Spotlight On... Leslie Ann Ballou

6/1/2010 1 comment(s)
Spotlight On... Leslie Ann Ballou

Leslie Ann Ballou
As many of you know Reconnected Roots is now featuring "Spotlight On...." This is the area where I spotlight one of my fellow genealogists / bloggers / researchers. You never know where the spotlight will fall, but for this month, we are in Florida.

Some of you call her Gen_Freak, (her Twitter moniker) some of you call her Leslie, but one thing we can all agree on, she has a passion for family heirlooms and treasures. So without further ado, please welcome Leslie Ann Ballou, of Lost
Family Treasures!

This past April, Leslie was kind enough to sit down with Reconnected Roots, to share some little known genealogy facts about herself. Here are excerpts from our interview.

RR: Thanks so much for agreeing to be "spotlighted"!

Leslie: Wow! I am speechless! I feel so honored that you would choose me to be your "first"!

RR: What got you interested in Genealogy?

Leslie: Looking back, I guess I would have to say that it was Grandma Smedley that planted the seed of genealogy and family history in me when I was a child.

Every time we went to her house the first thing I would do is run to the kitchen and grab a cookie out of the cookie jar, sit in front of the heater (in the winter time) and then start looking through all the photo albums.

When I would come to the old wedding picture of my Gr-Great Grandma & Grandpa Price, she would always tell me, "He used to say that you could walk the streets of London all day long and never find a more beautiful woman." I may not remember all the stories that she used to tell me about my ancestors, but that will always stick with me and I will probably pass this wonderful sentiment to my grandchildren.

Grandma had two big genealogy books that were called Books of Remembrance. They were legal paper sized. One was about her ancestry and the other was about her descendants. I was always looking at these books, and when she gave me my own book to fill I hand copied all the pedigree sheets and family group sheets from her book.

RR: What an amazing start! Did Grandma Smedley also show you the ins and outs of how she conducted her research?

Leslie: Not exactly. I was a teenager when I first went to the Latter-Day Saints family history center with my mutual classmates and that introduced me to the research part. As the years went on I would research off and on as time and circumstances would allow. It was about 1997 when I got a computer. Since then, in trying to confirm information that I inherited I found quite a few errors and wrong lineages that I had to repair.

RR: That can be extremely frustrating. How important is accuracy in this type of research?

Leslie: It is very important to be as accurate as possible, after all we don't want to be running around claiming that we are something we're not, right?. The girls in my family were all excited years ago when I told them that we were descendants of Lady Godiva. Well about a year ago I had to burst everyone's bubble when I discovered that our ARNOLD line has no proven royal connection. It was concocted in 1870 by a genealogist who just wanted to please the patron he was researching for. If I may, I would like to suggest a website that every genealogist should be aware of, especially descendants of America's first families. This site reports some of the known fraudulent genealogies. Click here to visit Genealogy Frauds.

RR: That is great information to know! Sometimes, at least in my own family, members can show reluctance or a lack of support for "drudging up the past." Has your family been supportive of your work?

Leslie: No one's against it or anything. I think mom may appreciate some of the things that I find. Everyone knows that I am the one to come to for such matters, but I don't think anyone else really cares one way or the other. Although hubby says I spend too much time on the computer which I admit, I do need to cut down. It sure would be nice to have someone in the family who truly understands and shared the importance and the passion that I have for genealogy and family history.

RR: I think that is every researcher's wish! What has been your greatest genealogy challenge?

Leslie: I think my biggest challenge has been trying to find proof and confirmation on ancestors that have been disowned by their fathers.

RR: That can be quite a challenge. Speaking of which, what other goals do you have for the remainder of 2010?

Leslie: hope to be able to get more documentation like birth certificates, death certificates, etc.

RR: In your non-genealogy time, what do you like to do?

Leslie: I love to go fishing and camping in the mountains when we can. Sadly, we haven't gone camping for about seven years because there are no mountains in Florida! It's pretty rough camping in Florida without an air conditioner.

RR: Who would YOU like to see featured next in "Spotlight On..?"

Leslie: I would like to see Luckie Daniels in one of your spotlights.

Well, there you have it. Luckie, the people have spoken. I will be checking in to see if you are up for the challenge!

Leslie, Thank you for agreeing to let us peek in at your life and sharing your time with us. You can visit Leslie at her blog, Lost Family Treasures. You can also catch her on Twitter as @Gen_Freak.

Until next time,



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