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James W. Petty, AG, CG
Monday, March 10 2014

Turning Hearts: Taking Your Genealogy Viral!

By James W. Petty, AG, CG Notify me when this author publishesComment on Article
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When it comes to doing genealogy, there are days I wish I could be Superman. You know, "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!" Think what a genealogist could do with such super powers!

In 2005 when I had my first open heart surgery and I knew that my heart was going to be disconnected, I decided to try a “Hugh Nibley” and so I made a plan for my surgery. While I was out, I would ask the powers that be on the other side of the veil, “Who was Hubert Petty, that elusive Jamestowne Ancestor of mine?

Now, I did dream about him while I was in that ether-land, and I actually woke up thinking about a Theophilus Petty of Featherstone, England who had lived in Barbados in the 1650’s about the time of our Hubert Petty. While my dream hasn’t led anywhere yet in the past 8 years, except for a fabulous time doing research in the Caribbean, many times since then I have considered, “Oh, if I could just be Superman for a day in my family history work! But I haven’t given up on finding Hubert Petty. Why?

We live in the best of times for doing genealogy in the 21st Century!

This is not a pipe-dream today for any of us involved in family history. We live in the best of times for doing genealogy. Climbing the Family Tree of Man is easier now in the 21st Century genealogist than it has ever before; and, you don’t have to budget millions to find success. Recently I met a man, John Kuzmich, Jr., who is doing such superman-like research on a retired teacher’s budget. As the clarion call rings out “We are all enlisted” so goes the mighty band of happy warriors in the Family History Army of John Kuzmich, Jr as his VIP Team have taken their genealogy viral!

John’s “one man’s quest for his Eastern European roots” has gone from a 38 year-long solo journey to an explosion on his family tree as he has been joined by a vast brigade of fellow seekers from across the globe during these past 5 years. United in their pursuit of their common ancestry, they are successfully discovering ancestry and climbing the family tree. We all can take a page from his superman-genealogy research book and learn how to speed up the discovery process, competently determine ancestry, and make successful leaps in brick wall research. How has he done it?

The Yellow Brick Road

John and crew have taken the yellow brick road that is paved with the gold of discovery that everyone wants in their family history work, because they have embraced the Internet and modern technology. They have left behind yesteryear’s snail-mail and cubby-hole genealogy research, for today’s engaged, world-wide, cyberspace social media connections where they are experiencing unparalleled success and opportunities for finding genealogical treasure. They have left old school and taken technology to turning hearts!

On a retired school bandleader’s pension, John Kuzmich and fellow genealogists have taken their personal genealogy effort to a level rarely seen in our world of virtual communities and networks. Employing networking collaboration technology and full-scale use of Internet blogging, photo galleries, podcasting, web pages, social networks, videoconferencing and other web-tools, this one man’s army is identifying and documenting and linking together their varied branches of the Family Tree of Man. As they do extensive family history extraction work on their Eastern European family lines, they are indexing records, abstracting documents, cataloguing resources and creating innovative family tree data bases from these collaborative efforts and going through the dead- ends and over the brickwalls of their genealogy. And doing temple work.

John and his family historians are experiencing the miracles and blessings of hearts turning to their fathers. And they are willing to share with all what they know about using these modern tools, technology and resources as they unitedly pursue their common heritage, expanding both his genealogy and theirs, and for cousins yet unknown. And we can be inspired to do likewise by following their example.

Learn more about John Kuzmich, Jr., his genealogy and his Eastern European resources

To learn more about John and his journey, his genealogy and his Eastern European resources, read his Mormon.org Testimony; and then see his KuzmichGenealogy Blog and MajcGenealogy. Check out John’s “ Secrets of Networking Collaboration Technology as a Viral Avenue for Enhancing Family History Research” and his how to “Utilize the Internet to Promote Your Genealogy Easier Through Blogging, Photo Galleries, Podcasting, Web Pages, Social Networks, Videoconferencing and Other Web-tools.” Learn about and then use the many Eastern European resources they have gathered for his VIP Extraction Team effort and see how you, too, can bring people together from across the globe to accomplish this great work in your family history.

Then climb the John Kuzmich Jr.’s family tree. You might even be related! Contact him and see! Here is a list of his family names:

· Meet the Kuzmich/Basalyga Family Lines originating from Snietnica and Stawisha, Poland

· Meet the Turk/Gazvoda, Golobic, Zupancic and Hrovatic Family Lines originating from Novo Mesto, Slovenia

· Meet the Galinak, Surma and Kucala Family Lines originating in Krempachy and Nowa Biala, Poland

· Meet the Extended Kucala Family Lines originating from Krempachy, Poland

· Meet the Bochnovich Family Lines originating from Stawisha, Poland

Follow John’s Example and Attend RootsTech Family History and Technology Conference!

John Kuzmich, Jr. leaves no stone unturned in his quest to improve his skills, outreach and use of technology. This includes taking advantage of learning the latest from the best in the business, including attendance at RootsTech Family History and Technology Conference, the largest genealogical convention in North America. John is a regular participant at this internationally acclaimed ancestry event held yearly in the heart of worldwide family history, Salt Lake City, Utah. He stays on the cusp of genealogy advances by attending this important technological conference so he and his merry band can forge ahead at light speed in their discoveries and family history work. We encourage you to do the same. “Connect Your Family Past, Present, & Future at RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch.  Learn how to discover and share your family stories and connections through technology.


3 Comments

  1. Very inspiring...thanks for the reminder of how much better it can be when we collaborate...sharing and working together...and so much more fun working together with "family" on your family history, than going it alone!
  2. Great article. I know John and have seen him in action. He is an amazing man and if you ever have the chance to take one of his classes, I wouldn't miss it. Thank-you for the link to his blog, I will be following it now.
  3. Just be sure you have proper documentation. There is a great deal of false information being circulated.

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