Friday, July 1, 2011

Follow Friday Newsletter: 1 July 2011

This Week in Genea-Blogging

You tell ‘em!

Dear Myrtle (“21st Century genealogists: how websites are failing us.”) and footnoteMaven (“Making My Way in the World Today Takes Everything I’ve Got”) have gone on a tear this week - a good tear! It’s all about putting citations with images from online websites/sources - if the big websites will not do it, there are ways to do it ourselves.

BillionGraves getting its act together?

In “I’m Finally Using BillionGraves,” Taneya at Taneya’s Genealogy Blog reports on her recent experience with BillionGraves that’s a good deal more positive than some of the initial reports we’ve seen. It seems that BillionGraves has been getting some of the bugs ironed out.

Another viewpoint on

This time a negative experience is reported by Valerie Craft in “A Disappointing Day with” at Begin with Craft. But there is a positive aspect, too: A representative of replies in a comment with an apology and indicates that the necessary update to the app should be available soon.

What happened during those 5 years - check the Freedman’s Bureau records!

Angela Walton-Raji highlights a resource that can shed light on the fates of former slave families during the 1865-1870 period in “From Virginia to Arkansas, and Back to Virginia - A Freedman’s Bureau Migration Story” at My Ancestor’s Name.

A great idea from Marian Pierre-Louis at Roots and Rambles

is “What Exactly Do I Research?” Michael Hait at Planting the Seeds likes the idea and has also written on “What Exactly Do I Research?”

It cannot be emphasized often enough -

“Tuesday’s Tip - Get Connected!” is Deb Ruth’s advice at Adventures in Genealogy this week. She tells how doing this is paying off in her own research.

Thank you to Lorine McGinnis Shulze

of Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question. She provided some information in response to a query this week - “Lots of New York Info Found with Wide-spread Search” - that mentioned the website I had visited this website before but not checked it out in detail. This time I did. Big-time information information on my husband’s family, and the option of linking to the New York vital records website to pull up the forms to send off for copies. Neat and easy to use.

Walking in our parents’ footsteps

An experience Carol’s Man gets to have over at Reflections from the Fence: “THE Trip, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Man’s Close Encounter With WWII Reenactor.”

Don’t hold back!

At The Armchair Genealogist, Lynn Palermo has some good tips for first-time visitors to archives: “When Fear Holds You Back From Doing Your Best Research!”

And to prove it, a report on first-time experience

Susan Clark of Nolichucky Roots shares “A Newbie’s View of the National Archives - Those Places Thursday.” Okay, well, this wasn’t exactly new news for me - we shared experiences over dinner in DC last Friday! It was a blast - genealogy bloggers are the most interesting and enjoyable people to talk to and I wish I could do stuff like this all the time. Anyway, Susan has good info - the waiting time, getting your stuff in, how nice the staff are - the whole scoop.

There’s a new kid in town ...

Google+. And, of course, Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings will be checking it out and is already trying to figure out “What Will the Google+ Project Mean for Genealogy?” Might be good news for people fed up with Facebook quirks and endless changes.

And over at The Ginger Genealogist, you can read Banai’s opinion in “Google+ - My First Thoughts.”

When your female ancestors are in hiding ...

This week Susan Farrell Bankhead at Susan’s Genealogy Blog has two posts with lots of suggestions on finding female ancestors: “Resources for Finding Females” and “More on Finding Females.”

For more suggested blog reading

Check out “Best of the Genea-Blogs” at Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings, “Follow Friday: This Week’s Favorite Finds” at Jen’s Climbing My Family Tree, “Follow Friday Gems” at Deb Ruth’s Adventures in Genealogy, and “Monday Morning Mentions” at Lynn Palermo’s The Armchair Genealogist.

This Week I Started Following These Blogs:

Karen’s Genealogy Oasis

Professor Dru’s Blog

The Tree Ward

McKinney Public Library Genealogy Blog

My Research Week

In my last post, I said that I hadn’t done any research this week. That was true until about 10:00 last night. As I mentioned above, Lorine McGinnis Shulze mentioned the website, I checked it out, and it filled in lots of information on some of the New York side of my husband’s family: quite a few full dates of birth, death, and marriage and the maiden name of the wife of his great-great uncle Louis Koehl - so now I know all of the spouses of the children of Julius and Josephine Koehl. And there was also information on “persons of interest.” Not bad for an hour and a half of research.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out. Man is still talking about this experience and it was almost 3 months ago now. Happy 4th!!

  2. Greta, thanks. When I don't have time to read blogs-- I read Greta -- to keep me semi current. Appreciate your diligence.

  3. Carol - It was thrilling to read about his experience, and I'm glad Man gets to have fun, too!

    Joan - Glad to be of help!

  4. Thanks for linking to my blog post. I was actually using the same version of the app that Valerie did, however, I did not need to add a cemetery. I realized after loading the app that it lacked that function and purposely chose a cemetery to go to that was already on the list.

  5. Thanks for mentioning my Archives post - especially since you'd literally heard it all before! It was the most delightful dinner.

  6. Greta, I always enjoy your FF recommendatins. ItalianGen is a fab resources for finding NYC ancestors of any background--I've had great luck finding my non-Italian relatives via their databases.

  7. Taneya - OK, that makes sense. It sounds as though BillionGraves has a lot of potential, but needs to add and expand some things.

    Susan - Always happy to share, plus I need to get myself down there before they move things.

    Kathleen - Thank you - I always enjoy and learn from my blog reading.

    Marion - You are absolutely right. I started out finding my husband's German ancestors there, and then I realized - hey, I need to check out his Italian ancestors, too! (And I found two important clues on the Italian line this week.)

  8. I always look forward to your Friday Newsletter, and always read it, but sometimes not on Friday. Good reads in this one. Thanks Greta.