Friday, December 28, 2012

Review of Blog Stats for 2012

I find it interesting to review my blog stats and see what posts resonated with my visitors. Below are the top 3 posts viewed from 2012. If you missed them the first time around, here is an opportunity to catch up.


Audience demographics is another very, very interesting blog statistic that continues to befuddle me. My page views by country are:
  1. United States
  2. Russia
Why Russia? I have no idea. I have no Russian heritage, although I would love to find out differently. I have mentioned Moscow in 1 post out of 571 posts. To my knowledge that is the only reference to anything remotely related to Russia on my blog. I'm not complaining, I'm just very curious about this. So if you are reading this post from Russia, Hello! I'm glad you stopped by.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Dear Ancestry.com

Dear Ancestry.com,

I have a request to make and I am sure, no, I am positive I'm not alone in this request. I would like for you to craft a campaign to increase user adoption of your Member Connect feature. While you may feel that the adoption rate among your membership is sufficient to justify its existence I, personally, am not feeling the love. This situation continues to cause me undue anxiety and I hope with your intervention this anxiety can be lessened. 

I send messages to most Member Connect users that have trees matching mine for multiple generations and appear to have their facts straight. The problem arises when they simply do not reply. Why don't they reply? Do they not see that they are getting messages? Do they not know how to reply? Do they not realize their identity and email addresses are hidden from me and have nothing to fear? Could it be they think Member Connect is some kind of social media mumbo jumbo?

Generally I am a pretty likable person so this non-response bothers me. I also have 11 years of research to share with others. All I'm asking for is a little collaboration to further our research. So you can see and surely understand my befuddlement over this situation. 

I often see you tweet "what can Ancestry.com do better?" and then you ask me to click a link to provide my feedback. Well here you have it, this is my feedback. I love everything about your site and your product. Oh no, wait...could you make it easy for me to print all 417 items in my Shoebox to PDF? 

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to a speedy resolution. 

Sincerely,

Jenna

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blog Caroling Celebrate Me Home


This is a rewind carol from Blog Caroling 2009. This is still my favorite Christmas song and offers fitting wishes for many this week.


Following footnoteMaven's lead, here is my blog caroling post.




Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins

Home for the holidays
I believe I've missed each and every face
Come on and play my music
Let's turn on every love light in the place

It's time I found myself
Totally surrounded in your circles
Whoa, my friends

Please, celebrate me home
Give me a number,
Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song
That I'll always remember
And I can recall
Whenever I find myself all alone
I can sing me home

Uneasy highway
Travelin where the Westerly winds can fly
Somebody tried to tell me
But the men forgot to tell me why

I gotta count on being gone
Come on woman, come on daddy
Be what you want from me
I'm this strong I'll be weak

Please, celebrate me home
Give me a number
Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song
That I'll always remember
I can recall
Whenever I find myself too all alone
I can make believe I've never gone
I never know where I belong
Sing me home

Please, celebrate me home
Give me a number
Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song

Celebrate, Celebrate
Celebrate, Celebrate
Celebrate, Celebrate
Celebrate me home

Please, celebrate me home
Please, celebrate me home
Well I'm finally here
But I'm bound to roam
Come on celebrate me home
Well I'm finally here
But I'm bound to roam
Come on celebrate me home
Well I'm finally here
But I'm bound to roam
Come on celebrate me home
Please, celebrate me home
Please, celebrate me home
Please, celebrate me home
Please, celebrate me home

Sunday, December 16, 2012

GHLL Resources Belgium & Belize Updated




Genealogy and History Data Updates December 17 - December 24, 2012.

The domestic, international, surname and state pages are updated. Be sure to visit our International Gateway page. We have amassed a large collection of resources for research across the globe.







Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blogging for Cousins? How about blogging for help?


Often genealogy and family history bloggers refer to their blog posts as "cousin bait." In other words, the blogger is trying to leverage the power of search and social media to catch the attention of potential cousins with a few well chosen keywords in their posts. It works very well, I've had cousins and other researchers working on the same family line find me through my blog and that is a rewarding feeling.

While I do hope my blog finds new cousins, I'm not opposed to leveraging the power of search and social media for some good, old fashioned help! This approach can work equally if not better than using your blog as bait.

I will post about a particular ancestor or challenge I am facing in my research and ask straight up "does anyone have any suggestions?" I can't think of one post that someone, from somewhere didn't offer to help, make a suggestion or point me in the right direction. The help doesn't just fall into your lap, it can take some time but it's usually always worth the wait.

There is no shame in asking for help, we are all in this together. Just remember to pay that help forward.

Monday, December 3, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates




Genealogy and History Data Updates December 3 - December9, 2012.

The domestic, international, surname and state pages are updated. Be sure to visit our International Gateway page. We have amassed a large collection of resources for research across the globe.







Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review and Thank You to the 2012 GHLL Guest Bloggers


The GHLL (Genealogy and History Links Library) had a big year in 2012. Increased website traffic and interest in the site saw a definite improvement causing much excitement among the volunteers who maintain the site.

A large part of that increased traffic was due to our guest bloggers for the "Branching Out" newsletter. Please take a moment to review the topics, they are so varied I'm sure there is something that will catch your attention.

