Monthly Archives: July 2015

Documenting Your Past Review

Doc Your Past Logo

A Savory Spotlight is super excited to have as our newest sponsor, Documenting Your Past.!Michael Gleason, John Spence and the rest of their team have done an amazing job collecting one of a kind unique documents.

As we research our families, we are basically documenting their past lives. We are searching for clues to their births, marriages, deaths, and other events that occurred in their life. An exciting website, Documenting Your Past might just have that exciting and fascinating document that will help you discover even more about your family.

Their mission statement reads, “To provide a dynamic genealogical database of names drawn from everyday documents used by our ancestors, for the purpose of establishing a record outside of the traditional government archives.” Documenting Your Past offers a dynamic database of historical items from the early 1800s through 1945. Items include envelopes, letters, deeds, land grants, insurance policies, checks, bills, receipts, stock certificates and other miscellaneous documents and records that detail the daily lives of the people who created the history of our great country. What a true treasure!

Here is how the searches works:

  • Our database offers an enormous amount of flexibility in performing searches specific to your needs. Only one field in any category needs to be filled in to obtain results. Of course the more information you enter, the more specific the search results will be. For example, when searching for people, you can search by first name or initial or by last name only, with no other field required.
  • When searching by date, no name is need to initiate a search. If you type in 1865, the database will pull up anything from January 1, 1860, to December 31, 1869. This allows you to search by decade. Many genealogists are interested in the history of the period their ancestors lived in and this allows you to look at items.from a specified time period.
  • Location searches are just as simple. Type in Boston and any items related to Boston will be returned. Likewise, type in the name of a state and any items related to that state will be returned.

What is exciting is that “Documenting Your Past” posts a picture of the document. You can view and decide if this pertains to your family. And if it does you can purchase it! How exciting is that? If you are unable to find your family, they have a Watch List where you can submit up to ten searches. If a new submissions matches your search, you will receive an email with a link to the document to check and see if it matches your family. I have entered my surnames and cannot wait to see if one day there is a match. If you post to the “Watch List” and get an email, come share with us in the genealogy forum your matches.

Some of the ways you can search is by surname, dates, and places. An example of a unique document you can purchase or order scanned photos of is Item ID: LE000052 – Name(s): Jean Betty, H Burroughs, James Shearer, William Miller, N Wilson, J Campbell: Surveyor General’s Office of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dated Dec. 22, 1871, to the Prothonotary (chief clerk of the court, used only by Pennsylvania and Delaware) of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, against 110 acres 124 and perches of land located in Bratton Township, Mifflin County. The property was owned by Jean Betty and the lien was paid by H. N. Burroughs, William Miller, and James Shearer. Signed N. C. Wilson, for J. M. Campbell, Surveyor General. Lien is embossed with a red seal for the Surveyor’s General Office, Pennsylvania. Can you just imagine one of the descendants of those named finding this document!

If you have any questions or comments, there is a page where you can contact them directly. Visit Documenting Your Past and let us know what great document from the past you have discovered!


What A Whirlwind Of Adventure We Have Had!

What A Whirlwind Of Adventure We Have Had

A Savory Spotlight was proud to be apart of Jamboree by covering the event through interviews with many of the speakers and exhibitors there.

Day One:

After arriving Thursday June 4th 2015 to the Burbank Airport Marriott from Santa Clarita on the train I quickly passed out “Hugs and Kisses” to all the volunteers and staff working so hard to make Jamboree 2015 a huge success. Here are the interviews we recorded.

I really wanted to meet people and hear from some of my colleagues in the DNA community. First I found Ce Ce Moore whom I had wanted to meet for a long time. It was a pity that she didn’t have time to do an interview with me but it was nice to finally meet her. We hope to have CeCe Moore, Your Genetic Genealogist on the show soon. Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, Paul Woodbury, BYU Grad Genetics, Angie Bush, Genes and Trees, David Dowell, Author/Librarian/Genealogist, Ron Higgins, CAAGS, Ron Arons, Black Sheep, and finally Dr. Tim Janzen were the speakers that I was lucky enough to interview.

I found the general concensus to be TEST WITH ALL THREE COMPANIES (Autosomal DNA). Blaine Bettinger had some futuristic ideas and has completed some cool crowd sourced studies. Angie Bush shared her techniques and case studies relating to finding adoptive parents for people like those she referred to as “GI babies.” David Dowell makes it easy to understand DNA while I found myself drawn to Dr. Tim Janzen and the depth he went to in explaining complex DNA concepts.

I enjoyed meeting Chris Schauble of KTLA news. He shared his story of DNA and his family.

I was honored to spend time with most of the speakers that I sought out and scheduled some interviews for the following day Saturday June 5th 2015.

Day Two:

The second day was full of interviews, new people and exhibitors as everyone came together to share this great event. I was excited to meet so many busy, interesting people that were so kind to share some of their wisdom with me in the form of an interview for A Savory Spotlight.

Many speakers, attendees along with exhibitors lined the hallways. I had the pleasure of interviewing Attendee’s Karen and Tom, Randy Seavers,, Kitty Cooper, Blogger, Janine Adams, Blogger, Jim Heddell, Genealogists.comCraig Scott, Cruises, Michael Provard, Family Search, Mike Gleason, Documenting Your Past, Craig Scott, Heritage Books, George Horn, Jamestown Society.

I found that public transportation between Santa Clarita and Burbank was not as accessible as once thought. I arrived at the shuttle stop around 6:30 pm that I had taken the day before at 6 pm only to find that it didn’t run between Burbank Airport and Downtown Burbank after 6:15…I finally arrived home at 11:30 pm.

Day Three:

I left Santa Clarita armed with cards, seeds and my “Mad Hatter Hat” as it was called. The morning found me trying an new route by bus instead of train only to be stuck with no connection to Burbank… The sad truth of the state of our world is that I found my self in an organized demonstration of Black Power like this girl from Detroit had not seen the likes of since 1968. I have not room in my heart nor the time for hate…I am making my reservation for next year at the Marriott…No more commuting…Thank goodness for my sister who rescued me and I arrived in time to sing with Sister Sledge and interview some of the finest in the business.

My interviews continued to be intriguing with the likes of Thomas MacEntee, Geneablogger, Anna Swayne,, Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, Richard Brownell, Genisyss DNA Vault, Ross Curtis, Christa Cowan,, Lisa Louise Cooke, Genealogy Gems

The food was an amazing spread prepared by the Marriott with something for everyone. I met new friends and continued passing out sunflower seeds to the attendees that wanted to try out their green thumb while we promoted A Savory Spotlight Tuesdays, 10 AM PST/PDT…

Day Four:

Wrapping up interviews with Dr. Michael Lacapo,, Rev. Dave McDonald,, Mike Booth, Roots Magic, Steve Morse and wrapping up Jamboree with Drew Smith, Genealogy Guys Podcast,

We met so many wonderful people and made many new friends.

The evening ended on a unlikely note. Remember the transportation issue I spoke of? Because of a small change of plans I ended up in the lobby of the Marriott after most folks had left sharing with Dr. Tim Janzen what I knew about a common cousin line to both of us. Through teamwork we have found Allgood cousins that have provided DNA for Dr. Tim Janzen to include in his 40-year brick wall research on his mother’s autosomal DNA.

Life is full of serendipity if you keep your eyes open so you can recognize it when it happens.

Thanks for the memories Jamboree… Till 2016!