In the Works

Whoa, I have so many things in the works that I couldn’t pick just one subject to write about in this week’s post.  So please, bear with me as a ramble and tell you all that My Past Life has planned for the future!

This one may be a little short and sweet today, but I will be back to the usual blog posts next week.  I have a lot of research to do for upcoming posts and what seems like so little time.  Raising two kids on your own while your husband is deployed is hard work and time consuming.  Especially when one kid is home from school on summer break already.  But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My family is my number one priority and what brings me the most joy in my life.  That is why “My Past Life” means so much to me and I am very excited to be pursuing the story of my family history.  So, here are a few of the things we have planned for upcoming posts and projects!




This has to be the number one thing I am excited for.  As many of you will learn in a future post about the Ferguson side of my family, I have some deep roots in Scotland.  My father’s paternal side is from North Uist on the Outer Hebrides.  It is beautiful there.  Rural and natural; untouched by modern times.   I really think they still have homes with thatched roofs.  I have been slowly planning and plotting my trip there for a few months but finally decided that my husband and I will travel there next spring/summer to research my family history and also take in as many of the sites as we can.  One of my best friends will help me plan my trip.  She recently spent about 18 days gallivanting around Europe attending Cannes and filming a documentary in Spain.  I am almost planning a “backpacking” trip across Scotland so we can hit as many places as possible in the week that we will visit.   Our first stop being Edinburgh, on to Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness, Isle of Skye, North Uist, down to Oban and finishing in Glasgow.  I think we may rent a car, and drive ourselves around so we have the freedom to travel when and where we want.  I want to stay in bed and breakfasts, hit every castle on the way, ride the Harry Potter train, see the standing stones and ride the ferry from Uig to Lochmaddy to see the place where my ancestors lived and worked and raised children.  I believe I also read somewhere that the Outer Hebrides and the surrounding area has already done past research on every household on the isles and all you have to do is go to the research center.  Let us hope that this is true and all I will have to do is copy and paste.  I swear I should start a go fund me page to supply the funds for this trip, but we will make it work.  I just received my passport in the mail a few days ago and it is already burning a hole in my pocket, screaming travel and see the world!!!


 My Past Life Shop

Another adventure I am very excited for is the possible opening of a “My Past Life” related shop.  Here you will be able to purchase themed t-shirts, coffee mugs, totes and the likes.  I have come up with a few designs that I really am giddy over.  I think others interested in history and genealogy will enjoy them as well.  I am working on getting the shop up and running and getting the items made for purchase in the next few weeks.  I have always wanted to write and own my own business.  I like being free to make my own decisions and make my own schedule.  I hope that this shop will help me pursue my dreams of doing that and also allow me plenty of time for my passions and my family and friends.  I don’t want to be tied to a desk.  I want to go where I please with the people I love and show something to this world that I have done.  Leave my tiny mark and my legacy behind.  Whoa, not sure t-shirts will really do that but it’s a start.   I’ll let you know when I am about to cut the ribbon and open the shop!




I am working on doing a post on what it takes to become a certified Genealogist.  Also, different schools and websites that offer a certificate and classes to prepare people to become board certified.  It is going to be a lot of hard work and blood, sweat and I am sure what will be many tears to pass the board certification.  I plan on joining the National Genealogical Society.  They offer an at home study course that I would like to try.  There are also many resources for self-study that I would like to take a crack at before the board.  I will list some sites that offer free training and information on family history research that I will use to help me on this journey.

Top Ten

That also leads me to an upcoming post about the top ten sites that I use for my research.  I will highlight the best use of the websites that I have found in my research practices.  What has worked for me and what has been a bust.  Google can really be very helpful when trying to find an unconventional way to find a record.

23 and me
Stock photo of 23 and Me site.

DNA Project

My sister and I have always wanted to send in our DNA to find out more about our ancestry.  My cousin recently used a website called 23andMe and was sent a breakdown of her ancestry composition.  It was fascinating and I am happy she shared that with me.  So, send me that q-tip or capsule for my spit and let’s do this!  I have a prediction that it will say I am like 50 percent German.  So far in our research we have discovered many people in our family, especially on my mother’s side, have descended from Germany.  The Holt family is a prime example of this.  I plan on doing a post about my ancestors from Germany who came over and founded a little place in Virginia called Germanna.  I feel this will really shed some light on many of the information we already gathered.


There are a few places that I will be traveling to and want to travel to in the upcoming year.  This summer my family will be in Carolina Beach and I hope to make a stop in Bath, NC to learn more about Edward Teach.  My husband and I will also travel to Gettysburg to visit the battle grounds in the fall.  Ever since my post about my great, great grandfather he wants to take me to a place he fought and survived.  I would like to travel back to North Carolina to learn more about the Holt ancestry after the family left Germanna and was given land.  I would also like to travel to Pittsburg to learn more about my father’s maternal side and the secrets that holds.  Not to mention my sister and I will attend a conference in early October to learn more practices in the family history field.

Living History Project

Another project I am working on is to preserve the oral history in families by sharing other people’s stories through words and photographs.  I not only want to share my story and the story of people I know, but also be able to share your story.  This is still a work in progress but I hope to have my first post up very soon on my Instagram account.  Please follow me @ashleytillmanpics and @mypastlifeblog.

These are just a few of the things that I have planned this year.  Sounds like I have my hands full already.  I hope that you will stick with me and watch my year unfold.  I can’t wait to share my story and yours!


Thanks for reading!


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