It's time to meet another one of our wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Connie Graves.
Connie became a Wiki Genealogist in April of 2016. She's active in the New Netherland Settlers project and enjoys participating in many of our challenges.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
Daniels, Wilson, Woodall, Bare, Barber, Albright, Johnson.
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Kentucky (Counties: Greenup, Nicholas, Bourbon); West Virginia (Counties: Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln); Virginia (Counties Tazewell, Wythe, Pittsylvania, Bedford).
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
As a child one of my favorite pastimes was listening to stories my grandmother told on rainy summer afternoons. As an adult I wanted to prove they were true.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
George W. Bellomy is my favorite ancestor. Finding him was pure serendipity. The court records in West Virginia said he had "Gone to parts unknown" and I gave up ever finding him. You can imagine my delight when after mentioning this in correspondence with an unrelated person I received a reply five years or so later saying, hey, I think I found your missing ancestor. What had happened was George W. Bellomy went west in 1842 leaving a wife and two daughters in Kentucky. He was on the first wagon train to mark the route that became the Oregon Trail. He was there when the Oregon voted to become part of the United States. He wandered on to California where he had a huge land grant (and lost it). He ran the first inn in Californaand was in California for the gold rush. Yes, I love George W. Bellomy. I wrote a book about his adventures.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.
With the help of fellow WikiTreer Jim Bartholomew I documented and cemented with DNA my great, great grandmother's Johnson family all the way back to the immigrant.
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
I like my ancestors plain and simple. The everyday variety. Fame and fortune don't interest me.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
Art history, really old movies (1930's and 1940's; film noir).
How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?
I joined WikiTree in 2016. I have enjoyed working on various Challenges, Source-A-Thons, Clean-A-Thons, and Biography Builders. My favorite project is the New Netherlands Settlers Project which has helped me trace and connect so many of my Dutch ancestors as well as learning their history and contributions to the making of the United States. I started a Free Space page for them: Low Dutch Settlements in Kentucky.
What brought you to WikiTree?
Just wandering around online looking for ancestors I found WikiTree, I loved the way it was set up and the feeling of being part of a community of family genealogists working together to get the facts correct and footnoted.
What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?
I like the "Comment" feature because those often have tidbits that send me searching new avenues that result in new finds as well as making me rethink things.
If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?
Make it easier to navigate. Especially the Categories, finding military units and putting badges on profiles.
What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy?
Writing and sourcing profiles has helped organize my personal files and make sense of my research.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Join the Sourcerers or Connectors to see how WikiTree works. Read G2G to familiarize yourself with good how to tips.