Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Newsletter and Follow News: 14 January 2011

This Week in Genea-Blogging

This has been an amazing week. There were tons of interesting posts; it appears that after the holidays everyone is getting back into research and blogging with renewed purpose. I’ll probably be working on this article well into the night!

Point us to the free information!

Craig Manson at Geneablogie provides a superb guide to “Finding Federal Court Records for Free (Mostly!).” I can’t wait to see what I can find!

Good advice

Valerie Craft says some things that cannot be repeated often enough in “A Few Pieces of Advice for Beginner Genealogists” at Begin with Craft. Amen, Valerie.

Please, can I have just a little bit of her talent?

Check out Jasia’s new blog, called Photograhy Gene. It’s inspired by Project 365.

The decision is in

At West in New England, Bill West has learned “The History Mystery Decision” from History Detectives.

A sad memory

Kim at Ancestors of Mine from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Beyond has come up with a very touching memory for the winter theme of Amy Coffin’s 52 Weeks prompts in “52 Weeks - Blizzards & ‘The Night It Rained Tears.’”

What is extraordinary?

In “The Sagan Doctrine” (which was not actually original to Sagan), Personal Past Meditations’ Daniel Hubbard considers what constitutes “extraordinary” claims and what constitutes “extraordinary” evidence in genealogy.

Be careful with those frames

Sassy Jane at Sassy Jane’s Genealogy reminds us of the precautions that need to be taken with wood-framed family photographs in “Tuesday’s Tip: Dismantle Those Framed Photographs.”

Walking through minefields

How to handle and write about scandals and other unsavory aspects of your ancestors’ family stories is the subject covered by Emily Aulicino in “Skeletons in the Closet” at Writing Your Memories.

Don’t be lazy and spend your money wisely

Lynn Palermo at The Armchair Genealogist has a couple of very useful posts this week. First, she has some suggestions on exploiting newly acquired online documents without delay in “Tuesday’s Tip - Avoid Becoming a Lazy Researcher!” Then she provides a summary of factors to consider when making the decision on which genealogy conferences to attend in “2011 Genealogy Conferences - Who Deserves Your Money?”

Much better than waiting for the slide projector to malfunction

Tina Lyons at Gen Wish List shares her procedures for scanning slides and making a video slide show from them in “Scanning Slides and Making Videos.”

So many details to remember

In “Ready, Set, Go!” Lorine McGinnis Shulze at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog outlines her plan for several days of research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City; her plan can serve as a helpful guide to others who plan to do research there, especially if you have never been there or have not been there recently.

More than coincidence

Why it is worth our while to read genealogy blogs, comment on genealogy blogs, and read the comments on genealogy blogs: At Nutfield Genealogy, Heather Wilkinson Rojo’s post “Not So Wordless Wednesday - The Uicker House, Derry, NH,” which touches on a house owned by one of Heather’s families (also related to a newly found cousin, who provided some photos), elicited a comment from Lucie Leblanc Consentino (Lucie’s Legacy), whose great aunt lived in the neighboring house.

Using Polish resources

All of you Polish researchers out there have probably already checked out Donna Pointkouski’s wonderful post on navigating websites that contain genealogical records and indices, but if you haven’t, check here: “Finding Polish Records Online” at What’s Past Is Prologue.

One plus one equals more than two

Another pair of genealogy bloggers have teamed up to help one another keep their resolutions; I am officially declaring this a trend! Check out “Those Places Thursday - Famous Dave’s with Sheri Fenley” at Cheryl Palmer’s Heritage Happens.

What are genealogy societies doing right and wrong?

Amy Coffin at We Tree asks the following question: “Genealogy Society Memberships: What Makes You Join?” She then describes five membership scenarios (reflecting her society memberships), and gives the reasons why she is staying with three and dropping two. A real eye-opener.

The true story behind the article

Suz at The Hunt for Henrietta found an interesting article in a “rather curious book” her mother left her. She used the genealogical research process to find the true story behind the article, and the results are, to say the least, interesting, both from the perspective of the story itself and in terms of how far it is from the version presented in the article! Read about it in "A Curious Book of Genealogical Treasures."