We appreciate each and every blogger's submission. Thanks for adding life to our newsletter.

Monday, November 19, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates




Genealogy and History Data Updates November 19 - November 26, 2012.

The domestic, international, surname and state pages are updated.


No updates next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.






Sunday, November 18, 2012

Need A Plan For The Irish Conlin Family

I've spent several years looking for the birthplace of Martin Conlin only to be at the same place I started...Roscommon Ireland, possibly. That's what I know, that's all I know and try as I might I've not been able to narrow that location down to a town or parish.

I've been doing what the books and research guides say to do; find as much information in U.S. records first. The main goal in that being the potential for a U.S. record mentioning the birth location of the individual in Ireland. Another goal is the possibility of finding the location in Ireland through a siblings or parents information.


I have collected several significant documents pertaining to Martin's life within the U.S.

  • County court index entry stating his first papers for citizenship were filed in July 21,1856 in Cuyahoga County Ohio
  • County court index entry for first papers state he arrived in the U.S. in March 1855
  • Marriage record from October 27, 1856 in Cuyahoga County Ohio
  • Naturalization document giving Oath of Allegiance October 27,1860 in Audrain County Missouri, witness John O'Dowd
  • Census records for 1860-1880 in Audrain & Linn Counties Missouri
  • Will dated March 9, 1896 in Missouri, witness John O'Dowd
  • Tombstone b: December 12, 1828 County Roscommon Ireland, d: April 28, 1896 Linn County Missouri. Burial in Linn County Missouri
  • Obituary May 2, 1896 in Linn County Missouri
  • Certificate of Probate dated July 19, 1897 in Linn County Missouri

The tombstone is the only piece of evidence that specifically states County Roscommon as Martin's place of birth. All other items state Ireland. None of the documents contain or make reference to parents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc. I have the obituaries for Martin's wife, Ellen and one of his children, Michael. Both state that Martin was from Ireland. 

So...what's a genealogist to do? I will continue to look for documents created with Martin's wife and children in hopes of finding some other nugget of detail. I also need to search for John O'Dowd. John was the witness to Martin's Oath of Allegiance and his Will; perhaps they knew each other before arriving in the U.S.

Is there anything I'm missing? Some glaring detail that I should be looking for that I'm not? I would love to hear from anyone that has any suggestions.


Monday, November 12, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates




Genealogy and History Data Updates November 12 - November 18, 2012.

As always the domestic, international, surname and state pages are updated.

Be sure to visit the Branching Out page to read a variety of posts from ten of my favorite Geneabloggers.





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Putting Our Ancestors into Historical Context for Fun

We hear it time and time again...put your ancestor into their historical context. Learn about the area they lived and what was going on in their world at that time. Having that frame of reference is helpful to researchers in many ways. A researcher can gain clues as to where to look and not to look for their ancestor and why. Additionally, it helps us to form an appreciation for our ancestors lives. Knowing the historical context can also bring fun and  excitement to your research...which can get a little tedious now and then.

I've been following #ripperlive on Twitter these last few months. One of my Twitter friends, Gavin, posts tweets detailing the murders committed around the Whitechapel area of London in 1888 and the investigation of such. Some of the posts are very intense (and gruesome) it's almost like watching a soap opera unfold with Jack The Ripper as the star.

So, just imagine my excitement when I found my GGGrandfather, Henry Brimson, in the 1841 English census living in Whitechapel! I immediately hit Twitter with an "OMG my ancestor was in Whitechapel! #ripperlive" or something to that effect. What ensued was a chase with three of my Twitter friends (@gavmr, @archivalbiz and @susmithjosephy) to decipher the name of the street Henry lived on in Whitechapel, trying figuring out where it was physcially located and determine if there was anything still there today. It was fun, it was exciting and it really was genealogical research!

My excitement did dim as I realized that Henry died in 1848 and his family moved to the US in 1850. That meant my ancestors were not around at the time Jack was on his reign of terror in that area. Just as my excitement started to dim though I also felt a profound sense of relief. Since Henry died in 1848 there was no way HE could BE Jack the Ripper either!!! While I would love to find an exciting ancestor...The Ripper is not who I have in mind. :)







Monday, October 15, 2012

The GHLL's October Blogger of the Month


The Genealogy and History Links Library's October Blogger of the Month is Deb Ruth, one of my Twitter "favs".

Be sure to check out her blog Adventures in Genealogy as well as her guest post in the GHLL newsletter Branching Out.

Thank you for your support, Deb!

Musings On A Munday What Could An Author Do

 

MC900384040 Let’s say a genealogist authors a book on a subject related to genealogy research. The book is a how-to book, not a case study. What does the author want the reader to do with the book?

  1. Buy it
  2. Read it
  3. Recommend it
  4. Talk about it
  5. Hire author to speak about it

More could be added to the list, but this seems like a good top five list of what an author would want. Now I wonder what the author could do to increase the number of times these five things happen? Obviously advertising in various ways online and offline are options. Also, depending on whether you self-published or hired a publisher your options would vary.

For the sake of this musing, let’s assume that you are an author that has self-published a book and you have limited advertising dollars. What could you do to increase the opportunities of 1-5 happening? What if 6 & 7 were added to the list?

