Opening Doors in Brick Walls is the result of a 25-year journey from hobby genealogist to taking the leap and becoming a genealogy blogger.
The journey began in 1992 when Cathy received a package with information on her American families. She began visiting town halls in Luxembourg gathering marriage records for each generation of her children’s Luxembourgish ancestry which makes up three-quarters of their family tree. In 2000 the internet changed the focus of her research from Luxembourg to her American ancestors. Our Meder-Dempsey Family was uploaded to RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project on 6 December 2002 and was renamed Opening Doors in Brick Walls in October 2011.
On 2 December 2012, Opening Doors in Brick Walls joined Facebook! It was a new way to share the progress and new breakthroughs being made in the family tree. The plan – to unlock the doors and give them a push if they were stuck!
Opening Doors in Brick Walls is a digital stepping stone to share and preserve her family history research. Cathy has been blogging since January 2014, sharing weekly posts on American and European ancestors, telling the stories using documentation and photos, with the focus on her families in Luxembourg and USA. As a member of Luxracines, she has written several blog posts about the genealogy excursions taken with the club. She is especially proud of her three-part post on an ancestor’s slaves as it prompted the creation of the Slave Name Roll Project which has been well received by descendants of slaves and allows descendants of slave owners to share, without shame or judgment, the documents they find with names of slaves. While writing her weekly series, Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can, she has learned about early photography and made contact with descendants of the persons featured.
Raised as a military brat, she’s lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Forty years ago, she married the man who became her best friend, photographer, coach, and father of their two grown children. When not researching, she and her husband spend time riding their racing bikes through the wonderful countryside of Luxembourg and surrounding countries. They also enjoy taking pictures of old doors seen in their travels, which gave Cathy the idea for the name of her blog.
Feel free to post comments here or on any posts of interest, get in touch by email at openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu, or by message or post to Cathy’s Facebook page.
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Updated 2 November 2017.
© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.