Hello everyone! My name is Dale Sheldon, soon to be known as The Wandering Genealogist – with a bit of luck and hard work. What I would like to do here is talk about all things related to genealogy and history including tutorials, anecdotes and findings. I’m also going to start finding interesting historical sites and film short segments at these locations for people around the world to see. I’ll start with my current home base of Los Angeles, California but I hope to expand to the rest of the world. I also hope to conduct interviews with genealogists and historians regarding research tips and hints, particularly in relation to their specific geographic areas, so that people from other parts of the world can get ideas on how to conduct their research from a distance.
Before we begin, I would just like to quickly give everyone a little background. I am a native of California with deep ancestral roots all around the bay area of San Francisco going back several generations on all lines. As a child my grandmother would share photos and stories with me of the family, particularly after the death of my beloved great-grandmother Pearl Haun Sutter in 1990. Grandma Pearl had left behind several amazing old family photos and, thankfully, took the time to give some identification on the back. However, she did not name the photos completely. Instead she only listed their surname and their relationship to her. “My grandfather Robinson”, “My great-grandmother Guerraz”, etc. It was just enough information to make positive identification once additional research was done. It took me several years scrolling through microfilm census records in dark basements, back in the days before the internet, but I eventually identified all of the photos by the time I was 16 years old.
After that painstaking process I moved on to the ancestry of my other seven great-grandparents and today I am happy that I can not only name each of my 4th great-grandparents but that I feel that I have a deep understanding of who they all were and what they experienced in their lives. Some were quite tragic. You simply never know what you’re going to find.
With that in mind, the purpose of this blog is not to simply find dates and places, as that is only a foundation. The purpose is to find the heart of genealogy. Really dig in deep and understand who our ancestors were and what they lived through. That, at it’s very basic core, is my prime objective as The Wandering Genealogist. So I hope you will all join me and see what we can discover together.