Monday, December 30, 2013

The Year of Social Media and Genealogy

It's time once again for end of the year observations and reflection.

2013 brought us man-made as well as natural disasters on a horrific scale. We watched with sadness and disbelief as we learned of bombings and mass shootings that killed innocent people. We watched with horror as we witnessed the power of Mother Nature as entire towns were obliterated by unbelievably powerful tornadoes and firefighters were overtaken by blazing wildfires. It seemed that no area of our country was spared from disaster and we were left wondering if we could have or should have done something differently to lessen the severity of these events.

Social media and online news outlets provided instantaneous news as well as photos and videos of happenings around the world. These images hit us hard and brought the troubles of others directly into our homes. With the powerful technology available to us today, we were able to send not just thoughts and prayers to the victims but money. By sending a text to a five digit number we could donate to the Red Cross and feel an immediate sense of participation, that’s powerful stuff. To me, our world feels a little smaller each year because of our worldwide social connections.

This past year also brought us more techno-goodness than we could possibly ever need to entertain ourselves with...but many of us gave it the ole college try. Genealogists everywhere were doing the happy dance as they found yet another gadget that would help make their research efforts more streamlined and effective and their goals attainable. The amount of records added to online repositories and accessible 24/7 in 2013 is simply staggering! Last night I was looking at a book of Wills and Administration papers from 1892 in Boyle, Roscommon, Ireland. Amazing!

Even more than the techno gadgets and online research options that exploded, I feel 2013 was the year of the "Social Genealogist". Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest proved to be valuable tools for collaborative genealogy research. As researchers we can participate in Facebook groups ranging from specific regional research topics to organization and fraternal groups. Genealogists far and wide were able to watch Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow “together” via Twitter chats.

The social aspect of online genealogy education received a huge boost from Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts became popular for study groups formed to learn genealogy software programs, discuss research methodology and simply talk with like-minded individuals about family history research. I believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg with Hangouts and, lucky for us, there are a few early adopters that are blazing the trail in that genre.

The online social aspect of genealogy is really hitting its stride. If you're not participating in any of the activities I've mentioned, be sure to check them out and make 2014 your social genealogy year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Genealogy and History Links Library Monthly Updates

Genealogy and History Data Updated Every Monday on the Genealogy & History Library Links site.

  • N Surname pages are updated.
  • Many broken links fixed (please report if you find a broken link).
  • Domestic and International resources updated.
  • Updated Branching Out newsletter.

    Sunday, November 10, 2013

    Evernote is Handy for the Family History Library Researcher

    I like pen, paper and lists when I'm researching. To me, marking something off a list is satisfying. It says "I'm done" or "Done with that one, on to the next." However, I love technology and the convenience it brings as well.

    I'll be in Salt Lake City in the upcoming week for business. I'm hoping to make it by the Family History Library a couple of evenings for a little research time. I know (possibly from past experience) that showing up unprepared is a huge time waster. So even though I've waited until the 11th hour, I am identifying records I want to look at.

    I am clipping the FamilySearch results pages to Evernote. The links are fully clickable from within Evernote which is especially nice because I can then drill-down to the film or call number I need. Then, in order to satisfy my need to check things off, I added the check boxes right to the clipped image. The image below is from Evernote not from FamilySearch.

    I'm looking forward to researching at the FHL library again and checking off my items of interest...after I've found some genealogy gems of course.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    Autosomal DNA Directions

    If you've received your Autosomal DNA results and are wondering what to do now, you will want to listen to this podcast. Bernice Bennett interviews CeCe Moore and Shannon Christmas and they discuss 23andMe, Family Tree DNA and Ancestry DNA.

    While parts of the podcast gets very detailed (a dot on your 17, is a 5th cousin closer than a 1st cousin 4 times removed) the episode is very informative.

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    Agricultural Pop and Accomplished Calamity Howler

    Besides being a fantastic resource for genealogical information, old newspapers can be interesting and amusing. What do you suppose we would call an "agricultural pop and accomplished calamity howler" today?

