Thursday, September 25, 2008
I think as we have moved more and more onto the Internet to do research, we have to be really vigilant about our research methods and standards of proof. It is easy to get excited about a new find on the Internet and relax our standards. But we have to remember that the Internet is not throttled by the complexities of publishing and sometimes that makes for bad quality of information. The ease of publishing on the Internet also makes it easier for a wrong fact to perpetuate itself faster (think Internet hoaxes). I've been working on my lecture "Best Research Practices" and it just seems like that subject gets more and more important every day because the speed of information gets faster and faster.
This technology tip from November 14th in the calendar sums it up nicely. "Always have a sense of skepticism with information on the Internet. Remember that even though hundreds of websites may provide the same information, they may all be citing the same inaccurate source. Always consult the original." Well said.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Several years ago we were asked with 6 other companies to become one of the LDS church's early commercial affiliates and to develop products to work with the new database that will eventually replace FamilySearch. We have since become one of the first certified affiliates. As we sat in the development meetings, we tried to come up with ways that Generation Maps could help the user navigate that database. We focused on getting things out and off the screen to be able to see the big picture--something we do best. Some of those ideas developed into the To-do chart, others developed into the Comparison chart.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Our children and grandchildren need encouragement and direction to achieve their full potential. They will benefit from experienced and trusted role models to guide them forward. We need to teach them about the ingredients necessary for success in any endeavor – tenacity and hope. The following true story provides the perfect example.
- Organize all your photos and family history files.
- Quickly find any photo or file in seconds.
- Easily label everyone in a photo using hotspots.
- Create and share slide shows on CD/DVD.
- Make and print storybooks
- Automated backup system to protect your family history.
- Use and run the program on an external hard drive for added portability.
- Watch tutorial movies to learn how to use the program.
- Create PDFs and much more.
award. Both Msteri River of the Heritage Happens blog and Footnote Maven of FootnoteMaven.com and Shades of the Departed have nominated me for the award. I'm so honored to be mentioned by two fabulous bloggers. I'd send one back to them but I guess we are supposed to branch out (dumb joke, get it?)
The rules for the award are thus:
1. Can put the logo on his/her blog
2. Must link to the person who gave the award
3. Must nominate 7 other blogs and link to them
4. Must leave a comment on each of the nominated blogs
So: the 7 blogs I nominate are:
1. Geneamusings by Randy Seaver (He and I think the same.)
2. The Genealogue by Chris Dunham (I wish I thought as funny as Chris)
3. About Genealogy by Kimberly Powell. (I met Kimberly for the first time at FGS. An instant great friend)
4. Renee's Genealogy Blog by Renee Zamora (The first genealogy blog I ever saw.)
5. Dear Myrtle by aka Dear Myrtle. (The icon in genealogy news.)
6. RootsMagic blog by Bruce Buzbee (The slow drip is marketing genius I believe someone once said.)
7. The Practical Archivist by Sally Jacobs. (Great Practical Advice.)
I'm glad this award has been going around because I don't think I could have kept this list to 7 if I hadn't seen the award already on some of my other favorite blogs. And I can't believe the blogs above haven't gotten one yet. Hopefully I'm the first. For another list of great blogs, check out the bloglist on my facebook page.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Go get inspired and find a great project to get working on.
Giving a gift of an heirloom or family history project on a special occasion makes the item even more meaningful. They make great wedding presents or baby shower presents. We do lots of genealogy charts for special occasions at Generation Maps. Wedding presents or wedding anniversaries are especially popular along with birthdays, Mother's day, Father's day, etc. Besides genealogy charts, other good gifts include:
- Books about family history in general. (I'm sitting here at UGA this weekend with Jerry Millar of The Genealogy Shelf. Lots of great books.)
- Books about your family’s history. (My mom is great at this. But that is an upcoming post.)
- Copies of the documents/pictures you have collected. (Try Heritage Collector or Passage Express for an easy way to burn CDs for your family, but you may want to give printed copies as well.)
- Heirlooms. (If you are ready to part with something, it is better to give it as a gift before you die, than let them fight about it after you are gone.)
- Computerized information, transcribed letters, scanned pictures, video.
- Traditional Food. (Food is always the way to go in my book. One of my favorite Christmas gifts is my Great-grandmother's secret recipe for Honey Candy that we make every year. It is fun to make it together and wonderful to look forward to.)
Yearly occasions also make great deadlines for family newsletters, updates of the family scrapbooks or personal histories. New Year's or birthdays make a good time to get those things done. My mother has asked for only one thing from each of us for Mother's day--again she doesn't need anything else--a page of a memory from our childhoods for a scrapbook. It has only been a couple of years but is already getting to be quite a book with lots of fun memories in it.
