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Saturday, March 3, 2018

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Lu Goes to RootsTech 2018

As promised, Lu Ann M. Pillar, aside from all the excitement of being at RootsTech, contacted us to let us what a great time she was having. We are so appreciative of her and her effort. It was great getting to know her through the experience. I am especially happy to have made a friend.
                                                                                                                                --- Robin R. Foster

Lu Ann M Pillar

Oh my gosh, I'm having so much fun and learning so much.  Thank you so much for admission!  Some of the top favorite moments so far have been:

Scott Hamilton! He is very inspiring and a really good guy!  He's always been an elegant skater, full of fun and joy, let alone amazing moves. Oh, the backflips he's done on ice began right here in SLC! His life's story is so heart warming, even though it's filled with sadness and tragedy.  I felt a personal connection, being a positive person myself, but felt re-inspired to remind myself of my many good fortunes having listened to him. He makes one walk away feeling better about the world.

Thomas MacEntee is always extremely helpful, and yesterday's class "Did I get everything?" did not disappoint. He is another generous and witty human being. I've never had the courage to do a do-over with him, but I might, given his intensive record keeping process.  Will I do it right? Maybe, but I'll surely do it better.

Today, Angela McGhie's class "Alternative Sources for Vital Records" was particularly helpful.  I have a great grandmother who's birth record burned in a fire in Cuyahoga County, OH and she gave me several ideas that might help.

Currently, I'm sitting on floor charging my phone in order to get a "selfie" with Scott Hamilton in the Expo later!  I'm also looking forward to tomorrow's keynote, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 

When planning for this trip, I thought I'd sneak out of the Conference to get to the FHL for a little research, I mean, it's BLOCKS away.  Maybe during lunch tomorrow, but I'm not really sure I'll be able to leave until the exact time to catch my flight.  So many classes, so many people, so little time!

PS: I was too late to selfie w Scott Hamilton as the line had been cut off for some time. Lesson 1: If something is a priority, go early and be willing to stand in a line. (The crowds make that an obvious lesson, but I am slow to accept the reality, lol.) Instead, I'm in Curt Witcher's class "An Ancestor's Death: A Time for Reaping" and hope to gain insights for some of the more reclusive actors' final scene.

I got to shake Professor Gates' hand today, after listening to his story of a lifelong interest in tracing his roots. He is an estimable man, for sure. He is doing good things in the world, uniting us all through DNA. The attached pic is all I could manage.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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What Can Support for Others Bring to You and Your Projects?

"I was very pleased with Don coming to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society's Annual Conference on February 10. I always invite people that I feel will get the most out of my presentations. Don left snow which shut Chicago down to come to Milwaukee also snow driven. He sat up front. I know he is very accomplished in writing books, but he did not have an experience with genealogists. I know he was the best person for them to meet. He lives to tell his story."---- Robin

Yesterday, no matter how worst the winter storm in Chicago became, I had given my word to support my sister-in-law, Robin Foster, while she was doing her presentation for the importance of research and genealogy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The facility that was unknown to me, but would become a strong connection for my books and projects was introduced to my networking bank as a place I should work with for the future was the Wisconsin Black Historical Society. founded by Clayborn Benson, and managed by his daughter, Jamila, who also informed me that she teaches a dance class in the facility.
While attending and listening to Robin explain the information, I was filled with pride that I ventured out in the storm and my train was 1-hour late getting me there, but I would get to hear words and inspiration from Robin that would touch all who attended. This event offered me a new network of associates who would become friends, from the African Cab driver who took me to my destination who was from Nigeria, and while we rode we talked about Africa his country as well as others. Of course, he was amazed at my knowledge concerning the history of African nations fighting for independence.

This event gave me new support for my books that were purchased. While I only had a few, they were taken off my hands in minutes. I ran out of business cards, as well, which has never happened before. Robin introduced me as a renowned american author and her brother-in-law that she was very proud of with a great book about my life which became my autobiography. I sat listening intently since it was her day to shine.

As I stood up, I mentioned how proud I was of her and all she had taught me. This presentation proves that people will support ideas that are worthwhile and offer to support your ideas. So, my thanks to Clayborn, and his daughter, Jamila, who I will be working with on an Author Presentation at the Wisconsin Historical Black Society in August this year which I am so proud to present to the citizens of Wisconsin. A special thanks to Lillie Rouse who not only purchased one of my books but wanted two and did search the internet for more information about me while I was there. She shared it with her husband, as well, and I said a few words. She told me she was impressed.

My thanks to Carol Jean Matson Calvin who purchased my book, "What Price Freedom." I purchased a copy of one of her books which I intend to read especially after hearing her presentation on research on Research and Genealogy. I look forward to talking with her again.