    The Kearney Daily Hub is my favorite newspaper resource these days while searching for my Everinghams, Smiths and Gilpins around Buffalo County Nebraska.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Add Events to Google Calendar From Gmail

    You may have noticed the Add to your Outlook calendar option on webinar confirmation emails. It's very handy...if you use Outlook.

    For my personal email and calendaring system I use Gmail and Google Calendar. I was wondering why I never saw an Add to your Google Calendar option. I know those Google folks are smart and would not leave us hanging without this feature. And they didn't, they are just more intuitive and streamlined about it.

    Next time you receive a confirmation in Gmail, or go back to an old email, hover your mouse over the date. You will see Add to Calendar. Click on the date and a small dialog box will open.

    In the dialog box you can edit the title of the event, change the date and time (I don't know why you would) and then click Add to Calendar. No more retyping or copy and paste.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Doing My Homework As a New GenSoc Board Member

    As a new board member for MoSGA, I've been working to prepare myself for my first official genealogy related board meeting on November 2nd. I'm a strong believer in preparation and getting a lay of the land so to speak.

    I've read the Bylaws, the Standing Rules, last month's minutes and the reports for this month's meeting that have been submitted. I'm making my list, checking it twice and then cutting it by 75% because someone(s) advised me to go slowly and inch my way in. :)

    To get a broader perspective of genealogy societies and how they operate I turned to the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). I am very impressed with the volume of information available on the public side of the site. Their Society Strategy Series is extensive and I will slowly make my way through it. I can't wait to see if I can get my mouse behind the members only section, I can only imagine what I will find there.

    Being that I am a self-proclaimed podcast junkie, I've listened to FGS Radio - My Society since the beginning and enjoy the episodes very much. There are many great interviews with societies sharing aspects of their programs that had success and those that didn't. I'll begin paying more attention as I listen.

    It is very timely that FGS begins broadcasting a 3 part webinar series this week called Genealogy Society Membership and Communication with George G. Morgan as the presenter. All three segments look interesting and very applicable to all societies (not even necessarily genealogy). George is a very good speaker, be sure to register for all three.

    So far I feel I have done my due diligence and can walk into this first board meeting, follow the conversation and keep my mouth shut effectively. I was considering memorizing Robert's Rules of Order. Do you think that would be overkill?

    Sunday, October 6, 2013

    Mid-Continent Library System Is Working On that Divide

    Genealogy's Star James Tanner shared this thought provoking post today: Can we overcome the Great Genealogical Divide. 

    My initial reaction was to move on as I assumed this was yet another post about "that" divide in the genealogy community. However, curiosity got the best of me and I did read what James had to say and it brings to light another divide James has identified.

    In a nutshell James feels there is a need for basic computer, technology and Internet skills for many genealogists. Conferences such as Rootstech essentially require these skills in order to get the most from the sessions offered there.

    At first I was shaking my head in agreement with James. It is true many conferences I attend do make the assumption that the attendee has a certain level of technological aptitude. I would hazard to guess that few, if any, conferences attempt to provide this basic type of education.

    I stopped shaking my head in agreement though. I do not feel a conference model should be to provide everything to every attendee. I believe that basic level of education can best come from a smaller, local group. James suggested FamilySearch Centers offering such classes, which is a good idea, but do we need to reinvent the wheel?

    Look to your public library system. There is a good chance they are providing this basic level of education to patrons. I visited my library's event page and I was pleasantly surprised (I don't know why because they are awesome) to see just how much the Mid-Continent Library System provides in the way of basic technological related education.

    Don't reinvent the wheel and don't take patrons away from area library systems. Encourage patrons to look at this resource. If it's not available talk to the library director and see if it can be added. Library systems count on funding to operate and use attendance numbers to legitimize their funding needs. Help them out while helping those beginners cross the technological divide as well.