  1. Buy It
  2. Read it
  3. Recommend it
  4. Talk about it
  5. Hire author to speak about it
  6. Market book to small genealogy libraries to use as a book club topic
  7. Market book to small genealogy societies to use as a monthly meeting topic

The first objection I can see to this is “but that will limit the authors opportunity to present the book themselves, either in person or in a webinar format.” Potentially that could interfere with speaking engagements, however, there are a number of small libraries and societies that will simply never hire the author due to lack of funds. Does the author simply write that audience off? That, to me, looks like a missed opportunity.

What if the author actively encouraged the use of their book in this fashion? What if on the back flap of the book they added to the standard about me information?

  • Contact Me
  • Visit my website
  • Read my blog
  • Buy these other books
  • Book me to speak
  • Purchase learning guide for libraries and societies

What would be in the learning guide? Copyright details should be front and center, with something like: “You can talk about my book all you want while giving me all the credit for the ideas but don’t you dare copy pages and distribute them. “If your audience would like to purchase a book of their own, here is a coupon for 10% off.” The author could then list key points they feel are highlights in each chapter and maybe explain in detail any concepts that are particularly difficult. It wouldn’t have to be a long, lengthy study guide. The point is to get the library or society to contact you and pay you for permission to present your book.

I could go on and on with this entire topic, getting into co-branding, ambassadors etc. but I won’t do that here. My point is the fact that this isn’t a “potential” missed opportunity, it “is” a missed opportunity. Why? Because I will bet that somebody, somewhere is doing exactly what I’m suggesting, using somebody else’s book to teach a class. Can you as an author police all the uses of your works? No, you can’t, so look at this as another option in controlling your brand, mitigating missed opportunities and expanding your audience.

I’m interested to hear if some authors are doing this or have tried and it simply didn’t work.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bold Ambitions for The Genealogy Event

The Genealogy Event & Bridget Bray 09/05 by janeewilcox | Blog Talk Radio

Jane Wilcox interviewed Bridget Bray from The Genealogy Event in her September 5th, 2012 episode of the forget-me-not hour. The Genealogy Event will be held October 26-27, 2012 in New York City.

Bridget has an interesting story of how she came to be interested in genealogy and how she tapped into her background in the exhibiting industry to make this event happen. Be sure to listen to how she differentiates between an event and a conference.

For this first year Bridget is projecting 1,500 attendees for the event! Is that simply bold ambition or is she turning the genealogy conference on its ear, doing something radically different and focusing on engagement?

Last month Thomas MacEntee posted "Can We Get Real About Genealogy Conference Attendance Numbers?" If you view the comments you will see many stating the need for a change in how genealogy conferences are structured. Bridget's model is different from what we have come to expect, is this what the we are after? It will be interesting to see the outcome and I certainly hope the event is a success.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Genealogy Speed Dating as a Focus Group


Listen to internet radio with mysociety on Blog Talk Radio

I am an avid podcast listener, I've blogged about this before. Not only do I listen to podcasts in the genealogy genre, I listen to podcasts on various subjects. After a time you start to feel like you know the podcaster. You will also find that there are some you like more than others and some you can not tolerate at all. I now have my "must listen" to list as well as my "listen to until the must list publishes another podcast" list.

On my must listen to list is FGS Radio - My Society presented by the Federation of Genealogy Societies. No, I am not a society or a board member of any society. I am your average "Jane Genealogist" that has a mind that never shuts down and constantly wants new input. I've blogged about this as well, I enjoy the learning process of genealogy as much as the doing process.

FGS Radio is marketed toward helping genealogy societies better themselves. And...let's be honest here...some of them really need the help! While I do enjoy all of the FGS Radio episodes, some of them tend to speak to me louder than others and the latest podcast is one of them.

In this episode Randy Whited talks with John Sabol on the topic of Roundtable Programs and John coined the phrase "Speed Dating for Genealogists". I love it! What has captured my attention so fully with this episode is the possibility of engagement. Yes, genealogists love to attend lectures and apply what they have learned but we also love to talk about our process, success and failures. What better place than at a table full of like-minded individuals?

Not only do I think this is a great idea for societies but for libraries as well. How many times has your local library system presented "Beginning Genealogy - Let's Get Started"? Too many times, if you ask me, but people still attend even if they are not beginners. Why? Because they want to be with like-minded people even if they are talking about the same topic over and over again.

The real gem of this interview is the opportunity for societies and libraries to use these roundtables as focus groups. This is where you will hear directly from your members and patrons what it is they are interested in. Then you can drop Genealogy 101 to just once a year and add programs that are truly sought after.

Thank you to Randy and John for an entertaining interview and to the FGS for continually publishing quality podcasts.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Branching Out October 1st

The GHLL site has been proud to host such a wonderful group of guest authors in our Branching Out newsletter during 2012. As with the first nine installments, October's newsletter is from another talented Geneablogger, Jennifer Shoer at The Scrappy Genealogist.

Be sure to read "Would Pooh Have Made a Good Genealogist?" It provides a creative analogy of what we do in genealogy.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates




Genealogy and History Data Updates October 1 - October 7, 2012.

What do we have in the way of updates for this week? We have something for everyone.


