Journaling To Heal Our Ancestral Lineage

Journaling has been something I have been doing since I was a little girl. Not consistently though until the last few years. My early journals were typical of a girl moving into puberty, Jr. High and High School, with talk of which boy was the cutest, drama with friends and siblings, and my dreams for the future. In High School they became much more. An outlet to describe frustrations in my family life (typical teenager complaints), a safe place to explore the larger world and my gigantic dreams which were too large and out there for most people in my life. I’m sure most people who knew me then, thought I was crazy for having such big dreams and growing up in such a small town.

After I became an adult, the journals changed again as an even more safe place to talk about my fears, sadness, guilt, shame, mistakes, anger, and dreams. When I had my first child, miscarriages, and later twins, the journals became a place to express all I had before, adding marriage troubles, and my...

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Do Genealogy & Military Researchers Need Therapy?

That is a loaded, triggering question isn’t it? Isn’t it time these communities start the conversation about the effects of research on us mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally as researchers and professionals?

I have been a genealogical researcher for more than 20 years. For a decade, I’ve studied every military branch and it’s paperwork for WWII, which resulted in the creation of numerous research guides, speaking programs, and more clients than I can count. I took ProGen and several other professional genealogy prep classes back in the day. I self-taught the 20th century military research because no one else was teaching this – no other books existed. Then in 2012 when I moved out and got divorced, I started down a spiritual path alongside the military research. Then I began to travel in Europe. I also wrote some gut wrenching, sad, life changing books about my family’s military members. Those broke me open. Helping clients...

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WWI Travel in France

france genealogy travel wwi wwii Oct 24, 2019
 

We visited so many WWI sites in France last week in the Meuse-Argonne and Verdun areas. So much devastation and so many stories. I recorded some of my thoughts. I’m still processing everything I saw – especially the destroyed villages.

Can I help you?

Are you ready to learn the bigger picture of your family member’s military service? We are a firm with not only hands-on document experience but also travel experience. We are taking new clients and can help you find the answers and tell a deeper story about your family member. Email us at [email protected] to set up your free phone consultation today to discuss project options, fees, and time.

© 2019 World War II Research and Writing Center

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American Graves Registration in WWII

Learn about the Graves Registration Service during World War I and World War II. This section provides resources to understand their job, the records they created, and what happened to our military personnel when they were Killed In Action, were Missing In Action, or died during service. Read about current MIA recovery efforts here.

Need help understanding the history of the Graves Registration Service and the records they created, including the Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF)? We have a book, Finding the Answers in the Individual Deceased Personnel File that can help!

We also have a 10- week online course Finding the Answers in the IDPF.

World War I

A Living Memorial. The American Cemetery at Meuse-Argonne (ABMC Publication)

The Beginnings of the Quartermaster Graves Registration Service

Thesis: Establishing the American Way of Death

World War I Education – World War I Burial Files

WWI Graves Registration Card Registers

Videos:

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Important News on How We Provide WWII Education

Evaluating our business over the last decade, especially the last six years in which we have provided a tremendous amount of WWI and WWII educational materials, we have decided to change how and where we provide education for military research. Our focus has also shifted in how we help clients with research, processing what is discovered, and writing. While we still provide the highest quality military research available, your options for education now change. What does this mean for you?

WWII Research & Writing Center Website

On this website, the Educational Articles and Videos will remain. We will continue to add articles that help you dig deep into your family and military history. All of our research books will remain and we will continue to update them as records access changes.

Other resources have been moved or removed permanently.

WWII Education Website

This is our online course and webinar website. There are several online military research classes available. Several...

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When NOT to Hire a Genealogy or Military Record Retrieval Person

First, I would like to define a couple of things so readers understand where I am coming from.

Record retriever: Someone who will copy or scan specific records requested by a client, usually based off an 'Add to cart' option of specific, non-flexible record requests. This person may or may not have any idea how to reconstruct military histories because they specialize in pulling specific records only. Usually they do not provide context for the records or explain what they mean. Their job is to obtain records for a client only.

Full service researcher: Someone who obtains various records, customized to a client's specific needs, questions, concerns, and project, to reconstruct military service. This type of researcher provides a fully sourced research report with the documents that show military service. Often you can also request trip planning suggestions if you wish to travel in Europe in your soldier's footsteps. Some firms, like mine, have a network of tour guides and...

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Are You Exploring the Entire Military Combat Experience?

I've spent more than 20 years in the fields of genealogy/family history and military history with a focus the last decade on World War I and World War II. I taught myself a lot where genealogy was concerned and attended classes and conferences. I participated in the community's professional genealogy education. Throughout everything I studied or read, the focus was on names, dates, places, sometimes historical context, but never on exploring the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual side of family.

When I began researching in-depth both world wars, which led me to teach and write books on how to research any branch, there was no one to teach me what to do. No one in the country had written educational materials. Yes there were two very outdated books on barely researching Army service, but beyond that nothing existed. The few people who were starting to lecture on this were not going beyond the basics of "all the records burned and here are some online resources." They skimmed...

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Remembering Bernard Tom, 101st Airborne at Margraten

 

Johan and I spent Memorial Day weekend 2018, traveling from the Netherlands to Belgium, to Luxembourg, then back home through Germany. On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we attended the Netherlands American Cemetery (Margarten). Johan adopted two graves there. One is for 101st Airborne Paratrooper, Bernard (Bernie) Tom. Watch Johan tell his story and subscribe to our newsletter list to stay up to date on the book about Bernie which will be released in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, in which he jumped a couple of weeks prior to his death in the Netherlands.

Would you like help researching and telling the stories of your family's service members? Contact us to discuss a research or writing project. Be sure to also check our our online courses to learn how to navigate the records (and the 1973 Fire) and locate information.

© 2018 World War II Research and Writing Center

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Resources for WWII Travel in Europe

There are many stories of war for both World War I and World War II in Europe. We can help you Find the Answers and help you prepare to walk in the footsteps of your service member.

Explore our Quick Guides for Research & Travel

Explore our new General Quick Guides to jump start your research or plan your trip to Europe. They are available in Kindle and Paperback. Branch Specific Quick Guides.

Trip Planning

Fodor’s Travel

Liberation Route WWII Europe

Rick Steves’ Europe I have used Rick’s books to help plan my European adventures and have found them very helpful.

ViaMichelin Maps and Travel Planning

Books

  • Cavanaugh, William C.C. A Tour of the Bulge Battlefield. England: Pen and Sword, 2001.
  • Holt, Tonie and Valmai. Major and Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Operation Market Garden. England: Pen and Sword, 2012.
  • Steves, Rick. Europe Through the Back Door 2015. Berkeley: Avalon Travel, 2014.
  • Thompson, Chuck. The 25 Essential World War II Sites: European...
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