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    100% Me

    In two previous posts I discussed my excitement and disappointment in my Ancestry DNA results. I wasn't looking for the nitty-gritty details with a bunch of letters and numbers that explained my genetic makeup. I wanted a pie chart. Simple, easy to read and diverse.

    Initially I was disappointed. This? This is what I get? 92% British Isles and 6% Unknown. Seriously? Really? That's the best you can do? Then came the questions of how can that be? My great grandparents and great great grandparents and great great great grandparents were all born in Germany. How are they not accounted for?

    I shrugged and moved on. I toyed with the idea of using another service to get a second opinion but never did. I had read that Ancestry acknowledged they had some work to do on their testing methods and that there would be updates to their process sometime in the future. I didn't know the future would be just six months away!

    A blog post by a fellow genealogist tipped me off. He had received his updated results and went through them in detail. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I didn't imagine I would be one of the lucky ones to be in the first round of the new preview. Much to my surprise, I did have the bright orange button on my DNA page labeled "New Ethnicity Estimate Preview" squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I was so excited I couldn't click fast enough! I wasn't disappointed either. Yes! I'm not totally vanilla! I have diversity in my family history and there is the connection to my German ancestry.

    I understand that Ancestry is still fine-tuning their processes and my mixture could change in the future but this make up makes sense to me. Italy and Greece?? Ok, not sure how far back that is coming into play but I like it. Noticeably absent is any reference, even a trace reference, of Native American. Once again, I will have to tell my family to stop telling the story about how we have a Native American heritage.

    Thank you Ancestry, for giving me my diverse pie. I'm no longer Plain Jane Vanilla!

    P.S. I created the infographic using my DNA data. The chart from isn't nearly that cool! 

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    I'm On The Board

    Yes, that's my name next to At Large Director, 2015. I'm not entirely sure what an At Large Director does but I will give it my all! I recently found out the 2015 means I serve a two year term. Maybe I should have asked about that up front? :)

    I'm excited to be part of the MoSGA board and will take my obligations very seriously. I had already met several board members through the Heartland APG group and met many more earlier this month at the annual conference. They are a great group of people who work very hard to support the association and its members. I'm looking forward to working with them.

    I have mentioned before the struggle I was facing to actually be a volunteer. I had approached several organizations offering to help but never received responses back. I then approached the Midwest Genealogy Center and MoSGA and they both said YES, we want you!

    My volunteer plate is now full and I couldn't be happier with the organizations I am affiliated with.

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Genealogy and History Data Updated

    Genealogy and History Data Updated Every Monday on the Genealogy & History Library Links site.

    • Many broken links fixed (please report if you find a broken link).
    • Domestic and International resources updated.
    • Updated Branching Out newsletter.

      Wednesday, August 14, 2013

      Wordless Wednesday Ralph W Emery

      This is the perfect photo to stumble onto. Name, place and date! Even better, I know which family he belongs to.

      Wednesday, August 7, 2013

      Wordless Wednesday Deuthner and Emery

      One of the few old family photos that has names. Problem is, even the names don't tell me who these two men are. I have Emerys but I've yet to find a Jess/Jessie connected.

      Monday, July 29, 2013

      Genealogy and History Links Library Updates

      Genealogy and History Data Updated Every Monday on the Genealogy & History Library Links site.

      • U- V Surname pages are updated.
      • Many broken links fixed (please report if you find a broken link).
      • Domestic and International resources updated.
      • Updated Branching Out newsletter.

        Friday, July 26, 2013

        I Waited 3 Months for William Evingham and Instead I Got ----------- Evingham

        Evingham, Everingham, Smith, Fairbury IL

        I had conflicting information as to what my Great Grandfather's first name was. I have a marriage index from the correct time and place in Nebraska stating that my Great Grandmother Mary had married a William Evingham. However, on my Grandmother's death certificate her father is listed at Jacob Evingham.

        I requested my Grandmother's SS5 and fairly quickly received a reply back from the SSA. They stated they have no evidence that my Grandmother was deceased (she died in 1960). I sent back my request with her death certificate (pretty compelling evidence) and then waited and waited.