  • Surnames...updated!
  • Broken Links...updated!
  • Domestic Resources...updated!
  • International Resources...updated!
  • Miscellaneous Pages...updated!
  • Seeking Surnames...updated!





Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Family Coat of Arms...Or Not

You think you purchased your Family Coat of Arms at your local Irish Festival this year? Maybe not. Dick Eastman posted a very comprehensive overview of exactly what constitutes a Coat of Arms.


Another Instance of Bogus "Family Coats of Arms"

"I had to laugh. This morning I received an email message from a company asking me to review their new iPhone app for "Irish Family History." Normally, I would be glad to do so; but, as I read the remainder of the email message, I changed my mind. It appears this app displays so-called family information that contains fairy tales." Read more...

I know how tempting it is to purchase these types of items. Just be sure you understand what it is and is not that you are buying.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates September 17 - September 23, 2012.

Updates to surnames, domestic and international resources. Also updates to Disease Names as commonly found on death certificates.




Saturday, September 15, 2012

GHLL's September Blogger of The Month


The Genealogy and History Links Library's September Blogger of the Month is Leslie Ann.

Be sure to check out her blog Ancestors Live Here as well as her guest post on the GHLL newsletter Branching Out.

Thank you for your support, Leslie!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Ancestor Finder and The Genealogy Student

Randy Seaver at Gena-Musings posted a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge in response to a post by Lorine McGinnis, "What Type of Genealogist Are You?"

Lorine did a good job of laying out the categories that a majority of genealogists fall into. I belong in The Ancestor Finder category. I am in this for myself. I do research my husband's family and I will help a cousin out from time to time, but my genealogy world mostly revolves around me.

If I were to set goals on the type of genealogist I would aspire to be, I would want to work towards being The Planner and The Analyzer. Genealogy is a hobby that can consume all of your free time.  If I worked on my research planning more I know I would be able to use my research time more efficiently. If I was a better Analyzer, I would realize I already have that information on another document, I just failed to capture it.

"What Type of Genealogist Are You?" is also a great segue into something I've been thinking about over the last few weeks. The category that has most completely describes my genealogy life isn't listed, so I will add it here...The Student. If I were to track the time I spend reading, watching or listening about how to do genealogy, it would be more than the actual "doing" time.

Is that good or bad? In my case its neither good or bad because I find that I am enjoying the learning as much as the doing. And there is not a thing wrong with learning! So that is me, I am an Ancestor Finder and a Genealogy Student.










Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates August 27 - September 2, 2012.

More updates! Our webmaster, Bob, and the fantastic group of contributors we have keep bringing you more new and updated data. Happy Ancestor Hunting!




Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GTD and Genealogy? Yes!

Getting Things Done aka GTD is a productivity methodology outlined in the best-selling book by the same name. The books author, David Allen, presents the concept and steps to organize your life for stress-free living.

The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow, covered in the book are:

  1. Collection
  2. Processing
  3. Organizing
  4. Reviewing
  5. Doing
I've been working toward GTD nirvana for six months now, which I understand is nothing. It's not uncommon for people to spend a year or more getting their system "down" so that it becomes routine. 

I've read the GTD book once and listened to the audio version as well. I follow GTD blogs, listen to GTD podcasts and participate in GTD groups on various social media platforms. To date, my GTD application has been at work. However, the more I look at the five steps, the more I see this workflow applying to genealogy research.
  1. Collection - gathering all your "stuff" into one place. Documents, photos, books, emails etc.
  2. Processing - what do you need to do with the "stuff"? Scan it, read it, file it, share it?
  3. Organizing - if you need to read it, where does it go? if you need to scan it, do you have a scan folder? Do you need to scan it before you read it? What is the next step?
  4. Reviewing - What needs to be done first? What is your next action? Does it need to be a project? If you have 4, 500+ pg county histories to read...that may need to be a project.
  5. Doing - Scan it, File it, Read it
Isn't this what we as genealogist do? I think David Allen is a closet genealogist! I wonder if he knows it? I would love to hear from any other genealogists who have applied GTD to their research process.




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates August 20 - August 26, 2012.

The "Y" surnames have been updated, see if one of them is yours.

Also, this week's Splash Page photo is exceptionally beautiful. If you would like to submit a photo, please do!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Musings On A Munday Recruiting for Genealogy Societies

Do genealogy societies recruit for board and director positions? Do they approach current members about positions and hope they can "fit" the role they need filled?

If a company needs a computer programmer, they are going to hire a computer programmer, right? They will place the ad in places that computer programmers frequent to insure the ad gets in front of the right people. If a genealogy society is in need of a newsletter editor, are they getting that message in front of people with that type of experience? Is the assumption made that if they don't belong to the society or hold genealogy as a hobby they wouldn't be interested?

What has me wondering about this is I recently saw a person listed as the PR Director for a genealogy society. I looked the person up on LinkedIn (and asked someone who knew him personally, it's a small world ya know) and saw no reference to PR in their current or past positions, nor did they list PR as an expertise or interest. So why is that person now the PR Director? I know it's possible that this person did have PR experience, but for whatever reason doesn't publish that information. It's also entirely possible this was the only person that would accept the position.

