Cheri Hudson Passey has been researching her family and helping others get started with their research since the early 1980’s. Born in Camden, SC, her ancestors have been in the state for many generations. She is truly a “Carolina Girl”. A love of History and Genealogy has grown into a passion not only for researching names, dates, and places, but for adding flesh on the bones with family pictures, stories, and ephemera.
Cheri is the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC. Along with traditional client research, her Genealogy 1-on-1 classes provide individual and group instruction as well as coaching for all levels and needs. She also enjoys speaking and writing on the many aspects of family history.
Cheri is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, The NextGen Genealogy Network, APG-SL Chapter, The South Carolina Historical Society, The South Carolina Genealogical Society, The North Carolina Genealogical Society and several South Carolina County Genealogy Societies. She currently serves as President of the Grand Strand Genealogy Club.
Her blog, Carolina Girl Genealogy has been instrumental in connecting with and sharing information about her family and the research process.
A mother of 11 and grandmother of 15, Cheri lives in Myrtle Beach, SC where she enjoys spending time at the beach, patrolling for sea turtles and being with her family.
Go In-Depth with Cheri:
What is your saddest ancestor story?
My saddest ancestor story is the one of my paternal Grandfather, Gilbert Ernest Roberts (1920-1944) and his brothers Wilbert Lewis Roberts (1918-1944) and Edman George Roberts (1922-1943). All three served their country during WWII. Edman in the 82nd Airborne, Wilbert in the Army in Italy and Gilbert in the Marines in the South Pacific. In August of 1943 Edman's plane was shot down in the waters near Sicily. His family received a telegram letting them know he was listed as Missing In Action and then in July of 1944 the news arrived that he had been declared dead. When the Marines came ashore in Peleliu in September of 1944 my Grandfather Gilbert was among them. He survived the first few days of that bloody battle but was shot and killed on 29 September 1944. The telegram arrived with the news of his death at the beginning of October. Then after suffering the unthinkable, with two of their sons gone, a third telegram arrived just days later. Wilbert had been Killed In Action in Italy on 1 October 1944. Two other brothers, including one who had survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, were sent home for the duration of the War. The Roberts Brothers were honored during the years following WWII in their hometown of Camden, South Carolina. Today a Street and VA post are named after them and a historical marker is placed at their graves.
What is your one tip for transitional genealogists?
Get as much education and practice as possible. Although I have researched my own family for decades, there is still so much to learn when branching out to become a Professional. Personally, for me, the ProGen course has been what I needed to help me transition from a family researcher to owning my own Genealogy Business and dealing with clients. Assignments dealing with business goals and plans, marketing, and writing client reports helped get me the knowledge and confidence that I needed to fulfill my goal of becoming a Professional Genealogist.
What are your feelings about adding non-blood related lines into your research?
Today this seems to be a much-discussed topic. My ancestry lines have adopted and stepfamily lines in my generation and all along my family tree. My belief is that family is who you love and were raised with. My Step Grandfather, (it's odd to call him that because I never thought of him in that way) loved and treated me as his own is in my tree, as are his ancestors. I feel a need to research them as much as I do my "blood" lines. My Great Grandmother was said to be adopted. Working on the family of the only parents she knew and helped her become the woman she was is of utmost importance to me. As for my children. We talk of our ancestors, for they are theirs, no matter how they came into our family. They are excited to hear the story of those that came before my husband and I. These are their ancestors. The ones that provided the foundation and paved the way for all of us to become a forever family.
Do I understand the point of view of the purists? Those that want families trees to be "blood" related? Yes, I do. My DNA and those of other people in my family have been tested. Connecting with those matches and family members is exciting and important. We want to know where we come from and who we resemble. I believe that there is room for both types of families in our family tree. After all, aren't we all family? There's room for everyone.
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Cheri's Reprint Policy:
You have permission to reprint articles that have been written by Cheri Hudson Passey appearing on The In-Depth Genealogist, except any articles published in Going In-Depth, according to the following requirements are met:
- The article must be reprinted in full with no changes.
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©Cheri Hudson Passey 2016
Cheri Hudson Passey is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer and Speaker. She is the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC which provides research services as well as instruction and coaching though her Genealogy 1-on-1 classes. Born in South Carolina, Cheri has roots in the state for many generations. Her blog Carolina Girl Genealogy has helped tell the story of these ancestors and her research process.
Cheri Hudson Passey writes the Modus Operandi column for Going In-Depth Magazine.
This article originally appeared on The In-Depth Genealogist and can be found here. [insert original link]