        Finally, the day before I was to leave on vacation (of course and thank goodness it didn't come the day after I left either) I received the SS5. Everything is filled out completely, including Mary's middle name that I didn't know, I only had the initial V. But just look at the father's name.

        Why am I not surprised? Because this is the father of Una/Viola Evingham/Bauderman/Vanderman/Emery (she only married 1 time) that I've blogged about before. Next step will be to request the marriage record that the index refers to and see what additional information I can find.

        Friday, July 12, 2013

        Shame On Me For Almost Missing My Own Blogoversary!

        I'm 4!! Yes indeed, I started this blog July 12, 2009! Thank goodness that Thomas MacEntee kept track because I sure didn't!

        Shame on me for paying so little attention to this blog that has brought me so much joy (well, not really), so many new cousin connections (only 2) and has been such a labor of love (more frustration actually).

        Truthfully though (sorta), it has been interesting and fun. This blog has given me a chance to voice my opinions, thoughts and to rant a little. This little blog has been a vehicle to get my ancestors on The Internets and indexed by The Google.

        If it wasn't for this blog all my buds on The Twitter would have no idea that I have much more to say than 140 characters can convey. And now that I type that...that may explain the correlation between the much high ratio of Twitter to Blog followers.

        Seriously though (really) I do appreciate all that follow, read and comment on my blog posts. Those of you that have helped me try to figure out my crazy grandma (Una/Viola Evingham/Bauderman/Emery/Vanderman) I do value your input and hope to someday (maybe by my 10th blogoversary?) have the rest of the story to tell.

        I'm 4!!! Go me!! :)

        Monday, July 8, 2013

        Genealogy & History Links Library Updates

        Genealogy and History Data Updated Every Monday on the Genealogy & History Library Links site.

        • Surname pages are updated.
        • Domestic resources updated.
        • Updated Branching Out newsletter

          Friday, July 5, 2013

          MoSGA 2013 Annual Conference is Just Around the Corner

          The 2013 Keynote Speaker of the Missouri State Genealogical Association's Annual Conference is Dr. Tom Jones. Dr. Jones authored a recently released book that you may have heard about. I'm looking forward to the conversations surrounding the MGP.

          The supporting cast looks to be very interesting and diverse in their topics. I've attended a presentation by Beth Foulk recently and she is a wonderful speaker. I highly recommend Beth's session on genealogy book websites. There is a lot more out there than Google Books.

          Stoney Creek Inn is a very nice and comfortable venue and there is still time to register! See you in Columbia!!


          Friday, June 28, 2013

          Collaboration Doesn't Have to Be Hard

          I'm curious about the amount of collaboration between major, and not so major, genealogy repositories. How much is there? Is there enough?

          I know we can't make all of the people happy all of the time (I'm speaking for myself here for sure). However, I do believe in the power of numbers and that reaching more people creates the potential for more happy people. I also believe that cannibalism leads to fewer happy people. What in the world? How am I equating cannibalism with genealogy repositories? I will tell you.

          I recently attended what should have been a major event at a well-known, state-of-the-art genealogy library. However, on that very same day a federally operated repository right across town was also hosting an event. The result was they both lost out on attendance and exposure. They cannibalized each other.

          How do things like this happen? Did somebody try to reach out to the other and they just couldn't get other dates to work? Did nobody reach out because they are a "competitor" and think "why would we try to work with them?" Or did nobody even think to reach out?

          Let's say they didn't want to reach out, for whatever reason, did they try to research online to see what the other repository is doing? Did they visit an event aggregator such as Conference Keepers to see what is listed and make sure their event is listed? Maybe they did. Maybe their hands are tied by some old-school, out-of-touch marketing director who thinks collaboration is "tipping your hand."

          No matter the circumstances of how things played out, it's an interesting situation. I'm seeing more and more event options that overlap and/or are scheduled on back-to-back weekends that create conflicts. If that's how it has to be fine, I just want to know that someone actually put some thought into it.