I believe it's more likely that the society chose to make the position known only to it's current membership, newsletter subscribers and those in genealogy circles. Perhaps they didn't consider that many professionals are willing to volunteer in order to get that experience added to their resume. If you publish a newsletter, you are publishing a newsletter. It doesn't matter if you are getting paid or not, that gets added to the resume as experience.

How much due diligence does your society perform when looking to fill board or director positions? Have you ever been recruited for a volunteer position from a group or organization that you were not a part of?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates August 13 - August 19, 2012.

Marian, Paula & Charles have spent hours locating and correcting broken links on the site. Please let us know if you find one.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Social Networking for Genealogy Societies

This topic applies to more than just genealogy societies. Any member society can benefit from the use of social media.

Note: there is 6 minutes of audio before the video starts.


Social Networking for Genealogy Societies from FGS Genealogy on Vimeo.

Chimani

Chimani :: Apps for the Outdoors and National Parks

This is a great app to use when traveling or even around your home area. Chimani not only helps you find National Parks, Parkways, Historic Sites and National Seashores, it can direct you to Battlefields as well. That might come in very handy on a genealogical research trip!

Chimani is more than just a map though, it provides information, photos and links directly to the locations website, if they have one. You can also mark the areas you have visited with the date. I found this app a little over a year ago and love it.


Food Family History: Cooking with the Toastite by GenealogyGems




Food Family History: Cooking with the Toastite


Visit http://www.genealogygems.com for more culinary family history with Lisa Louise Cooke. Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 137 for more with Gena Philibert Ortega. Please leave a comment about your Toas-tite! And be sure to share this video with your friends and family! Support the free podcast by using the links on our website if you decide to pick up Genas book or the cool retro Toas-tite.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates August 6 - August 12, 2012.

Updates to domestic and international research links.


Life After iGoogle with Netvibes via Genealogy Gems

Lisa Louise Cooke has published a tutorial on how to convert your iGoogle page to Netvibes. If you haven't heard, iGoogle will cease to exist November 1, 2013. You have a little time, but with such a great alternative in Netvibes, why wait?

Friday, August 3, 2012

German Research with Roger Minert

If you are in the Kansas City Metro Area and have German ancestors, you will not want to miss Rogert Minert. The Johnson County (KS) Genealogical Society is hosting A Day of German Research with Roger Minert on October 27, 2012.

I heard Roger speak at a past MoSGA conference and he is fantastic. Roger is a professor at BYU and an expert in German research. After listening to three sessions with Roger, I was able to apply what he taught us, use the tools he directed us to and I found the village in Baden that my father's family is from.

Roger is a high caliber speaker and I am looking forward to hearing him again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates July 30 - August 5, 2012.

Don't miss the August edition of Branching Out. You will learn about the Secret World of Smartphones and Genealogy with Caroline Pointer of 4 Your Family Story.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

London Ancestors? This Guide May Help


The chart below caught my eye as I have London Ancestors. I have not tried to research those ancestors, but with this guide I may give it a try. Thank you to EOGN for highlighting this Guide from the FamilySearch Research Wiki.


The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com. 


July 29, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Musings On A Munday Who Speaks To You

Why is it that some ancestors call to us more than others? Do you gravitate to one particular line more than another? Do you call yourself "German" or "Irish" even though you have just as many English or French ancestors?

Who speaks to you? My father's paternal line, the Baudermann's, speak the loudest to me. I never met any of the Baudermann's. I never knew I had Baudermann relatives to wonder about. After my father died, I found a court document showing a name change and that's how I found out that my maiden name should have been Baudermann.

I think that's why they speak to me the loudest. They are the true unknown. No, I didn't know all my other lines (like the SMITHS!) but I knew "of" them. I knew they were there. The Baudermann's are this mysterious group of people from Klepsau, Baden Germany that settled in Newark, New Jersey.

My hope is, that when I start finding living descendants of the Bauderman line, that they will speak to me, as our ancestors do.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates July 16 - July 27, 2012.



  • Pfeiffer, Phebus, Pierson or Pleshe in your tree? We have updated links for them.
  • Website of the week: The Poorhouse Story





Saturday, July 7, 2012

Conference Buzz Replay

The post below was originally published way back in July of 2009! Since then I have attended two Family History Expos, two MoSGA State Conferences (my third will be next weekend) and Roots Tech.

My thoughts and opinions outlined in my 2009 post still hold true today...even more so. To me the biggest takeaways from any good conference are energy, focus, ideas and the "buzz". Are conferences a good value? I don't think you can put a price on the value of recharging yourself be it personally or professionally. I would never discourage someone from attending a conference at least once. Are there conferences on my list that I would not attend again? Yes, but I am looking forward to attending additional conferences in the future.



THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2009

Conference Buzz!

In the past week I have listened to two podcasts that shared their experience at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. There have been blog posts, tweets and Facebook entries on this same subject. The unanimous consensus is the Jamboree was a huge hit!! There were great speakers, an exhibit hall packed with vendors and a conference full of strangers that left as friends. Attendees were energized and ready to attack their brick walls with newly learned research strategies.

I attended the NGS Annual Conference in 2008. I had a full schedule everyday trying to attend as many sessions as possible. It was a great experience, I met people from all over the country and found some great conference-only deals in the exhibit hall! The one-on-one interaction with other attendees and speakers was my favorite part. I gained valuable insight on how to approach some conflicting documents that had stopped me in my tracks on one family line.

