If you’ll be in northern California this weekend, be sure to check out the 150th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.
Hafthor Bjornsson, the Icelandic strongman and actor who plays “The Mountain” on the highly rated HBO television fantasy drama “Game of Thrones,” is bringing his brute to the Scottish Highland Gathering and Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds — the largest Scottish Games event in North America.
The 6-foot-9, 420-pound giant will take on some of the world’s best Scottish weights throwers and lifters to compete in the weight-over-the-bar event Sunday afternoon.
That’s right: Ser Gregor Clegane from The Game of Thrones will be demonstrating, live and in person, why he is appropriately nicknamed “The Mountain.” Eyeballs will be popping, I’m sure, but hopefully not in a bad way! 😯
Check out this video of one of his recent competitions before you decide to challenge The Mountain. I love the part where he “wears” the car as if it was just another heavy suitcase or something.
More info at the sourcelink: Great Scot: The Mountain set to take on challengers at the Scottish Games in Pleasanton.
Find Your Family History for FREE this Labor Day Weekend: NEHGS and Ancestry
U.S. Probates are here! (at Ancestry.com)
WWII Prisoners of War Records published online for the 1st time on 70th Anniversary
FamilySearch Makes 2.7 Million Historic Records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census Freely Searchable Online
Societies, Libraries, Archives, Genealogy Vendors Needed for PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow Season 3
Rockstar Genealogist 2015 Nominations Now Open
American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announce Annual Family History Day: a Day of Discovery and Learning about Family History on Saturday, October 3, in Boston, Massachusetts
SoCalifornia: Call for 2016 Jamboree and Jamboree Extension Series Presentations
ISFHWE Excellence-In-Writing Competition Winners Announced!
FREE Ebook: The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists
FGS and Genealogy Gems Team Up to Bring New FGS Membership Benefit
30 Ways in 30 Days to SHARE A MEMORY Intro
Google Docs Gets Voice Typing, Templates, Smart Sheets And More
Wouldn’t this be fun for family reunions? Polaroid’s Latest Instant Camera Doesn’t Need Ink
ThingThing Is An iOS Keyboard That Shortcuts App Switching
Google’s New Street View App Lets You Browse 360-Degree Imagery, Share Your Own Panoramic Photos
Feedly’s News Reader Gets Business-Friendly With “Shared Collections,” Team Collaboration Features
Google Chrome Cuts Back on Memory Usage
In the News
Stanford scholar discovers previously unknown Magna Carta scribe
Genealogy gold mine: Millions of wills now online
Finding more than revolutionary soldiers
Family History Center changes its philosophy
FamilySearch opens new Seattle Family Discovery Center
Mass graves, musket balls and metal detectors
Mandatory DNA Profiling Can Help Solve Puzzle of Unclaimed Bodies
5 American generals buried in more than one place
Why taking the DNA of a dead loved one could help save your life: Undertakers launch a new macabre-sounding service
The Harpists of Viggiano
Want to have your family history featured in our major new exhibition?
Baby girl’s missing headstone returned to Nebraska, 70 years later
Pensioner says he has the world’s biggest family tree after tracking down 10,000 relatives (which include William the Conqueror, Alfred The Great and the Queen)
From the Blogs
Discovery of Scots Prisoners of War at Durham Cathedral in England! How is this important to New England Genealogical Research?
Not New Hampshire: Henry Prince Nourse, 4th Great Grandson of Rebecca (Town) Nurse
Tuesday’s Tips: A secret stash of Irish Roman Catholic parish registers?
MYCANVAS GBS – GUEST BLOGGERS!
The Problem of Family Not Wanting Your Genealogy Research
The ‘Secret’ Details in the 1940 Census You May Be Missing
Statistics support substantial shift in online usage
A Copyright Casualty — Part II
Is there Corruption in Your Genealogical Society?
When were Frances Irene Goering and Lowell S. Froman married?