          Sunday, June 2, 2013

          To Tag or Not To Tag

          I've been reviewing my Notebook and Tagging system in Evernote recently with the hope of collapsing my hierarchy as much as possible. During that process I began to wonder about my windows hierarchy as well.

          In Evernote I've been good about limiting my folders and relying on tags more and more. The search feature in Evernote is very powerful and finding what I need has not been a problem with this method. I did however start to notice redundancy and even unnecessary folders that I'm working to eliminate.

          Once I started looking at my windows folder system I realized my job there was much larger. I had originally started with a folder for each surname then a folder within the surname for each type of record. One of my record types is Deaths. When I search for Deaths I get 229 folders called Deaths. I don't think I need 229 folders with the same label.

          The more time I've spent looking at this, the more I'm inclined to flip-flop my thinking. Wouldn't it make more sense to have one folder labeled Deaths with all my surnames in that folder? Better yet, just a folder labeled Deaths with no sub-folders. Then each death record would be tagged with the surname and I could search for the surname tag. Do I even need a Deaths folder? I could tag all my documents: Death; Surname; Year; Location.

          Some may also wonder why I have two systems, so to speak. Evernote is how I capture my information. If you are familiar with GTD you will know what I'm talking about. Based on the way I research, I capture first then process. While it may seem redundant to have a copy of something in Evernote and in my windows system, that is the one part of this that I know works well for me. And to clarify just because a document is captured in Evernote it doesn't necessarily make it to my windows system.

          I'm afraid my minor OCD is not going to let me go completely folder-less but I do like that idea. This is going to be a fairly big job to switch my entire digital filing system. Also I am only talking about my digital filing system. Any thoughts on where I might run into problems with this line of thinking in going heavy on tags and very light on folders?

          Sunday, May 19, 2013

          GHLL Weekly Updates May 20 - May 26, 2013

          Genealogy and History Data Updates May 20 - May 26, 2013.

          • Many broken links are fixed. If you see a broken link please alert us.
          • Surname pages are updated.
          • Domestic resources updated.
          • Updated Branching Out newsletter

            Wednesday, May 15, 2013

            Ancestor of Interest William M Everingham Evingham Evengham Evenigham

            In my best Dan Rather imitation "here's what we know":

            1. William Everingham was born around 1875 in Ohio according to his 1895 marriage index;
            2. William is possibly on the 1880 census in Roundhead, Hardin County, Ohio listed as a grandchild, age 5, to Jacob Files with a sister Nancy and mother Elizabeth using her maiden name of Files;
            3. William married Mary V. Smith Robinson, born 1866 in IL, on August 12, 1895 in Lexington, Dawson County, Nebraska;
            4. William's parents were Jacob Everingham and Elizabeth Files according to his 1895 marriage index;
            5. William and Mary had a daughter, Una, born May 18, 1898 in Fairbury, Livingston County, Illinois according to Una's 1914 marriage record;
            6. Mary, listed as married, and Una are in the 1900 US Census in Amherst, Buffalo County, Nebraska without William;
            7. Mary purchased land in Amherst, Buffalo County, Nebraska in 1906;
            8. Mary, listed as widowed and Una are in the 1910 US Census in Amherst, Buffalo County, Nebraska.
            How did William die and where? I've been looking in Nebraska, Illinois and Ohio. Maybe William didn't die, if so why can't I find him in any later census? What am I missing here?

            Monday, April 22, 2013

            GHLL Weekly Updates

            Genealogy and History Data Updates April 22 - 27, 2013.

            • Many broken links are fixed. If you see a broken link please alert us.
            • Surname pages are updated.
            • Domestic resources updated.
            • Branching Out newsletter by Charles Hansen.

              Sunday, April 21, 2013

              Where Do Questions Fit In At Genealogy Conferences

              I know what I want and expect from a genealogy conference may be different from the person sitting next to me in a session. However, there is something we most likely have very much in common...questions. I have questions, the person beside me has questions, the person two rows up has questions as well. Do our questions have a place at conferences? If you have a question about German research then attend a session related to that topic. The same for Midwest research, or passenger lists questions, attend those types of sessions.

