Showing posts from May, 2017

Snapping Stones - Tips for Photographing

Each Memorial Day when I was growing up, I’d accompany my family to tend the graves of ancestors I never knew.  Small flags stood at attention on the graves of veterans and the scent from flowers filled the air. 
My grandmother had a “cemetery box” in the trunk of her car; it contained hand clippers, a trowel, garden gloves, a rag and a paper bag.  Grandma would don the gloves and clip any tall grass growing around the stone, putting the clippings in the paper bag.  If weeds were sprouting my mom carefully pulled them out or used the trowel to remove before tossing them into the paper bag.  Finally, the stone would be wiped down.  I don’t remember seeing either spraying the stones with a cleaning product but I had usually lost interest by that time and was wandering around looking at the pictures on nearby markers.
In the older part of the cemetery where my great grandfather lay, many stones contained photos of the deceased.   Frozen in time, I was fascinated by the faces staring ou…

Preserving Your Genealogy

At the recent National Genealogical Society conference, there was a lot of chatter about preserving your genealogical records after you’re gone.  I have to disagree with those that say if you don’t cite your work it will be tossed.  I don’t know about you, but my family could care less where I find what I find.  Unless the finder has been bitten by the genealogy bug, no one will understand the importance of citing and analyzing sources. 

That said, I’m definitely in favor of following the standards.  I think you should do the right thing but that is not going to save your years of effort from other destruction by surviving family members.  I firmly believe there is only 3 ways to make sure that your research is preserved but you must plan ahead:

Donate your work locally and/or electronically so that future folks you don’t even know can benefit.  These are the people who will not value your work if you didn't follow the standards soundly.Publish now and get your work in as many hands…

Neat Ideas from the National Genealogical Society Conference

Here are a ten of my most favorite experiences, most of which were FREE, at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh:
©FamilySearch gave away #52Stories designed by @KenSikate – they are 3” x 3” cards with questions to help you get started writing your story.I think they could also be used as an icebreaker activity for a family reunion or a starting point when interviewing a relative.Visit FamilySearch for more writing ideas. ©Palatines to America had a useful handout containing a What is the Relationship? Form.If you get confused between Great Nephews and 3rd Cousin Once Removed this handy dandy template would be helpful. ©The National Archives’ (NARA) updated handout listed the links to their most used records.I sometimes get lost on their site so this “Just the Facts, Ma’am” was nice. ©NARA also hosts History Hub, an online site with blogs, discussion boards and community pages for anyone interested in history.That was news to me and a place I plan on checking out. ©Did …

DNA Plan

Had a wonderful time in Raleigh last week at the National Genealogical Society Conference!  I focused on DNA workshops as that is an area where I would like to gain more knowledge and practical experience.
My 3 favorite sessions on this topic were by Debbie Parker Wayne, Blaine Bettinger and Judy Russell.  Now that I have a rudimentary understanding, I plan on working through the book, Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Bettinger and Wayne this summer.
I also learned that the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JoGG) had been reactivated as a free peer reviewed online resource.Check it out!
Two of the major DNA players, MyHeritage and, offered conference specials but I decided to wait until Black Friday to make purchases.  My plan is to purchase kits from either or several organizations but more likely from Ancestry first since it has the larger database.  Then, I’ll download the results and upload to Family Tree DNAand Gedmatch. Hubby and I tested years ago through Ancestry – he did…

Raleigh Bound - Genealogy At Heart Hiatus

I’m off to North Carolina to attend the National Genealogical Society Conference.  I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.  If you're planning on attending friend me on the conference ap.  Traveling with a co-worker is making the trip even more fun.  I'm planning on purchasing Tom Jones’ new book that will be released there – buying that as my own Mother’s Day present.  No blog until I return.  In the meantime, Happy Hunting!

Genealogy Evolution

One of my local libraries was spring cleaning and decided to give away back issues of old magazines.  I picked up a few of Ancestry from the late 1990’s and last weekend, decided to sit outside to enjoy our beautiful weather and page through the September/October 1999, Vol. 17, No. 5 issue.  Holy Smokes did it jar me! The main feature was a story entitled “Victorian Rites of Passage” which focused on changing burial practices.  Interesting but nothing new.  In fact, I remember reading the article back in the day.  I was about to just move on to the next magazine when I decided to thumb through the rest of the issue.  Glad I did as I paused at “FamilySearch Online:  The New LDS Web Site.”  I had to stop and think for a moment.  Has it really been 18 years since FamilySearch has been active online?!  That was my go to place then and continues to be so today. Genealogy has moved by leaps and bounds since home computers became a norm and we have continued to adapt to the changes.  Prior …