Could I have achieved the same educational value on the Internet? Possibly. There are webinars, You Tube videos, Facebook groups and many online genealogy communities. I could have read an ebook or watched a video on tips for research in public libraries. My research challenges could have been posted on any number of online forums and I would have received many quality answers. What I couldn't get was the energy a traditional conference generates. When you are at a conference with several hundred other people who have the same passion for genealogy as you do there is a buzz and it energizes you. There is a high level of excitement that provides new fuel to your desire to find that elusive census record or ship’s passenger list. You can’t get that same level of excitement through the Internet. Once you have attended one conference you will want to attend more to maintain that energy level.

In August, I will attend the Missouri State Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in Jefferson City. I can’t wait to get my conference buzz!



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Have An Idea? Make a Plan and Act on It!

 I have ideas rattling around in my head, just waiting to get out. Blog ideas, research ideas, scrapbooking ideas, work ideas etc. What is my usual approach to all my ideas? I share them, I talk about them, I start planning around them and I act on a few of them. Yes, I'm an idea sharer first and an idea actor last.

Sharing of ideas is fine, collaboration is great especially if someone else is better suited to act on that idea. I know my limitations, I know my time constraints, I know my strengths and weaknesses. (You have all "SWOTed" yourself, right?) I know the areas I should and should not focus on...most of the time. Sometimes...I'm just lazy. Sometimes...I put way too much thought into it. Sometimes, instead of just acting I want to create a flowchart, identify potential outcomes and compare similarities to what others are doing etc. I am actually SWOTing everything and generally over SWOTing! As a result my actions are fewer than they should be.

I have another blog I want to start on tumblr. I have the title and layout picked out and have begun collecting the content. This idea came to mind five months ago. What's the hang up? Why am I still in the planning stage? To be honest, it's information overload! I follow so many blogs that give advise on how to properly start, manage and maintain a blog. So instead of publishing my new blog I'm trying to read everything I can find on how I should do it. I'm busy searching to make sure nobody else is doing something too similar. I am not acting on an idea, that is very exciting to me because I'm worried about doing it just right. I'm not saying to not plan and prepare. I'm saying by all means, plan, prepare and then do! Don't get stuck in the planning and preparation for longer than needed. At some point, pull the trigger and get on with it.

Are you considering starting a blog? Are you worried if you should or shouldn't post that article? Are you nervous about asking that question in a forum? Are you worried about suggesting to your genealogy society a new way of doing things? Why are you worried? Who cares? That's what ideas are...they are ideas! They don't have to be successful, they don't have to be right, they don't have to be accepted by everyone. Ideas generate conversation and even better ideas. If you have an idea you believe in, don't wait, make a plan and ACT ON IT!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Podcasts To Expand Your Horizons Which Ones

In my post of June 3, 2012 Podcasts To Expand Your Horizons I promised to provide a list of podcasts I listen to and point out some of my favorite episodes.

As I stated in my previous post, I listen to podcasts in various ways and those "podcasts" can be published and accessed using various services. For my purposes, I'm lumping podcasts, Blog Talk Radio shows and Radio shows published on Blog Talk Radio into one bucket...podcasts. If this confuses anyone, I will be glad to explain the differences, just drop me a comment or an email.

Also, I hope I don't disappoint anyone but I'm not going to pick favorites or give a top 10 list. My favorites change depending on the episode. I will however, list a few that have been very beneficial to my research and just plain enjoyable to listen to.

  • Genealogy Gems - Hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke
    • I listen to the free as well as the Premium versions of Lisa's podcast. Lisa has wonderful interviews as well as great how-to tips, or "gems". What I enjoy so much about the GGems podcast is that Lisa is able to explain processes so well that I have no problem following along. That's saying something as I'm not generally an auditory learner, I have to see it. Must listen to episodes: Episodes 89 & 90 with Dr. Robert Leonard.
  • The Genealogy Guys - Hosted by Drew Smith and George Morgan
    • This was the first podcast I had ever listened to. These two guys are so enjoyable and so knowledgeable about genealogy. I particularly like the Listener Email portion of their show. Drew & George do their best to try and help the listener who writes in with a question. In the process they are educating the rest of us along the way.
  • Your Ancestors Stories - Hosted by Jane E. Wilcox
    • I started listening to Jane's show in the last six months and am fast becoming addicted. The Forget Me No hour is generally a one hour interview with a guest which allows for real in-depth questions and conversation. A don't miss episode is with David Rambo, the former producer of the hit TV show CSI. 
  • My Society - Hosted by the Federation of Genealogical Societies
    • This show is addresses issues that Genealogy societies encounter. Actually, it's much more than addressing issues, they are also providing guidance, generating ideas, discussing stumbling blocks and sharing case studies. I am, obviously, not a genealogical society, nor am I a board member of any society. However, the value this program bring goes beyond genealogical societies and can be applied to any type of member society.
In addition to these genealogy related podcasts I listen to several that are productivity related shows. Visit the iTunes podcast section or Blog Talk Radio and perform a search on whatever topic it is that interests you. There is a good chance there is a podcast about it.