I’m so jealous

of Cheri at The You Go Genealogy Girls, both for her iPad and for her artistic and technical talent. She tells us about using the iPad for genealogy in “I-Pad Observations for Genealogists: The Good and the Bad.”

Good food for thought and discussion

This week Marian Pierre-Louis at Roots and Rambles has written a post I believe everyone should read: “The Reality of Genealogical Education and Skills.” This has already sparked some excellent comments and would make a good topic for continued discussion.

Speaking of topics for continued discussion,

this week’s “Open Thread Thursday” topic at GeneaBloggers is “Families on the Wrong Side of History.”

Quote of the Week

comes from Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy: “And I thought I was just sitting at home, blowing my nose!” (You’ll have to read the post, “Paying It Forward,” to see just why this is such a great quote.)

Some of the best photos and advice of the week

“After a Storm, Check on Your Local Cemetery” at Marian Pierre-Louis’ The Symbolic Past.

Happy Fourth Blogoversary to Becky Wiseman at kinnexions! (And you should be following her series based on the words of her grandmother, Hazlette Aileen Brubaker Phend Dunn Ferguson. The first installment is here.)

For more suggested blog reading

Check out “Best of the Genea-Blogs” at Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings, Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere at Susan Petersen’s Long Lost, and “Donna’s Picks” at Donna Pointkouski’s What’s Past is Prologue.

This week I started following these blogs:

A Couple of Whiles

Ann’s Scraps of Time

Family History Across the Sea

Genealogy NEXT

Gol Gol Girl

Hunting Ancestors

Northeast Georgia Historical and Genealogical Society

The Misadventures of a Genealogist

The USCT Chronicle

Tomorrow’s Memories

Yankee Cousin’s Adventures in Ancestry

The Sanford Family Misfit

My Research Week

Research has been progressing slowly but steadily; I am satisfied with this because I think that I am doing things more carefully and thoroughly. Part of this is due to my switch to the laptop, which has a much cleaner “desktop” than my desktop computer. The desktop was the computer I had when I started genealogy, and for that reason there is a lot of “stuff” on it. The “clean desk” environment helps me to focus on the task at hand instead of being distracted by the various folders, files, and stickies. When I need a document for a family, I just mail it to myself to be downloaded on the laptop.

A new element this year is that I am follow a weekly To Do List, which is modest in scope and is centered on “next steps” and “what is still missing and what needs to be searched” for a particular family. My project for gradually entering data from my Reunion program in Ancestry trees, citing sources and cross-checking them, is also helping to fill out the data and make source citation more consistent.

Using this system, I will be working on three major projects this year: data entry for my Brinlee great-great grandparents, transcription of court records and newspaper articles relating to my Floyd family and searches for additional articles on them on Genealogy Bank, and transcription and exploitation of the documents I obtained on the Moore family during my research trip to Greenville, South Carolina.


  1. Thanks, Greta! Wow, two mentions in one post. I am picking my jaw up off the floor! I'm no longer blowing my nose either. I look forward to reading all the other good posts you mentioned.

  2. Thanks Greta for the shout out, and for pointing me in the direction of some great posts.

  3. Thank you Greta for appreciating my post and sharing! Let's see if there will be any others to follow suit! Have a great day!

  4. What a great list of posts. I wonder if it took you as long to write them as it took me to read them! Thanks for your time and pointing me toward some posts I missed.

  5. Thanks for the shout-out, Greta!

  6. Thanks for the shout-out, Greta!

  7. Heather - Yeah, despite your illness, you were on a roll this week! I laughed out loud at the quote, so I had to include it.

  8. Lynn - Happy to do so - and grateful for such helpful posts!

  9. Amy - Happy to do so - your blog is so full of "mentionable" material.

  10. Cheryl - It will be interesting to see how much the buddy system catches on. So many genea-bloggers are in touch with one another and even meet one another at various conferences. I think there's real potential in this kind of arrangement.

  11. Nancy - Most of the "write-up" part I do as I read them. It's the putting it together, making links, and adding the final touches that can really be time-consuming.

  12. A year later and I'm just now getting around to saying thank you. I'm so sorry! They say better late than never (and since I'm a horrible procrastinator - I'm banking on that being true). I wanted you to know that I appreciate the support for The Sanford Family Misfit! :)