The Last Byte
I’ve been researching my family history for about 28 years. During that time, I’ve pursued my paternal ancestry, as well as my maternal ancestry, pretty much with equal zeal. And while I especially enjoy finding direct-line ancestors, I consider any find – collateral or direct-line – to be a good thing. Is this because I’m a woman? 😕
Earlier today, Nancy shared a thoughtful post on her blog My Ancestors and Me titled, Is There a Difference Between How Men and Women Approach Genealogy? Her impressions:
- Men are most interested in finding their direct line ancestors while largely ignoring the siblings and children of those ancestors unless finding them can lead back to and give more information about the direct line ancestor.
- Women are interested in finding direct line ancestors while at the same time seek to discover the siblings and children of those ancestors, thereby gathering and recreating families.
A few years ago, I probably would have agreed with Nancy’s assessment. However, as I’ve watched my husband evolve as a genealogist, I’ve noticed that he frequently uses the FAN Principle. How did he learn this? I have no idea, but I think it’s the scientist in him always looking for clues. He chases down any and all collateral ancestors, as well as their family and friends, and keeps remarkable spreadsheets documenting their relationships, to boot. If the clues lead to information about his direct line, great. If not, that’s fine too. He has found some amazing stories (which I keep asking him to write down so I can blog them!) about collateral ancestors, and he seems genuinely excited about every find.
But let’s face it: researching the FAN Club (siblings, friends, neighbors, associates, complete families, etc.) takes more time and almost never brings instant gratification. It is more work. And work is hard. Not everybody likes hard. To me, that seems like a personality thing rather than a gender thing.
But hey, I could be completely off base here. Take a gander at Nancy’s article, and let her – and me! – know what you think. Do men and women approach genealogy differently?
Ancestry Collaborates with Gannett to Digitally Archive More Than 80 U.S. Newspapers
New Funding support for Digital Public Library of America facilitates a push to serve all 50 states by 2017!
Registration is open for the 11th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy
Mark your calendars: National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair, October 21-22, 2015
Free access to Ancestry.co.uk this weekend
See Your DNA Matches in a Whole New Way
The Future Will Bring Automated Indexing Tools – #BYUFHGC
Scanfest is Coming!
The Ancestry.com website will undergo scheduled maintenance on Saturday, 29 August 2015, from approximately 02:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m. (EDT). During that time, some portions of the site may be unavailable.
Due to equipment maintenance, the Library of Congress websites (including loc.gov, congress.gov, copyright.gov & others) are unavailable. They are expected to be available again by the evening of Sunday, August 30.
Instagram Now Supports Landscape and Portrait Format Photos
160 Years of Hurricanes in One Incredible Infographic
Microsoft Snip annotates screenshots with voice notes and scribbles
Google Chrome to Silence Annoying Auto-Play Videos
Google Map Maker returns to the US, UK and over 40 other countries
Remembering the Windows 95 launch: A triumph of marketing
Twitter is rolling out desktop notifications for direct messages
LG Made A Full-Size Keyboard For Mobiles That Folds Into A Stick To Fit In Your Bag
This is What Victorian ‘Photoshopped’ Photos Look Like Up Close
In the News
West Waco Library mold issue to cost city $81,452
Breeched Cannon Discovered at Revolutionary War Site
Hurricane Katrina Turned My Family’s Odds and Ends Into Heirlooms
New Research Shows DNA Can Be Altered by Trauma, Passed On to Offspring
CODER USES 23ANDME TO DENY WEBSITE ACCESS BASED ON GENETIC MAKEUP
Share Your Knowledge: Write for FGS FORUM
Ancestry.com is hiring a social media specialist in London and in Dublin
Trust, but verify; or There goes 1/16 of my family tree
Call for Topics: WACKY Wednesday
PHOTO DATING HELP NEEDED!