You might think you have a family that isn't all that interested. A couple of thoughts: 1)back to our digital archiving discussion, even if the gift isn't terribly appreciated, you have made another copy of your data in case of a problem. And 2)I was one of those uninterested recipients for many years. But eventually it kicked in (kicked in hard obviously). Don't give up, they may be soaking in more than you think they are.
So, lets see, it is the middle of September, you still have time to do something spectacular in time for the winter holidays. What are you going to do?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
While I don't descend from any of the Signers of the Declaration, I was so moved, and so grateful to them, standing in those same places that they did. While at the conference, I had a great conversation with someone who had come out to Pennsylvania to research her ancestors there. She was able to find land records and go out and actually stand on the land her ancestors had settled. What a moving experience that is. If you haven't done that yet, you should try it. There is such a connection to be found in standing in the place where something important to your family happened. And while this wasn't my family's stomping grounds, many things that happened in Philadelphia changed the history of my family. I'm so grateful to those men who were strong and brave enough to found this country on the freedom that I now enjoy.
Martha runs Maia's Books & etc. an online Family History book store that mostly displays at genealogy conferences but also has a brick and mortar store October through January in the Columbus Ohio area.
I brought home an American Family Paper Dolls: from the Pilgrim Period to the Civil War by Tom Tierney for my daughter this time. Martha has always had the best collection of family history items for children and I have bought many things for my family from Martha. Several years ago I bought the "Go Ask Your Grandparent" game from her as well as the "Family Lore Game." She has lots of great paper doll books and Memory Scrapbooks that are great for gifts.
She also has everything else under the sun genealogy. At FGS she has several of your core genealogy reference books, along with several Pennsylvania specific items. Take a look around Maia's Books. I'm sure you can find something to further your genealogy endeavors.
Friday, September 5, 2008
›What will interest your family.
›What can be applied to your family history.
Pictures are always good to spark interest and further questions and stories. Who do I look like? What are family traits? I'm sure if you have a good collection of pictures you'll be able to come up with people who look like the person you are trying to interest. These are some from my family that look similar to me. Do you think so?
"My life didn’t follow the path that I envisioned for myself. I imagine most of us find that to be true but sometimes I reacted poorly to my challenges. During a particularly low point in my life, the need to work on family history became overwhelming; therefore, I started reviewing research I had done years earlier. At some point, I reread my great grandmother’s
(Cina Johnson is a customer service representative for Ohana Software, the makers of PAF Insight. As part of her job, Cina writes the monthly newsletter, Ohana Insights. She also wrote the lessons for FamilyInsight, the new name for PAF Insight. Family Insight is already certified to work with FamilySearch family tree and is currently in Beta testing. )
And from Diana Olsen:
"This probably is not what you had in mind, but I love this story.
For years I have been cleaning up all the genealogy my Grandmother had gathered. Every Memorial Day my grandparents descendants meet at the Spring City cemetery to honor all our ancestors buried there. Then we go to the Church right next to my grandparents home for lunch. My son was not supposed to go because that year he had been diagnosed with Cancer and his treatments had put his blood count very low. The weather was very cold and could be very harmful to him. But he showed up anyway. I was very mad. We decided to give him a family blessing, one of which we, as a large family, had not done together for a very long time. My uncles and cousins all gathered around him. As the prayer was administered I felt the presence of many of my ancestors, the women were around me and the men were around my son. I did not dare open my eyes, because I did not want to lose this wonderful peaceful feeling. After the blessing many came over to me and told me they too had felt the presence of others, but they did not know who they were. I knew who they were because I had been taking care of them for years. Because I had taken care of them, they were now taking care of me and my family.
My son's next exam showed the Cancer was gone. 12 years later he is still Cancer free."
Thanks Cina and Diana. If you have one you would like to add, let me know.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Several years later, I discovered a picture of me and my grandmother while she was working on this quilt. It was Christmas 1974 and Grandma had made one of those typical scrumptious Christmas dinners. Grandma was a retired home economics teacher and there was nothing domestic that she didn't do perfectly. My sister and I played under most of the quilts Grandma had stretched out on the quilting frames. I remember building wonderful forts and playing with our dolls in our own little world under there. And eventually she taught us to quilt. I have one of her sewing machines and I have made several quilts on my own quilting frames.
More recently, as my wonderful children arrived, and grew big enough to understand, I have wrapped them in this quilt, and told them about how much I wanted and waited for them, and how much I loved my grandmother. As we have cuddled under this quilt, they have learned of her sewing talents, but also of her adoration of me, the long walks we had in the mountains near her home and how she taught me the names of all the wildflowers there, and many other things I loved about her. I miss my Grandmother but I am thankful my children and I can have a hug from her any time.