I hope you have a chance to listen to the podcasts I've mentioned, I think you will enjoy them. If you have a particular podcast you enjoy, leave a comment. I am always looking to add to my podcast library.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

GHLL Weekly Updates



Genealogy and History Data Updates June 11 - June 17, 2012.

  • Updates to "S" surnames
  • Updated links for Tennessee, Texas, Utah & Vermont
  • Guest post by Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana in Branching Out

Monday, June 4, 2012

Musings On A Munday Too Clever

I thought I was being clever, but maybe I am too clever for my own good?


It bugs me to no end that other researchers take documents from my Ancestry.com tree and add it to their own without contacting me. I know it's out there in the public and they are within their rights to add the document to their tree. That's not my issue with this situation. My issue is with the missed opportunity. Genealogy is an extremely time consuming endeavor, I can't afford the opportunity cost of not contacting potential cousins with potential brick wall busters.

I don't put all my documents on my public tree, I pick a few key ancestors and put a document or two out there as bait. My hope is that others will take the document and then contact me. I currently have 7 outstanding emails I've sent after finding documents on other's trees. I'm hoping their replies will be positive, that my family lines expand through the communication and I won't have to duplicate work.

Randy Seaver recently posted about this topic on his blog Geneamusings. I commented on his post, referring to a post I created along a similar vein last year and sharing my latest tactic shown above. This probate document for Samuel Gilpin is FULL of valuable information, including the married names of his daughters and property descriptions. I added the text boxes and the note in hopes of encouraging a potential cousin to contact me. So far, I've not been contacted, but neither has anyone downloaded the image. Ancestry Member Connect shows 10 other researchers with Samuel in their tree.

I could be cutting my nose off to spite my face in this situation. If people do add my documents to their tree, I see that and can contact them. Without the download I don't even have that option. I think I will run a test by putting the un-redacted image up for a week and see if that stimulates any activity. Maybe that will answer the question of if I'm being too clever for my own good.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Podcasts To Expand Your Horizons





I've been listening to podcasts for about five years and I love them. I have a 45 minute commute to and from work each day and I fill it with podcasts on various subjects, the majority of which have been genealogy related. Recently though, I have started to branch out and expand my listening topics. For this post I am using the term "podcasts" to encompass actual podcasts, Blog Talk Radio shows and radio shows that are later published on Blog Talk Radio.




I access the podcasts in one of four ways.
  1. Download from iTunes to my iPod
  2. Listen through a podcast dedicated app
  3. Listen through the Blog Talk Radio App on my phone
  4. Download mp3 directly from the site to my phone (Android)
I have tried using the BeyondPod app, but I didn't have much luck with it. The Blog Talk Radio app doesn't always work the best, but I've learned to accept it's quirks. My iPod is a first generation video iPod with the turn wheel...yeah an antique that is ready to retire. The episodes I download to my phone I delete after listening as to not use up all my memory space.

I do notice a difference in audio quality, depending on the podcast, the method I use to download and how I choose to listen. You will need to experiment to see what method works best for you depending on your equipment. My favorite scenario is downloading the episode to my phone. My car has Sync, so I can use Bluetooth to listen to the podcast, from my phone, over my car speakers. This gives me the best sound quality and volume control.

In a subsequent post I will talk more about the podcasts I listen to and list a few must listen to episodes.






Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day 2012 Remembering Those Who Served


I visited Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2011. When I turned the first corner after entering the gate, I was immediately awestruck. Seeing row upon row of white stones is a humbling experience. I encourage everyone to visit a National Cemetery if they have the chance.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GHLL Blogger of the Month Randy Seaver


The Genealogy and History Links Library's May Blogger of the Month is Randy Seaver.

Be sure to check out Randy's blog Genea-Musings as well as his guest post on the GHLL newsletter Branching Out.

Thank you for your support, Randy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Updates at GHLL



Genealogy and History Data Updates May 14 - May 20, 2012.


Our featured Website of the Week is the Homestead National Monument of America!

May 20, 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Homestead Act. The original document is on display at the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice, Nebraska until May 28, 2012.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mary Is Mine 2012 Research Goals Update

My 2012 goals for research and genealogical related activities are detailed in this post. I had three main goals for 2012.

1. Create a research plan and prove my relationship to Mary Smith Evingham
2. Attend one local genealogy society or event each quarter in 2012
3. Post more comments to other bloggers on their blog itself no on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

How am I progressing? Well, I'm doing better in some areas than others.

For goal number one much, MUCH progress and success in this area! I created a research plan and spent time focusing on what I knew in order to direct my research efforts, and it worked. I knew these names: Mary Smith, Mary Evingham, Rebecaa Smith, Rebecca Gilpin, Thomas N. Smith and Una Evingham. I also knew they had connections to two places: Avoca Township in Livingston County Illinois and the village of Amherst in Buffalo County Nebraska. My approach was to find these people together on documents in both places showing a family connection.
1885 Marriage index entry for Mary Smith and William Robertson
Parents J N Smith and Rebecca Gilpin
1895 Family Search index of Mary Smith Robertson marriage to William Eveningham (Evingham)
Parents T. N. Smith and Rebecca Gilpin
I've found census records, marriage records, death records, land records, probate records and county histories in both Buffalo County Nebraska and Livingston County Illinois relating to the Smith/Evingham family. I have attached a few images of those documents to this post for visual interest. To my satisfaction, I believe that Mary Smith Robertson Evingham is the mother of my grandmother, Una Evingham. To my satisfaction, I believe that Thomas N. Smith and Rebecca Gilpin Smith of Livingston County Illinois are Mary's parents.


