build on what I’ve done already.