              But what about MY question? I have a question that is specific to my research. I have a question that is specific to my research goal. I have a question that is specific to my family. Is a class on how to find parish records in Germany going to answer my question? No, because I already have the records, my question is much more specific.

              I may be able to corner the speaker before or after their talk and ask my specific question. I would never do that though as I know they are on a time frame to get set up and then get to their next presentation. I may be able to make it to the exhibit hall and find an exhibitor with an "ask the expert" table. Theses are options but they seem limited to me and I would like to maximize my options when I am at a conference with potentially a dozen or two dozen people that could help with my specific question.

              Some conferences have recognized this desire for attendees to discuss their topic of choice by offering "unconferencing" options and panel discussions where in the audience submits questions. I like both of those options but would like to take it a bit further. Round tables...literally. Have a room full of round tables, 8 to a table, with a discussion topic assigned and also have free-for-all tables.

              So, if I see a sign on the table that says "German Church Records" that's where you will find me. Or perhaps I get that question answered and I want help with land records, then I will be looking for that table. The conversation begins with each person asking questions then flows into giving advise, examples or, even better, exchanging contact information to discuss more in depth later.

              I attend an industry specific conference each March related to my career. This is a four-day conference that has round table sessions offered on three days. The round table sessions fill up every year.  People like to have the opportunity to discuss specifics and get specific answers. People like to share stories and simply talk with like-minded individuals.

              Maybe it's because I'm in this limbo land of more than a beginner, somewhat advanced intermediate but not ready for an institute genealogist that round tables hold such appeal to me. Of course it could also be that I like to talk more than I like to listen to a presenter. Either way, I think round tables could be a powerfully, engaging experience for any and all genealogy conferences. I hope they begin appearing regularly in the future.

              Monday, April 15, 2013

              GHLL Weekly Updates

              Genealogy and History Data Updates April 15 - 21, 2013.

              • Many broken links are fixed. If you see a broken link please alert us.
              • Surname pages are updated.
              • Domestic resources updated.
              • Branching Out has a new submission by Charles Hansen.

                Sunday, April 14, 2013

                My Ethnic Diversity Is Not To Be

                I received my DNA results from Ancestry DNA and......I'm 94% British Isles, 6% unknown.

                I previously posted what I would like to receive from my results, of course I was kidding about the Cherokee Princess part. I am surprised that Central European did not even register. My paternal Great and Great Great Grandparents were all born in Germany.

                I contacted one of my cousin matches and have already heard back from her. We share a Great Great Grandfather, she is 2 years younger than me and lives in Denver, Colorado. That was definitely fun, finding a cousin that is my own generation. We have more comparing and sharing to do, so there are hopes of taking our shared line back another generation.

                What has surprised me the most with the cousin matches, is how many people that these users have in their trees!! I guess I've been sleeping on the job. I have 263 people in my tree and many of my "cousins" have thousands. Perhaps I've been playing this a little too safe as I consider my Ancestry tree my "working tree". It may be time for me to add some children, aunts and uncles.

                Now that Ancestry has allowed access to the raw DNA data I can upload my results to other services for further DNA analysis. That is something I will consider in the future, however, right now I have more cousins to contact.

                Wednesday, April 10, 2013

                Sunday, March 31, 2013

                Sunday, March 24, 2013

                All I Want Is The Pie

                Almost two weeks ago I mailed my DNA sample to AncestryDNA. I will be receiving the autosomal DNA analysis which looks at both my paternal and maternal lines.

                I spent a fair amount of time looking at the tests available from the various DNA testing companies. I read reviews, results, suggestions and gripes from other bloggers who had received their results. There was much conversation about raw data, no raw data, uploading results to other sites for comparison (which costs additional money) as well as some suggestions of some analysis simply being wrong.