1910 Amherst Town, Grant Township, Buffalo County, NE

From 1909 Probate File of Thomas N. Smith in Livingston County Illinois, which contained the will of
Rebecca Gilpin Smith. This section lists the names of Rebecca's children as heirs.


However, I know we are supposed to complete and utterly exhaustive search.  Or is that reasonably exhaustive? :)  While I feel I've been more than reasonable with this very unreasonable and uncooperative family I know I can do more. I am still searching for additional birth, death and a potential divorce record. Until I find additional documentation that causes me to question what I've found I'm ready to claim this family as mine.
From a Buffalo NE County History stating that
Thomas and Rebecca Smith of Livingston County Illinois
purchased land in Grant Township in Buffalo County NE.

Una Jirene Dorothy Evingham is my grandmother, she is the daughter of Mary Smith Robertson Evingham and William Evingham (Everingham). Mary is the daughter of Thomas N. Smith and Rebecca Gilpin Smith. Next steps will be to continue to find documents to support my conclusion while I begin looking for the Evinghma/Everingham and the Gilpin families.
For goal number two I've had less success. I have not attended any local society meetings. Why you ask? Well, I have some excuses but I also have some frustrations as well. If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen my battle to volunteer with a couple of different societies. I expect to turn my volunteering journey into a series of blog posts. Yes, it's been that frustrating of an ordeal and I have some ideas about how it could have gone. I have attended a Civil War presentation at the Midwest Genealogy Center this year, so I will give myself a half credit in that area.

For goal number three, I'm calling "not my fault!" I read the majority of blog posts either on my phone or iPad and I continue to find blogs that are not optimized for mobile viewing. Making comments with Captcha on and the Word Press log in requirements doesn't work for me on a PC let alone a mobile device. It appears I will have to continue to make the majority of my comments on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Sorry, but it is what it is. I am your audience, you need to make my experience work for me and you figure out how you will deal with your potential spam issues. I see comments similar to mine everyday on Twitter (as a matter of fact I just RTed a tweet on this very issue). If you are looking for comment love, please make the comment experience as reasonably simple as possible for your blog visitors.

All-in-all 2012 has been a good research year for me. I'm looking forward seeing what family members I find throughout the rest of this year.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekly Updates at the GHLL



Genealogy and History Data Updates April 30 - May 6, 2012.


We have extra exciting updates this week at the GHLL!

Another great guest post for the Branching Out Newsletter is from none other than Randy Seaver! We also have highlighted a recently launched website (that is so much more) The In-Depth Genealogist.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Musings On A Munday Follow The Travel Routes And Advice

I'm pretty sure at one time or another that someone has told me to look at possible travel routes my ancestors may have taken. Routes in context to the travel options available in the appropriate time period, such as the railroad. At one time or another someone, maybe several someones, told me to map out the locations where I knew my ancestors lived. I might have even attended a class, or four, that stressed using Google Maps to help visualize our family in their locations. I apologize to each and every one of you, that shared that very valuable information with me, for ignoring your advice.
Had I taken your advice I might not have limited my searches to only the counties my ancestors actually lived in. I might have taken into account that they had to get from one place to another, thus crossing through other counties and states, possibly creating records in those counties as well. Lesson learned...finally!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mocavo My New BFF

Why? This---------->

I've been looking for my grandparents marriage for 10 years. I spent 30 minutes on Mocavo and there it is! This index is from the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society's website and Mocavo has it indexed frontwards, backwards and sideways!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mocavo The Search Engine for Genealogists

Disclosure: I was given a complementary Mocavo Plus subscription for review.


I've recently taken some time to explore Mocavo. The first thing I noticed...they have this blog indexed forward, backward and sideways!

My father's line is Baudermann and there are just not that many of them out there. Similar to other search engines, the first 3 to 4 pages of the Mocavo search results, for Baudermann, are my blog posts. It's always fun to see your blog posts show up, but I really would like some new material.

Mocavo Plus makes it easy to exclude my blog posts from the results. On the Advanced Search tab is a field to enter exclusions. I typed "Desperately Seeking" in the exclusion box and my blog posts were eliminated from the results. I chose not to type in my full blog name, as I was afraid putting the word "Surnames" in the exclusion box may eliminate some valid results.

Without using the exclusion box, Baudermann returned 886 search results. When I exclude Desperately Seeking I have 64 results.  I may have gone a little overboard in posting about this family! In addition to fewer links to review, I can tell their relevance immediately. I see website addresses for: Find A Grave, Ancestry.com, Genforum and Rootsweb...exactly the sources I am looking for. What a time saver! Mocavo is acting as my research assistant and "screening" my results, I like that.

Mocavo Plus also allows users to upload a GEDCOM to their site. The file can remain private (what's the point) or it can be made public and searchable. I will try this feature next. Maybe I will find there are more Baudermann's out there than what I think.

Thanks Mocavo!