ProGen alums are needed to help in various volunteer positions. Check your email for more info, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
First World War bracelet mystery solved after 30 years
Cousins! Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton revealed to be distant cousins as family trees show they share same set of royal ancestors
From the Blogs
The ONE Absolute BEST Way to Find More Ancestor Articles in Historic Newspapers Online
Book Giveaway! Jacob Killman, Loyalist
Where are all the photos?
How do I research someone I know little about?
WordPress To Go
Born to Be Wild: How to Use Wildcards in FamilySearch.org Searches
Looking forward to part 2! A Copyright Casualty — Part I
dictionaries for everything!
The Last Byte
Earlier today, genealogist Joy Neighbors – who you may know from the cemetery blog A Grave Interest – published a humorous article on the InsideToronto.com website. Titled “THE JOY OF GENEALOGY: Beware the seven dastardly deeds of genealogy,” the article discusses genealogy’s 7 “dastardly deeds,” which Joy compares to the Catholic religion’s cardinal vices, or The Seven Deadly Sins.
Growing up a Catholic, I can certainly remember hearing the priest talk at church about the cardinal sins. Even my mother and grandmother tossed them around from time to time: “Sloth is a sin, you know. Go clean up your room right now!” You mean I could go to Hell for having a messy room? (Apparently not, but it makes God really unhappy.)
Joy’s article is clever, but also contains some grains of truth. I, for one, will admit that I am guilty of #7 – Gluttony. I mean, who doesn’t want MORE ancestors, or to talk about genealogy just a bit MORE at every family gathering? TMI with genealogy? How is that even possible? 😎
From which Dastardly Deed of Genealogy do you suffer? C’mon, be honest!
My daughter hasn’t been a baby for a long time, as she is so fond of reminding me. But… as my mom used to tell me, and as I now tell my own daughter, “You will always be my baby, no matter how big you get.” Moms, you know what I mean. It’s like that Elizabeth Stone quote, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
Well, my heart went to 4th grade this week. And I’m pretty sure it was harder for me than it was for my daughter.
So I decided to share a post that I wrote back in 2011 when my only descendant went to her first day of Kindergarten. I hope you enjoy it.
* * *
My daughter starts Kindergarten tomorrow. As you might imagine, our household is all abuzz with excitement: new backpack, new lunch box, new clothes, pencils, erasers, crayons, glue sticks. Everything is in readiness for The First Day of School.
This mom has mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’ll get a few hours to myself each week. My daughter has been with me pretty much 24/7 since she was born. I’ve loved being with her, but sometimes I’d really like to use the bathroom without having company.
On the other hand, this marks the moment that my baby is no longer my baby.
That’s hard to swallow.
Over the past few weeks, I couldn’t help remembering my own time in Kindergarten, thinking about how my daughter’s experience will be so different from mine.
And as I thought about the whole Kindergarten experience, I began to realize just how basic and important the lessons learned during that time are, and how they can apply to almost anything in life.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GENEALOGY I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN
Share everything. Genealogy only works when you share. Keeping it to yourself won’t help you.
Play fair. Don’t take things from other people without giving credit where credit is due.
Don’t hit people. Even if they’re hogging the copier at the library.
Put things back where you found them. Unless there’s a sign telling you to put them somewhere else.
Clean up your own mess. Those boxes and piles aren’t going to organize themselves.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours. That tree you found on Ancestry.com, the Find A Grave memorial that’s already been posted, a Geni.com public profile… Ask first. Most people will say yes if you ask nicely.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. If you swiped that photo off Find A Grave and posted it without asking or giving attribution, it’s never too late to apologize. Unless you’ve already been reported for copyright infringement.
Wash your hands before you eat. And before you handle very old documents or artifacts. Actually, it’s not a bad idea to wash them afterwards, too.
Flush. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. Or scan it so it takes up less room.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. A cookie break is always a good idea. Period.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. All genealogy all the time might be fun, but it makes Jill a dull girl. Do something different once in a while to refresh yourself and clear your head.
