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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Create a Genealogy Bucket List

I love Jack Nicholson movies. No one delivers the line "Here's Johnny!" like he did in The Shining. The other night I was channel surfing and came across Jack and Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List and it got me to thinking about my own bucket list... my Genealogy Bucket List.

My Genealogy Bucket List

What would be on your bucket list if you had unlimited resources or a time machine? While it is not complete, here are some of the ideas I had.

1. Travel to Sterbitz Germany, home of the Schwemm Family. While I would love to find all the birth and christening records what I would really like is to see Sterbitz and learn a bit about its history.

2. Organize a Keteri/Johnson Family Reunion. This is my mother's family and the majority live in Michigan and Minnesota. Since I am one of the older cousins there are many younger cousins I have not seen since they were young children or never met.

3. Track down the descendents of Gustav Blum's wife, Elsa. Gustav may have been my great grandmother's half sibling. Elsa was in an insane asylum when he killed their two children and himself. I would love to find out more about this tragic event and possibly some family photos.

4. Speak at a National Genealogy Conference. While I realize I have a lot of work to do to be considered for such a spot, it is on my bucket list.

5. Win a spot on Family Tree Magazine's top blog list.

6. Time Travel. If this becomes possible in my lifetime I would love an hour with Matilda Mueller Strunk Blum Schumacher. She may or may not be my great great grandmother. While I am fairly certain she was Gustav Blum's mother (see number 3) I have not been able to prove her relationship with Johanna Wilmeir Pahlke, my great grandmother. Johanna and Gus are referred to as half brother and sister, but I have nothing to prove the relationship. Plus, having been married 3 times, she probably has some great stories!

7. Research at the Salt Lake City library for a week. While I have been there before I find that just being there is inspiring and allows me to focus. I love libraries and that is the ultimate library!

Why Start a Bucket List?

I think atarting a Bucket List helped me focus on what I really want out of my genealogy. Sure, I would like to find every birth, death and marriage certificate for every relative but I would also like to connect with living cousins.

On a personal level I enjoy writing this blog and doing presentations so it is natural to want to kick it up a level or two. Listing it on my bucket list makes the goal more real.

So, sit down and do it - create your Genealogy Bucket List. It will help you focus and set goals for yourself and your research.

Take Care,

Unknown Woman, Johanna Pahlke (standing) Florence Schwemm Pahlke sitting with son Newton Pahlke


  1. Thank you so much for today's post!! What a great idea! A bucket list differs from a list of goals in that it allows us to "dream" a little - to imagine what we would love to do, if it was possible. You've got me thinking. My first thot: Travel to Scotland and sleep in a castle!! You never know!! :o)

  2. This is a great list. There's enough variety that I'm confident you'll accomplish everything. Good luck!