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I started blogging a few years ago, mostly for genealogy purposes only. Originally I had two other blogs related to my genealogy work: my family, the Shaffer and Zirkle family and my ramblings about genealogy and history. You can see them scrolling on the main page. I have also now incorporated those blogs here at Annals of Memory, so even though I’ve left the Blog Spot page to scroll on the right, it’s all now here. I have also added pages for other families I am researching: The Sommer/Brunner families of Ohio and the Adams/Merry families of Maine. It’s a challenge to keep up with genealogy research right now but I’m doing my best, because I feel like it’s important to hone my writing skills as well as my research skills.

I’m a master’s student in Public History at Arizona State University.  I am currently working on my final applied project. My bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona was in Anthropology and Classics, where I specialized in classical archaeology. Having that  background, I have found myself working more closely with cemetery preservation in my graduate studies. My applied project work involves cemetery associations and their commitment to preservation. I’m looking at state and local laws, regulations, and requirements for preservation and how cemetery associations fit into this. The end product will be a both a thesis-length research paper and a white paper with suggestions for cemetery associations. I’m also working with a local cemetery association and undergraduate students to digitally preserve the information for those interred in the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park in Phoenix, Arizona, on a website I put together by using open source code developed by Curatescape and the Omeka platform.

I interned at the Arizona State Archives and have continued on as a contractor working on digital projects for the Arizona Memory Project. The first project I completed, The Arizona Historical Books and Periodicals Collection, can be viewed at AMP now. The second project I am still in the process of adding the metadata, and will be up soon, but it is a collection of Arizona forest maps from 1907-1945. Following that, I will be working on a collection of Railroad maps.

Besides genealogy, cemeteries, archiving, and history, I am interested in animal rescue, music, and traveling.

2 Responses to “About Me”

  1. jenifer says:

    Zirkles, Bruner, and Sommers is my family.

  2. Eric Hoffman says:

    I’m also a descendant of Solomon Shaffer/Sarah Zirkle and Abraham Zirkle/Rebeka Bennett through Jacob Weldon Shaffer, son of Reuben Shaffer and Sarah Ann Zirkle. My father, Edwin Hoffman, was born in Terre Haute and has taken me to visit the Shaffer Cemetery on several occasions. I very much appreciate your work and insights regarding our family because my twelve-year-old daughter and I are enjoying amateur genealogical research together. We live in Minnesota, so we don’t get back home all that often (I was born and grew up in Urbana), but if there is any possibility of comparing notes with you sometime, we would love it. She would get a kick out of figuring out exactly what degree of cousins we would be. All my best, Eric Hoffman (Edwin Hoffman-Lyta Marie Shaffer-Loren Orville Shaffer-Jacob Weldon Shaffer-Reuben Shaffer/Sarah Ann Zirkle, et al)

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