Take a nap every afternoon. Especially if you stayed up all night looking for ancestors.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Go to genealogy conferences, society meetings… get out in the world and meet other genealogists. They really are nice people, and they like to help. And have fun.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Never forget the wave of emotion that came over you when you stood at the door of your great-great-grandparents ancestral home. Or the excitement of finally finding your grandfather’s grave after 20 years of searching. Or the thrill of meeting a new cousin… who happens to own the family Bible. These are the wondrous moments that fuel and feed us.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. To put it bluntly, genealogy is the finding of dead people. We all know that. But don’t forget that YOU will be named on a death certificate too, one day. Live a wonderful life worthy of remembering. And back up your data in a format that can be passed on to future generations.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK. LOOK EVERYWHERE. Not everything is on the internet. Look in libraries. Look in Family History Centers. Look in county courthouses. Look in cemeteries. And look at what you’ve already got multiple times. As your knowledge and awareness change, your interpretation will also change. You can see the same things with new eyes and maybe find answers that were right in front of you the whole time.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Fulghum, Robert. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1986. The words in bold are his; the others are mine.
In my Friday BestBytes column, I posted a link to an article titled “States ration birth, marriage, death certificates after paper company suddenly closes,” which discusses the closure of Sekuworks, an Ohio paper company, and the impact this closure is having on the ability of several states to provide copies of vital records.
In California, the closure is severely hampering the ability of counties to issue “authorized” copies of vital records, which are used to establish the identity of the person named in the record (“informational” copies are not used to establish identity). California law requires that authorized copies of vital records be printed on special paper using the “intaglio” printing process… which only one company in the United States – the one that just closed – is able to provide. There is one other company in the world which could provide this service, but that company is in Canada, and it would likely take months for this company to get up to speed to meet California’s needs.
This morning, the California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA) shared a post on it’s blog (originally written by Jan Meisels Allen) on this very topic, bringing up another important issue: there are currently NO bills being introduced in the California State Legislature to address this problem. That’s right, none. And the California Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on September 11, the last day for any bill to be passed in 2015.
As California genealogists, and/or genealogists who do research in California, we might want to consider writing to our legislators to encourage them to take action on this problem before it becomes critical. You can find your California legislator’s contact information here.
NGS Announces a New Course in the American Genealogical Studies Series: Beyond the Basics
More than 82,000 FamilySearch Volunteers “Fuel the Find” for People Worldwide
2016 Jamboree – Call for Presentations
Forensic Genealogy Institute Announces Dates for 2016 Event
August is the Right Time to Tell Your Senators About Your Record Access Concerns
California is being hit the hardest: States ration birth, marriage, death certificates after paper company suddenly closes
Kentucky’s new genderless marriage licenses might pose problem for genealogists
New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces Appointment of Christopher C. Child as Editor of the Mayflower Descendant
ICYMI: Inmates Indexing Genealogy Records
Finally! A Super Easy, Visual Way to Organize Your Genealogy Data
Edit Any Photo on the Internet with Polarr’s Plugin for Chrome and Firefox
Google Photos Introduces “Rediscover This Day” To Help You Reminisce
Dropbox saves URLs you drag and drop on the web and PC
Hey Soldier, What’s Your Name? Crowdsourcing IDs in Old Group Photos [TUTORIAL]
Highlight Important Areas of Document Images
Mega-Search … an option for getting search results from just genealogical web sites
In the News
Sandyston woman wants her archives back
Dig uncovers British fort’s stone walls in Lake George, N.Y.
State funeral for forgotten 1916 rebel after DNA testing confirms identity
DNA proves President Harding fathered child out of wedlock and
DNA Shows Warren Harding Wasn’t America’s First Black President
Russia Wants Rachmaninoff’s Remains Back
Historic Century Inn burns in Washington County; rare flag saved
Lost piece of family history returned after 4 decades
Woman’s detective work reunites Charlotte family with old photos
DNA test brings Florida man ‘home’ to St. John Valley
German man who fled Czechoslovakia during Second World War returns to his family home after 70 years and discovers the possessions his father hid in the roof are still there
Department of Interior, Indian Affairs — Hiring a Genealogist
Are these men the same person: Mystery Monday – Possible Simon spotting
This gentleman is looking for members of his U.S. Army WWII unit with whom he served in 1942/43.