Bonnie J. Edwards is going online to purchase my work, and I spoke with her and her husband. I am looking forward to working with for her own radio show and other projects. My special thanks to James Powell Ambassador to the Tuskegee Airmen who I met at this presentation. He explained what his plans were to open a chapter in Milwaukee. I think he was one of the originals for the group, but don't quote me.

I am thankful to all those who showed up at the event and supported Robin, and to the hotel clerks at the front desk of the Holiday Inn where my brother, Ellis, and his wife stayed. I explained to the staff where I had been and that I was returning again. They went online and looked up my books and gave me the Directors name and card. The front desk young lady said she was going on the same night and order a copy of my new book, "Beyond Dreams."

I enjoyed the last part of my evening as I and Clayborn talked and ate dinner together while waiting for my brother and Robin to come down and join us. Clayborn and I talked about the Authors Event that we want to produce and make happen in Milwaukee. This is the type of support and interest you can receive when you support others financially as well as moral support. I can't thank my sister-in-law enough for the invitation to come and listen to her. Yes, that is me in the red Black Hawks cap. Oh, and thanks to the newspaper photographers who took photos of my book and my being at the event as well as everyone in attendance.

Friday, December 8, 2017

We Go to School, But You Do Not Teach About Our Freedom!

     I can remember being in the 3rd grade at St. Cyril's school in 1973 and sitting there after I had been called a "N-----!" I had never heard that word before. It was a boy in class who had trouble staying out of trouble. No one could hurt my feelings at school. I was one of the smartest children in class. Maybe that was the reason for the name calling.

Robin R. Foster (3rd or 4th grade, St. Cyril's)
 When I got home I asked my parents what is a "N-----?" They said it was what some white people called African Americans. This was my introduction to racism. That young boy did not like me because I was smart and well mannered, and he saw me as a threat. I'll never forget how I dealt with that boy and protected my character without telling anyone at school.

I began to go to the Joliet Public Library every Saturday because they had different books than my school. I read about the life of W. E. B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass as my first books. I took these books everywhere I went even school. From grade school through the university days there was never any mention of the books I read.

My daughter was homeschooled most of her school days. By the time she went to school, she was prepared in gospel teaching and history. I looked at my granddaughter and thought, "What more can I do?" I know I can continue our family history. She can learn a great deal from our forebearers.   

Last week, I also discovered the rest of the story...

Recruiting African American Soldiers During the Civil War

The National Archives is one place these records can be found. If the stories of our true history were told in school, grade school, high school, and universities, how would those children turn out? It could mean the end of racism as we know it today for everyone would know African Americans were prepared long before the Civil War to fight for freedom. I will share history that I find before 1776 through the present.

To the African Americans who are coming to my blog for the first time, document you history, and tell it. There are people of every color, but some are bad. You have to know your history so you will not succumb to the person they expect you to be. You need to be the best example that you can find in your family.

Thinking back again to my experience at St. Cyril's, I remember his face. I remember his hair. I remember his character. I am grateful to him because I have found true history because of him.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Free RootsTech 4 day Pass Winner!

YAY! Lu Ann M. Pillar is the winner of my official RootsTech 4 Day Pass!

We will post some of the photos she shares from RootsTech, and some of her favorite events.

     Lu Ann Congratulations!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Enter to Win Free RootsTech 4 Day Pass!

 Enter to Win a FREE

   4 Day Pass!

 Nov 25-Nov 29

RootsTech will be held February 28 - March 3, 2018

 in the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

As an Official RootsTech Ambassador, I have one RootsTech 2018 4-day pass to give away to a very lucky reader (a $279 value). You could be a FREE participant to the world's largest genealogy genealogy conference!

This is good for one FREE RootsTech Pass 2018. It includes the registration fee for over 300+ classes, Keynote General Sessions, Innovation Showcase, Expo Hall, and evening events. This registration does not include travel, hotel, meals, labs or any other compensation. The Getting Started and free Family Discovery Day Pass are not included, and must be added on separately. Enter only if you plan on attending. Only one entry per person will be valid. Selection made by random drawing.

This contest will end at Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm. The winner will be contacted by e-mail the following day. The winner will be encouraged to send photos and favorite experience at the RootsTech event. We will include what they send here.

To enter, simply "Follow By Email" on the left to subscribe to this blog.  If you have subscribed before, enter by sending e-mail to Good luck!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Back and Better!

I feel as though I need to thank my followers for the encouragement and many heartfelt prayers offered up on my behalf. A little over a year ago I suffered a stroke. I was in my daughter's dining room. I asked them to call an ambulance because  I could not feel the right side of my body.  My daughter, Adrianne, who was about 7 months pregnant with her first child, became the person who was my mouthpiece at the hospital along with my husband.

I could not move or speak. I am not able to remember those few days. They have taught me the things I needed to know. I vaguely remember the hospital. I was taken to rehab. Everyday for about three hours I went to work on moving my arm, my leg, and speech. I had to learn how to talk and write with my left hand.