                I decided I needed to identify what my goal was in having a DNA test to begin with. Did I want raw data (what would I do with it)? Did I want an instant list of 500 cousins? Well, that would be cool, but honestly, who has the time to track down 500 new cousins? Not me. So what was the point of having my DNA tested then?

                It's simple, I want the pie chart. I want to know my ethnic make up. That's it. That is where my interest and all my genealogy/family history questions stem from. Where am I from? What makes me who I am today? After watching a couple of videos from AncestryDNA I made my decision that their test would best meet my goal.

                Now, if AncestryDNA would work with me a little here...this is what I would like my pie chart to look like. Yes, this is silly and I have no basis for the Cherokee Princess or Eastern European slices, but it would be fun. My actual prediction is that I am very, very, very vanilla!

                I am anxiously awaiting my results and will be sure to share them with you!

                Sunday, March 17, 2013

                GHLL Weekly Updates Irish Style

                Genealogy and History Data Updates March 18 - March 24, 2013.

                The GHLL website is decked out for St. Patrick's Day. Be sure to visit and see all the hard work Bob has put into making the site festive. Have I mentioned that Bob codes the site "old school"? Yes he does and he wouldn't have it any other way.

                • Irish Clan page updated
                • International resources updated
                • Domestic resources updated
                • Branching Out includes a replay by yours truly on podcasts

                Sunday, March 10, 2013

                Understanding Google Plus Hangouts and Hangouts On Air

                I have been enjoying the various Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts On Air that are available in several Google+ communities.

                The video below, from DearMyrtle, gives an overview of the differences between Hangouts and Hangouts On Air (HOA). Either format you attend, you will enjoy but I encourage you to try both. Hangouts and HOAs are similar to a webinar and are informative, educational and full of collaboration. Don't worry though, you can join without a webcam and still participate in the conversation.

                I encourage you to visit GeneaWebinars to see a full list of the scheduled hangouts. Keep in mind though, a hangout can happen on the fly or with just a few hours notice. That is what is so great about hangouts, you can get into a discussion and hangout breaks out! The benefit being the screen sharing capabilities to help explain or clear up the topic under discussion. HOAs have the added benefit of being recorded and posted on YouTube. If you can't make the "live" HOA, no worries just catch it on YouTube when you can.

                The possibilities for Google+ Hangouts and HOAs are endless. Be sure to give them a try. Once you become familiar with the format and the joining process I think you will be glad you did.

                Sunday, March 3, 2013

                Wednesday, February 20, 2013

                Wordless Wednesday Gaines

                Ora Gaines Allen Cummings
                b 1897 Winchester, Kentucky


                J. S. Gaines
                I cannot find record of a J.S. Gaines in this family.

                Photo restoration by PhotofixerJoe. Be sure to visit Joe's website to see more restoration projects as well as his Facebook page.

                Sunday, February 10, 2013

                Weekly Updates from the GHLL

                Genealogy and History Data Updates February 11 - February 16, 2013.

                The updates keep rollin in! We've almost made it through the surname alphabet.

                • Y Surname resources updated 
                • International resources updated
                • Domestic resources updated
                • Branching Out includes a redeaux by yours truly on podcasts.

                Saturday, February 2, 2013

                Surname Saturday Mallard

                MALLARD, Jane Buell

                • b 1810 England
                • m Bef 1838, Henry Brimson, England
                • m March 31, 1850, John Arney, Mere Wiltshire England
                • Approx 1851 immigrated to the U.S.
                • d Oct 17, 1890 Madrid, Saint Lawrence, NY

                I believe Jane's father is John Mallard. I have no information on Jane's mother.

                Wednesday, January 30, 2013

                AncestryDNA Video Explains their Product

                If you have taken the AncestryDNA test or are considering it, you will want to watch this video. If you are not a fan of AncestryDNA (yes, I heard you on various social media channels) you may still want to watch.

                What I found the most interesting in the video is how Crista Cowan, from, explains ethnicity. She takes a complicated subject and made it easy for me to understand with fruits and vegetables. The other portion of the video that fascinated me is a chart showing how many direct line ancestors we have going back 10 generations.