This week’s Findmypast “Community Conversation” centers around a specific passenger list… does anybody have advice for Jean?
From the Blogs
Mystery Monday, Do You Have a Mystery?
Twile Converts Family Tree Data into Visual Timelines – Post 1: GEDCOM Upload and
Twile Converts Family Tree Data into Visual Timelines – Post 2: Photo and Document Upload
So, you’ve found all of the digitized records available online. Now what?
Tuesday’s Tip: Maybe those online trees aren’t ALL bad …
19 August 1692, Five People Hanged for Witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts
Digitization Options for Family Photos Including Slides, Film Negatives, and Home Movies
For Those Who Change E-Mail Addresses… And For Those Who Don’t
The Origin and History of New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Highway
Sad and sweet: Dollhouse Grave Markers
The Last Byte
Earlier this week, there was an article on Genealogy’s Star titled The Almost Lost Art of Handwriting — Reading Old Scripts, in which the author, James Tanner writes, “From time to time I have commented on the erosion of the teaching of cursive writing in schools across the country and I am sure that there is still a steep decline in the ability of today’s children to use handwriting at all, much less to any passible [sic] level. As genealogists, we are confronted with the need to read handwritten documents, in fact, the whole culture of FamilySearch Indexing is organized around the idea that there is still not an adequate way to read handwriting by computer and that human intervention is necessary.”
He goes on later to say, “Do I think children should be taught to write cursive? Whether I do or not, I do not think that learning to write in cursive helps you very much to decipher old handwriting. Deciphering old handwriting is a completely different skill that requires quite a bit of work and experience.”
Many of you know that I homeschool my daughter, and as such, I choose what is important for her to learn instead of letting a teacher or the school district decide. And I have chosen to teach her to read and write in cursive. We actually started last year in 3rd grade, and much to my surprise (and hers) she rather enjoyed it. I told her from the beginning that I was not concerned with how neatly she could write – after all, my cursive writing is fairly tragic – but I did feel it was important for her to be able to 1) read cursive, and 2) sign her name in cursive. My daughter was so excited the first time she could read a greeting card from Grandma and Grandpa all by herself… how could I not give her that valuable life skill?
Do I agree that deciphering old handwriting is an entirely different skill? Perhaps. But I feel it is a skill that has its foundation in the knowledge of cursive. And we need to give our children this basic skill if we want them to carry the torch as the genealogists of the future.
What do you think? Do kids today still need to learn the “lost art of handwriting?”
Back on March 5th, I wrote about the possible removal of the Prado Dam mural, an iconic symbol of America’s bicentennial, and something I remembered fondly from my childhood.
On August 5th, the Corona City Council unanimously voted to support the restoration of the Prado Dam mural. This means that all five cities surrounding the mural, as well as the Orange County Water District, and the Corona-Norco Unified School District, have all united in support of restoring the Prado Dam mural to its original, patriotic glory.
In early June, a U.S. District Court judge issued a restraining order halting any actions on the mural’s removal for at least a month, after one of the creators of the mural filed suit. The order came just 12 hours before the mural was slated for removal by the Army Corps of Engineers. A federal judge is expected to decide the fate of the mural on August 19th.
If you haven’t already signed the petition to save this piece of Southern California history, please visit Save The Largest Patriotic Mural In America. Over 19,000 people have already signed.
For up-to-date information, please visit Friends of the Prado Dam Mural.
* Image above by Rory Murray.
Best Bytes is an eclectic collection, in no particular order, of things I thought were interesting during the past week. I hope you find something to enjoy here!
#FuelTheFind: FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event starts today!
