Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Newsletter and Follow News: 10 December 2010

This Week in Genea-Blogging

We Are Surrounded by Writers and Artists

when it comes to our fellow Genea-Bloggers. It seems not only magic, but inspiration is in the air. Everywhere you look, people have been blogging their hearts out for Jasia and digging deep into the well of memory and creativity to write about their Christmas memories. Perhaps some of our genealogy bloggers knew they had special writing or visual art talents before they started blogging, but it occurs to me that many may have discovered these talents after they started blogging and trying new things on their blogs – things they never suspected they could do – often with the encouragement of other members of the genea-blogging community.  You think you are just going to do a modest little blog – share some information about your family and maybe, if you are lucky, meet some distant cousins researching the same lines. And then you read other blogs, get comments, see and respond to prompts and themes. And before you know it, your blog turns into an outlet for a creative talent you never suspected you had.

What inspired me to write this? For the most part, when I write “Friday Newsletter and Follow News” I leave Carnival posts and special occasion prompt posts alone – no stealing of thunder – to be featured on Creative Gene and GeneaBloggers.  So, after leaving those two categories out, especially the amazing 100th Carnival of Genealogy, I didn’t think there would be a whole lot left to feature on Follow News.

Was I wrong! It seems bloggers have gone into high gear and are pulling out all the stops. Outstanding!

First Recommendation

Creative Gene - Carnival of Genealogy, 100th Edition: There's One in Every Family

Special People, Part 1

Special People, Part 2

Special Things


A linguistic slant

So I’m definitely fascinated by the topic brought up by John Newmark at TransvylanianDutch: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  When you are working with oral histories or transcriptions, be careful about foreign words and names as well as familiar ones pronounced with an accent.

Not for the faint of heart

For most of the Advent Calendar posts, I direct you to GeneaBloggers list. But here is one that you must check out: Amy Coffin’s “Holiday of HORRORS!” at We Tree. Peek if you dare.

We Learn Something New

At My Ancestor’s Name, Angela Walton-Raji has written an informative post on a little-known group of teachers from early in the previous century: “So, What Is a Jeanes Teacher?”

“I Don’t Like My Brick Wall Ancestor”

One of the best genealogy blog post titles ever.  And you’ll see why when you read Barbara Poole’s post at Life From The Roots: “Amanuensis Monday -- I Don’t Like My Brick Wall Ancestor.”

What she said! What he said!

My favorite rant/post on a blog in recent memory. Kerry Scott. Clue Wagon. “Why the Facebook Cartoon Pictures Make Me Want to Poke My Eye Out With A Fork.” This is no criticism of people who change their profile pictures for whatever reason. Heck, my husband was going to use this as an excuse to change his to Eric Cartman. But enough aimless consciousness-raising without specific recommendations on how to help and actual concrete action.

This discussion is also addressed and developed by Thomas Macentee in “Facebook, Child Abuse, and Challenging the Status Quo” at Destination: Austin Family.

OK, I admit it …

I am one of those people who cannot keep all of the Family Search websites straight. But now I don’t have to.  James Tanner at Genealogy’s Star has posted an article linking to and describing all of the different sites in “Comments on the status of Family Search websites.”  Thank you!

As seen through the eyes of a child

At On a flesh and bone foundation: An Irish History, Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman has written an extremely affecting account of her mother’s memories of the death of her own mother in “Matrilineal Monday: A Mother Lost: Mary Fitzpatrick Ball.” These are memories seen through the eyes of a five-year-old who has lost her mother, and this makes the story all the more heart-wrenching.

How to Tell the Story

In “The Strong Woman: There’s One in Every Family – Part II,” Elizabeth O’Neal of Little Bytes of Life has written a post that beautifully demonstrates how to put research information into a well-told and touching story.

Attention All Baby Boomers

And everyone else who is interested in modern history. You must read Craig Manson’s “The Most Important Day of My Life: December 7, 1941” at GeneaBlogie.  It’s a thoughtful perspective on what influenced our generation and poses the question of how our generation will influence in the years to come.

For more suggested blog reading, check out Best of the Genea-Blogs at Randy Seaver’s GeneaMusings, Best Bytes for the Week at Elizabeth O’Neal’s Little Bytes of Life, and Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere at Susan Petersen’s Long Lost Relatives.

This week I started following these blogs:

Are My Roots Showing?

The Historian’s Family

Virginia Historical Society’s Blog

The Brooklyn Historical Society Blog

Ancestor Search

Arkansas Roots: The Stories of My Family

Borreson Cousins

Digging Under My Family Tree

Dr. D Digs Up Ancestors

Exile’s Return

Genealogy Dragnet

Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries

Genealogy Quest

Glimpsing the Past

Jen’s Genealogy Pages

Family Matters

Our Family Quilt

Pursuits of a Desperate Genie

Seattle Genealogical Society

Tattered Past

August Legacy

My Research Week

I haven't gotten much research done this week, but I have been greatly cheered by a couple of things. One, I received the Ancestor Approved Award from Jenny Lanctot at Are My Roots Showing? Thank you, Jenny! I love the name of your blog and I enjoyed your list of things you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.

Also, the generous and talented Cynthia Shenette of Heritage Zen has continued to help me out with the Stepanishens. Cindy, you are a true Genea-Angel!


  1. Thank you for all your words of praise for the COG, Greta! It was a marvelous edition, wasn't it?

  2. Greta, Thank you once again for the shout-out. My cousin is going back to the courthouse in Jan., so I hope to have more information. My goodness, all the new blogs you are reading, just when do you find time?

  3. Greta - Aw. Thank you so much for the Genea-Angel. Honestly, helping out is what it is all about. You made my day!

  4. Greta, thank you so much for your kind words about my post. I'm still doing research, but thanks to the COG (a plug for Jasia), I was inspired to put what I already knew into words. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Thank you for deciding to follow my blog. Linking it to geneabloggers has changed everything.
    For nine years I worked on a brick wall in my family that had a very unexpected outcome. You can read about it by going to and clicking on the November post called "When the Pieces Fall Into Place ..." Very unexpected development.

  6. Jasia - It WAS a marvelous edition, and a wonderful event!

    Barbara - The sort of sad thing is that as new blogs start up, some of the old ones stop posting or are inactive for a while, so the total number of posts I read doesn't go up a whole lot. I look forward to what you find; this sort of parallels the Floyd research that my cousins and I are doing.

    Cynthia - You are what Genea-Angels are all about!

    Elizabeth - I know what you mean - it has been the COG on many occasions that made me "put pen to paper" and finally write about my research.

    Kathy - I loved the post you recommended and am also really enjoying reading about Betty's Box. Great blog!