Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

May the spirit of the season shine down upon you and grace you with the gifts of family, friends, good food, good conversation, and a couple things you have been eyeing at a store or on a website. Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Citation Soapbox

Citing sources is important. I know I've mentioned this before, and I can't help but bring it up again. Some people will say it's important to write citations so that you know where you found the record, and can go back there again. However, it's more than that.

Do you plan on passing your research down to relatives? What are your plans for your research when you are gone from this world? Do you want a future researcher to know how you found the record? Do you plan to publish? This is why citations are important. Yes, you want to be able to figure out where you found the record. However, other people should be able to figure it out too.

I've been conducting research on a particular surname and came across a five volume book set written by one author (I'll keep the surname and author name private). At least four of the books were easily over a thousand pages. This was a lot of research, work, time and money. An impressive feat to be sure. Sadly, there was a glaring lack of citations. Only vague references occasionally to deeds, wills, and other books.

I found the particular lineage within the books I was looking for, but was left having no idea how the author got the facts. At the beginning of the passage that was pertinent to my research, was the mention of a book which I've requested through inter-library loan. I would have preferred that a will, gravestone, bible record or some other source had been properly cited. Then I would have something to go on. Instead I wait hoping this book will give me better clues for evidence to track down.

So, it's important to cite your sources not only for you, but for those that come after! I know that you have spent a lot of time and effort to gather your information. You don't want it to be disregarded.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week In Review

It's been an active week in the world of genealogy! So rather than limit myself to blogging about one topic I decided to mention a few.

A read a very thought provoking blog this week by Michael Hait at Planting the Seeds, titled "The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new "experts"?" Michael discusses how geneabloggers are becoming viewed as something akin to experts in the field of genealogy. He also points out the lagging membership of genealogy societies, the importance of an online presence and support of these local societies. There were a lot of very interesting points made in the article, it's insightful, and I think it is a great read.

Are you attending RootsTech? Last week there was an uproar in the genealogy community, when we found out there would a ban on book sellers in the vendor hall at RootsTech. It was an interesting choice to make by RootsTech. I watched/read with increasing fascination at the comments made on Facebook and blogs expressing outrage over this decision. Well, RootsTech must have read all of the outraged comments as well and reversed their decision. Book vendors will now be allowed in the vendor hall.

There is an App for that! MyHeritage has released the news that they now have an App available for free for iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Wanna go to genealogy summer camp? The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University is the place to be. Registration begins on January 17th at 11:00 a.m. EST. This is a great institute and learning opportunity. Imagine focused instruction on a genealogy topic, and socializing with your genealogy peers for a whole week! Check out their website for the description of courses to be offered this summer.

Finally, the news I was really excited to find out about is that Elizabeth Shown Mills has released a website called Historic Pathways. Elizabeth is a renowned genealogist with an impressive list of credits. The website lists the books Elizabeth has written and just a portion of the numerous articles she has authored. If you want to learn by example, then reading anything by Elizabeth is an excellent choice.

Well, those are the highlights. Hope you are all able to take this last week before Christmas to sit back and relax a bit. I know I'll be reading those articles on the Historic Pathways site whenever I get a chance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Vertical Files and Cookies--It's Kinda Like Grandma's House

I'm behind with my blogging. Last week was busy. On Tuesday I spent a mere hour at the dentist and ended up with a numb face the rest of the day (much to the amusement of my boys). Wednesday I did my volunteer work at Tennessee State Library and Archives (more on this in a minute), then came home and made cookie dough. Thursday was a day of baking cookies (I've included photos of them), packaging them, getting them in the mail, and going to the neighborhood ornament exchange that evening. Friday, was my youngest son's last day of preschool, so I ran around doing errands like a possessed person. Saturday found me back at TSLA attending a lecture on the book, "Onward Southern Soldiers" (I'll discuss this in a different blog) and doing some research. Sunday was my youngest son's birthday party. I'm a little tired.

Anyway, a little bit on surname vertical files. I've discussed in other posts about the bible project I'm working on. I'm going through the surname vertical files and scanning any and all bible records I come across. It's a lot of files. I started a little over a year ago and I'm only in the middle of the "L's".  It's a really neat project! Going through the vertical files can, at times, feel like going through Grandma's attic. There can be all sorts of treasures there. I've seen reproductions of photos, photocopies of photos, original bible pages torn out of bibles, service records, wacky newspaper articles, and many other various records.