                I knew that with each generation the number of our ancestors doubled, but seeing it in this chart really brought the concept home for me. We have a lot of cousins to look for. Of course when I saw how many ancestors Crista had found and proven, I was a tad deflated. She works for, if she can't find all her peeps what hope do I have?

                I hope you enjoy the video.

                Monday, January 28, 2013

                GHLL Weekly Updates

                Genealogy and History Data Updates January 28 - February 3, 2012.

                • Surname resources updated 
                • International resources updated
                • Domestic resources updated
                • Branching Out includes a thoughtful post by Charles on child mortality.

                Sunday, January 20, 2013

                I'm a Genealogist And I Know It

                I'm a beginner and I know it. I'm a hobbiest and I know it. I'm a researcher and I know it. I'm a student and I know it. I'm accomplished and I know it. I'm an apprentice and I know it. I'm an investigator and I know it. I'm an appraiser and I know it. I'm a specialist and I know it. I'm obsessive and I know it. I'm knowledgeable and I know it. I'm unpolished and I know it. I'm skilled and I know it. I'm unqualified and I know it. I'm experienced and I know it. I'm a volunteer and I know it. I'm a learner and I know it. I'm a joiner and I know it. I'm proficient and I know it. I'm an amateur and I know it. I'm capable and I know it. I'm inquisitive and I know it. I'm addicted and I know it. I'm no dummy and I know it.

                I am a genealogist and I know it.

                Sunday, January 13, 2013

                GHLL Weekly Updates

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

                Updates! Updates! Updates!!

                • Surname resources updated including the Twigger surname.
                • More broken links fixed. If you notice a broken link please let us know.
                • Domestic resources updated including Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
                • Branching Out includes a thoughtful post by Charles on child mortality.

                Thursday, January 3, 2013

                But I Don't Know Who They Are

                I have a private family group on Facebook for my siblings and nieces and nephews. We use this group to post family related information and photos that the rest of the world doesn't need to know about. I, of course, use the group to post family history information as well.

                I recently posted two pedigree charts, one for my father and one for my mother. The comments contained the obligatory "cool", "thanks", "good work" etc. However, one of my nieces commented "but I don't know who they are." My first thought was that I had never sent her a pedigree chart, that I had somehow missed her. Then I realized that was not what her comment meant. She didn't "know" those people past a name and a date on a page.

                I enjoy the research portion of genealogy more than the story writing and obviously this shows as my niece saw only the names and not the people. I'm going to be honest with myself though (and you), I will not be busting out a family history book anytime soon...if ever. Hopefully, there is a budding writer in my family that will want to tackle that project.

                I realized I need to find a better way of telling our ancestors stories so they will be more interesting and meaningful to others. I can use photographs, heirloom items, yearbooks, and newspaper clippings to illustrate the stories. I have all of those items (boy do I have all those items!) but I haven't shared those often as I didn't think they provided any context without the charts. I was building the framework and waiting to fill it in after everyone understood the base. I've been doing this backwards, thinking the charts will lead to an interest in our family history. I should have been using the visual and tangible items to lead back to the charts.

                While going through my family photos and heirloom items I realized two things, one I have no idea what I really do have and two some of these items need to be restored and preserved properly. Lucky for me, I have a friend that knows a little something about restoring damaged photos. Joe, from restored the photograph you see above. Isn't it beautiful? This is Ora Gaines Allen Cummings and her son William Cummings. The photo was taken in 1921 in Winchester Kentucky.

                After posting the before and after photos of Ora and Billy in my family group on Facebook, the comments were much more engaging and interesting. Does anyone else see a Ferris Wheel in this photo? Me neither, but one of my sisters thinks that's what the tree behind Ora looks like. :)

                Photos and heirlooms will become my focus in 2013. I'm looking forward to sharing all that I have with my family and blog readers. Be sure to visit Joe's website to see more restoration projects as well as his Facebook page.