Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Newsletter and Follow News: Life From The Roots

Life from the Roots

This week I’d like to write about one of my favorite genealogy blogs, Barbara Poole’s Life From The Roots. Barbara is a lady of many talents; her writing is crisp and to the point and her photography bursts with color and what I think of as a “tactile” quality (see the “dress photograph” in “Ellis Island Dress and American Jewish Historical Society”). Even photographs of a depressing subject (“Wordless Wednesday – The Damage Is Done”) capture a certain moody beauty. Also check out her blog Flowers from My Area for more beautiful photography.

Barbara has led an interesting life, including work at the Veterans Administration and the DAR; I loved her post “Sentimental Sunday – My First Job” and it inspired me to write about my own first job. Her DAR job and 20+ years of experience with genealogy are evident in the informative content of her articles. She can also write for fun (see her “Top Ten” lists), and she never seems to run out of interesting ideas and topics for her posts.

This Week in Genea-Blogging

One of the issues of the week was copyright; the following blogs featured stories on a couple of the more egregious violations associated with plagiarism of online content:

At GeneaBloggers - "Cooks Source: The Web Is Considered Public Domain"

At Roots and Rambles - "It could happen to you"

There was a wealth of outstanding Veterans Day-themed posts on Thursday. One that caught my attention in particular was Michelle Gudrum’s “Veterans Day – WWI Service in Russia” at The Turning of Generations. She tells us about Roy Bindon’s services with the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia in 1918 – a fascinating story!

At It’s All Relative, Laura has written a very moving and perceptive post on the role of the family genealogist/historian when there is a death in the family in “Silver Linings.” For her this is a subject that is unfortunately of recent experience, as she lost her beloved father last month (“To Daddy with love”).

At We Tree, I have enjoyed reading about Amy Coffin’s “Family History Library Research Retreat,” and in Part 4 she presents a useful summary of what she learned from this experience.

At Daniel Hubbard’s Personal Past Meditations: A Genealogical Blog this week you have to check out his article “A Line to Draw the Time,” and specifically, take a look at the time line. Timelines are helpful, especially in proving that something just could not have happened, but too often we may assume that they prove that something did happen when all they indicate is that it was possible; proximity does not prove causality.

One of the must-read articles this week is footnoteMaven’s “Annotate Your Sources – It Can’t Hurt and It Just Might Help,” wherein she gobsmacks us with the shocking news that there is no such thing as the Citation Police (or, as Randy Seaver refers to them, the Citation Secret Police). fM provides a great explanation of the usefulness of citations and as well as an illustration of how we might annotate our citations. (While I have not done this formally, I do include comments on some of my main sources in the “Notes” section on my genealogy program, both to give credit where credit is due and to be able to retrace the process and logic of my own research.)

An interesting development on Donna Pointkouski’s theme of “Colonials vs Immigrants” is presented at Steve’s Genealogy Blog in “How Many of My Ancestors Have I Documented?” Steve Danko demonstrates through numbers that while there is joy to be had for some lines in some areas, the ratio of found-to-total ancestors definitely takes a sharp nosedive pretty quickly for those immigrant lines that are not nobility.

At Staats Place, Chris Staats explains how his plan to prove the existence of Santa provided a good lesson in what does and does not constitute exhaustive research in “What Santa Taught Me About Genealogical Research.”

For more suggested blog reading, check out Elizabeth O'Neal's Best Bytes for the Week at Little Bytes of Life and Susan Petersen's Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere at Long Lost

This week I started following these blogs:

Christ Paton: Walking in Eternity

An English Jewish family’s quest for their roots

Free Genealogy Guide

Genealogy Stories

In Black and White: Cross-Cultural Genealogy

Shakin’ the Family Tree

The Genealogy Mad Scientist

The O’Neill-March Family History

My Research Week

For the last couple of years, one of the things I have done on Veterans’ Day was to call my Uncle Bill Brinlee, who served in the Navy in the 1950s and 1960s. Uncle Bill died last January, so this year I decided to spend Veterans Day in a manner similar to my custom for Memorial Day: researching an ancestor’s military records. On Thursday I worked on my gggg-grandfather William Lewis’ Revolutionary War service records. There is a lot of material on Footnote, and I still haven’t finished.

I also continued to look up articles on Genealogy Bank, mostly for the Floyds and Brinlees. I'm afraid some of it is not very ... flattering. Will have to write an article on this.


  1. Totally agree with this weeks assessment Greta. Those you listed that I don't follow, I plan to go have a look.

  2. Yes, Barbara is a great Friday Follow, she is a great, any day of the week follow!

    Great pick!

  3. Greta, thank you so much for the Follow Friday nod. I'm very surprised, because my posts are so ordinary, but if you enjoy them, I appreciate the compliment. (No, I didn't pay Carol to say what she wrote!)

  4. Greta:

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again; your Friday Newsletter just gets better and better.

    Thank you for the shout out for my annotated source post. It works for me and I hope it will give others a few ideas.

    And thank you so much for stopping by and thanking Mr. Maven for his service.

    The Citation Secret Police

  5. Hi Linda, Carol, Barbara, and fM!

    Thank you all for stopping by and for your kind words. You all provide me with such great reading pleasure - if only all learning could be so much fun!