A few times I've seen booklets on certain families from an entirely different state. For example, "The Doe Family of Pennsylvania" (it's a fake family, just using the surname Doe as an example). In a few of these booklets there doesn't appear to be any reference to somebody living in Tennessee. Which got me thinking. This booklet somehow made it's way to Tennessee and into a vertical file. Did a member of the family move here or pass through leaving the booklet behind? Would a researcher think to look for this booklet in the vertical file. The moral being, when you are visiting a repository researching a specific ancestor, if you have time it may be a good idea to check out other surnames of your ancestors. You never know what you might find. Maybe a random piece of information somehow made its way into a vertical file there.

Just a couple more cookie photos......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blog Caroling-Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, and it is blog caroling. The point is to state your favorite Christmas Carol or holiday song, share it, post a video of it if you can, and the lyrics.

I have a lot of songs I look forward to during the holiday season. Some of them are from the kid's specials (Heat Miser anyone?), some are the classics, and some are just plain funny. However, one that stands out for me, that I made my four-year-old sit a little longer in the car and listen to the other day, is Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne." I found a clip of it on YouTube to share that has the lyrics in it (bonus!). I'm generally not an emotional person, but this song always gets me. There is just something special about it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Honor Flight Network and WW II Veterans

Last week I attended a DAR meeting and the guest speaker was a man from the Honor Flight Network. He showed us all sorts of slides that were wonderful and had many of us in tears. So what is it you might be wondering?

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that focuses mostly on WW II veterans at this time. The purpose is to honor these veterans by flying a plane load of them to Washington D.C.. Once there the veterans are taken to the WW II war memorial, which many of them have never seen. It is an amazing journey that takes place all in one day (at least from Nashville).

There are various different hubs around the country. The one located in Nashville is called the Music City Honor Flight. They just had a flight of veterans travel to D.C. in October and the next trip is scheduled for May. Each flight/trip costs $55,000 which is raised by donations.

When viewing the slides of the most recent trip, we could all see how touched the veterans were and what a meaningful experience it was for them. The surviving veterans of WW II are dwindling at an alarming rate. We were told that one veteran had decided to put off the most recent trip for one reason or another, and sadly he died two weeks later. So, if you know a WW II veteran have them get in touch with the Honor Flight Network!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Parade In Downtown Franklin

It's been a busy weekend. I photographed the boys for our Christmas cards, created the cards, and ordered them (with my husband of course). We also went to the annual Christmas Parade in Downtown Franklin. The weather worked in our favor this year. It was mild and sunny, which was a treat. The parade is a mix of local high school bands, various cub scout and girl scout packs, historic features, and businesses. It is a fun time and the boys get excited about the candy being thrown by the people in the parade. So I thought I would share some photos with you.

This is the Tennessee state flag.

Some cool cars.

Franklin has a lot of historic features.

Our friend is an EMT for the fire department, so I had to post this.

The grand finale of course was Santa.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Did It!

So the month of November is over and so is NaBloPoMo, which was to post a blog a day for the month. I managed to post a blog everyday. Admittedly, sometimes it was a stretch, Angry Birds are not exactly genealogy material (unless you are a descendent of mine reading this sometime in the future).

What did I learn about blogging everyday? Well.....

  • I'm pretty much what is called an "organic writer." Meaning some people will chart out topics in outlines, calendars, web graphs, etc. I'm not one of those people. If something strikes me or I get an idea I just write about it. If I had to chart ideas I would have writer's block--it's happened before. It's awful.
  • There are some ideas that ferment in the back of my mind for a while.
  • I really enjoy writing and connecting with people through writing.
  • I enjoyed writing everyday and I like deadlines (somehow they are motivating).
  • I still have a couple ideas to blog about that never made it to November. They are still fermenting.
So there you go. I can't say that I will be blogging everyday in December. It's the holiday season, I have two young kids and there is more crazy around here on top of the usual crazy. Plus I don't want to worry about blogging on Christmas or Boxing Day. Yes, I am an American who has a special place in her heart for Boxing Day. Go figure! Anyway, as always, thanks for reading.