I have been interested in my family history since I was a teen but had no idea how to learn more than what had already been passed down through the family. When we bought our first computer in 1994 I found a family tree program that allowed me to enter and organize what the family already had and that was that. A few years later we connected to the internet and I became (dare I admit it?) a Name Collector. My tree grew by leaps and bounds! Not knowing any better I added incorrect information from other trees. The only thing I really did right was to enter a source for each bit of information I collected even if it was "Online tree of So N So" or "Conversation with Uncle Philbert." I have never learned to cite sources up to the standards of Ms. Mills but at least I know where the information came from and what weight it carries.
Somewhere along the line I got off of the internet to continue my name quest. I will never forget the excitement of sitting in the Syracuse Public Library and finding my ancestor, Daniel Carlisle, mentioned in a history book! That discovery started me down the path from Name Collector to Family Historian.
One of my early online searches for Hannah Carlisle led me to the online catalog of the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There I found a reference a collection titled Carlisle Family Papers. You can read more about that dicovery here but the short version is that it was ten years before I was able to vist the library in person and photograph several hundred letters that had been saved by my family through the generations. Transcribing those letters and sharing them here at Apple's Tree has been and will continue to be a major focus of this blog. I also share other stories, participate in carnivals and various memes and ramble on what ever topic strikes my fancy of the moment.
Writing about my ancestors is easy, writing about myself is not! I was raised near Syracuse, NY. I was married to my first husband just long enough to have two wonderful children, B and Bean. Bean had just learned to walk when I met John and we have now been married for 26 years. With my marriage to John I gained another child, PJ. All three of the kids live nearby so I get to spend lots of time with my six perfectly adorable grandchildren. We live in Oswego County these days, about 25 miles north of Syracuse, where the winds blow across Lake Ontario to give us perfect summer weather and perfectly miserable winters. I drive a school bus and most days I love my job.
My first blog was The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree, a favorite saying in my family. I wrote about family history but also my day to day joys and trials, bus driving, gardening and anything else that popped into my head. Because I was writing about my family and my job I decided I should be somewhat anonymous and I became Apple. A year later Apple's Tree was born. I have been blogging long enough now that I am comfortable with the nickname Apple and see no reason to confuse things by switching to blogging under my "real" name. However for anyone that really thinks that it is important to know, it should be easy for any genealogist to figure out my first, maiden and last names by poking through the archives here.