I remember watching General Conference in the rehab. I was told the good Bishop of the Phenix, AL and Counselor had given me a blessing while in the hospital. I did not remember, but I did remember something that I could not at the time explain.

Back in March, I was told by Heavenly Father that "soon you will go to the hospital" to fix what is wrong with you. I did not know it would involve a stroke. When I had the stroke that was not the problem. I continued rehab for a week, and went home to my son-in law and daughter.

My husband took over my care because my daughter was put on bed rest. I went to Church. During the week all four missionaries and two Sister missionaries came to see me. I read The Book of Mormon with the missionaries, and visited with the Sisters. Long ago, Adrianne learned to read using The Book of Mormon. Now I was learning to a read again using The Book of Mormon.

Adrianne had a hard pregnancy, but delivered after her husband came home. I had to go back to the hospital. I was having a very bad pain and high blood pressure.  This is when I learned I now was in the hospital to fix what the Lord had told me I would.

My husband watched the monitor that shows blood pressure. There was a number that he did not understand that read extremely high. A cardiologist was walking by so he asked him what it meant.  The cardiologist asked if I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. I had atrial fibrillation. I had it all my life.   

I am happy to be back and to feel better.  A couple of months ago I visited the neurologist who tested me. She said that I had two forms of memory. One that I could lose, and one that I cannot. She said that I would never lose spiritual memory and genealogy. 

I am glad that even though I never transferred my membership to Phenix, AL they served me as if I belonged there. I am glad I could understand General Conference, and the missionaries surrounded me with love. I am glad I have the love of many online. And much love to my daughter, son-in law, husband, and Brie!

Monday, October 9, 2017

RootsTech 2018 Class Schedule

RootsTech 2018 has released the daily class schedule! Below is the first day. Go to RootsTech Sessions to browse and sign up for the complete schedule, Wednesday-Saturday. 

"FamilySearch Mobile Apps:  Family History, Anytime, Anywhere" looks like a class to take to update my choices. What's the first class that you will take?  See you there!

Not registered yet? Register for RootsTech 2018.

9:30                Sessions/Labs

Big Data: Buzz Word or Family History Revolution?
Real-World Examples of Frustrations of Endogamy
FamilySearch Mobile Apps: Family History, Anytime, Anywhere
The Search for Anna Hansen: Finding German Records
Family Lore: The truth and power behind our myths
The New Deal: Putting Genealogists to Work
A Gift of Life: Who's Writing Your Story?
Consultant Class: Start with the Heart
Scottish Ancestry in The National Archives (UK)
Making the most of English & Welsh Parish records
11:00 am

Integrating Your Software with FamilySearch
Behind Your DNA Results
Deed You Hear About These Underutilized Records?
Translation & Transcription Tools for Genealogy
The Ancestors Await: Finding Your Ancestors through Archival Research
Research Strategies For Newbies - learn how to search like a genealogist.
DNA - One Family, One World
Missing – Presumed Dead: A Case Study of Civil War Records
What’s New in Family Tree Maker?
Consultant Class: Ministering to Others Brings Joy
Smart Scans With Your Smartphone
Beating OCR Bugs to Bag More from Old Newspapers
Family Story Slam - making the family story cool.
Organize decades of family heritage on your phone!
How Close Are We Really? Evaluating Shared DNA
Story Telling for Posterity with Podcasting
British Geographic Resources: an Introduction
1:30 pm

Organizing and Documenting Plantation Slaves
How Can FamilySearch Help You with Nordic Research?
Finding the Right DNA Test for You
Managing Your Tree on Ancestry Made Simple
Downsizing with Family History in Mind
The Irish Registry of Deeds: a hidden treasure
Consultant Class: Living Memory Discovery Experiences
Are You Your Own Brick Wall
Digital Library on American Slavery & More
The Open Death Records Initiative
Yes! You Can Read That Handwriting!
Timelines are for you!
Collaboration: A Hat for Everyone
War of 1812 Pension Files
EXIF Marks the Spot: The critical need for metadata portability
Share Your Family’s Story with Custom Google Maps
Battlefield Stories: Writing Your Stories of War
3:00 pm

Records - different sizes, types and names
Which Hans Jensen is Mine? Navigating Patronymics in Scandinavian Research
Turning Ancestors Into Art
Connect families through family history
Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch
You're on Social Media. Now What?
Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections
Consultant Class: Discovery Experiences in the Tree
Ancestry's Apps: Great Companions to Your Research
Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Results
Get to Know the National Genealogical Society
Top Ten Clues Provided by Death Records
Prosecuting Dissent: Security records for Irish family history 1836-1922
Introduction to Chromosome Mapping
Dropbox Basics
4:30 pm
General Session

General Session - Wednesday

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