Save 20% on AncestryDNA
Update Firefox Now
Apple to patch serious security hole in Mac OS X
Public Comment Sought by NARA on Partnership Agreements with Ancestry.com and Fold3
Finding Your Roots Returns (Season 3)
300 years of [Irish] parish records now online
35,000 North Carolina Pension Confederate Applications 1901-1946 Going Online
How the US Military Helped Invent Cheetos
Digi-Know . . . Hey Siri Takes Hands-Free to a New Level
This interactive map crams in American literature’s greatest road trips
Ireland’s remotest spots and hidden wonders are coming to Google Maps
Mapping Radio Legend Art Laboe’s LA Through the Years
In the News
Ohio Genealogical Society Announces New Lineage Society
GenGophers.com Doubles its Online Library to More Than 80,000 Digital Genealogy Books
Researchers lament Arizona genealogy library’s sudden downsizing, relocation
Iraq Digitising Baghdad National Library Archives In Face of ISIS Threat
Digital database breathes new life into newspaper archives
Forgotten Plymouth history discovered in family mementos
Ancient Humans Had More DNA Than We Have Now
‘Roots’ author Alex Haley’s grandmother’s tombstone vandalized with racial graffiti
Call for Panelists: What Did SHE Say? Study Group 1
What is it? (This may already have been solved)
From the Blogs
Searching With 23andMe
Using Amazon for Genealogy
From the Readers: Keeping Watch Over Me
The Early History of Manchester New Hampshire’s Hesser Business College (now Mount Washington College) and the Hesser Family
The Value of Special Collections
On the Road Again: Presidential Visits to the West, Part I
The Last Byte
Do you print your photos or just keep the digital versions on your computer/device? I used to print more often, but for several years, I have just been too
lazy busy. I almost never print anymore. In fact, the last time I printed any photos was 2 months ago for my daughter’s school photography exhibit. Before that… I have no idea. I discovered the hard way that photo paper – even properly stored – does not age well. Sadly, I must have thousands of digital photos just languishing on my computer’s hard drive or in the cloud. My walls are in desperate need of some family faces.
According to PetaPixel, “Canon has launched a lighthearted new advertising campaign for its PIXMA line of printers. Titled “Never Again,” the series of short 30-second advertisements imagine disastrous moments in life when printing out a photo or document could have saved a person from a lifetime of mental trauma and regret.” A couple of these, in particular, really hit home for me (No, not the one with the 2 boys looking at the camera!).
Read: Canon’s Humorous ‘Never Again’ Ads Show Why You Should Print Your Photos.
Note to self: Time to invest in some new photo paper.
Today marks the big kick-off for the FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event, which lasts from August 7 – 13, 2015. Wherever you are in the world, you can download a batch of documents from FamilySearch Indexing, and “pay it forward” for future genealogists who might just be waiting for that particular document you indexed. The goal is for 100,000 people to participate in one week, and help is especially needed with records in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Also, don’t miss the indexing fun with the DearMYRTLE online community. Myrt will be hosting several Hangouts devoted to this project, and is looking for volunteers to talk about some of the breakthroughs you’ve experienced using indexed records. She also offers suggestions on how to get started indexing, and how YOU can help #FuelTheFind. Check out the DearMYRTLE Blog for updates.
Note to DAR members: Be sure to enter your time in the Celebrate America! tally of hours because you are most certainly doing a service to the genealogy community!
Note to SL-APG members: Please be sure to keep track of your time for our annual project reporting!
Apparently my little doggie wanted to help me share the news: Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition – the NEW one, in other words – is currently for sale at Amazon.com for more than $10 less than the list price!
Mine just arrived in today’s mail (thank you, Amazon Prime!), so I have yet to check it out. For some odd reason, my dog jumped up on the couch and sat right down next to it. Dogs just know a good thing when they see it, I guess!
(Hat tip to Tami Glatz for the head’s up on the sale!)