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Genealogy Blogger Spotlight: Jen Rickards - Auntie Jen

Today’s featured Genealogy Blogger Spotlight is Jen Rickards (“Auntie Jen”).

Genealogy Blogger Spotlight: Jen Rickards - Auntie Jen

Learn more about Jen below:

YOUR NAME: Jen Rickards (Auntie Jen)

Find Jen online: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN FAMILY HISTORY/GENEALOGY? In 2012, my grandma gave me a couple boxes of old family photos; unnamed and undated. I am a photo fanatic so I took on the task of trying to name and date these photos. Some ended up being from the early 1900s. In order to understand who some of these people were, I decided to make a family tree on Ancestry. After clicking on a few leaves, I was hooked. I started finally learned more about my family than I ever thought I would.

WHERE DID YOU GET THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR BLOG’S NAME? I'm an only child, so I was never going to have the pleasure of being called an Aunt unless my husband's nephews & niece called me that. (which they do not) My best friend (who is like my sister) made sure her kids know me as Aunt Jen. The first time I heard my adopted nephew (who couldn't speak well because of special need) call me Aunt Jen, I cried. Now all her adopted children call me Auntie, or Aunt Jen. Thus Auntie Jen was born. And seriously, who always has the greatest stories and secrets. Your Crazy Aunt of course. And believe me, I have unearthed some secrets!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT BLOGGING? The creative writing process. I've been told I'm a good story teller and I love taking the reader through a journey. I also love being able to share what I have found with other family members.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW FAMILY HISTORY/GENEALOGY BLOGGERS? Don't put too much pressure on yourself in the beginning. Everyone has writer's block. Let the posts come naturally. Don't force it.

WHEN DID YOU BEGIN BLOGGING? 2016

WHAT ARE 2 OF YOUR MOST POPULAR BLOG POSTS? INCLUDE LINKS SO I CAN SHARE THEM, TOO!

1. The most popular blog post is about my Laundry Room. Yeah I know what you are thinking. But I dedicated my laundry room to my grandma and grandpa Wheeler. They met at a laundry facility that they both worked at in St. Louis. So I printed out photos and pictures of the White Line Laundry business to include in my laundry room along with a few special items I found on Ebay. - http://auntiejenstrees.blogspot.com/2018/03/white-line-laundry.html

2. The second most popular blog post is an informative one about personalizing your ancestor's timeline on Ancestry. A lot of people are having troubles adding certain evens to their ancestor's life. Ancestry hasn't caught up with the changing of times. So I wrote an informative post about certain features to use to add these events to the timeline. - http://auntiejenstrees.blogspot.com/2018/07/personalizing-your-ancestors-timeline.html

TELL US 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF! IT MAY BE YOUR LIKES, DISLIKES, A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS, OR A FEW FUN FACTS ABOUT YOUR LIFE:

1. I hated history when I was younger. Couldn't stand it. Now with my genealogy research, I can't get enough of it. If you would have told me when I was younger I would love history now, I would have thought you were crazy. I mean, seriously you have no idea how much I loathed history. But the teachers never made it exciting. Except for one, and his class is the one I remember the most.

2. I also used to hate cemeteries. They would creep me out every time I had to go to one or even go past one. Never would I even consider owning a house that was within a few miles of one. Now I look for excuses to stop by any cemetery we drive past. Drives my daughter nuts. We were even considering buying a house that had a small cemetery (four headstones) in the back yard.

3. My husband & I eloped after dating for two months. We will be celebrating our 17th anniversary this year.

4. I suffer from Depression & Anxiety which makes going places to do research very difficult. I've had to step out of my comfort zone many times & deal with horrible panic attacks. Some days are good, some are not, but doing this journey has given me a sense of purpose.

5. My favorite comfort food is chili mac. Not just any chili mac. Armor brand Chili with spaghetti noodles. That was my favorite when I was a kid so it just brings back happy memories.

IF YOU COULD LEARN TO DO ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Learn how to speak, read and write in French and German fluently. That's where the majority of my family came from.



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