Thursday, January 21, 2010

Exciting News About the Upcoming SLOCGS Seminar!

If you're going to be anywhere near the San Luis Obispo area on Saturday, February 6th, you won't want to miss the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society's upcoming seminar. I had already registered and was looking forward to attending this event, but imagine how thrilled I was to get this message from the seminar chairmen:

We just had an exciting development regarding the San Luis Obispo Co. Genealogical Society February 6, 2010 Genealogy Seminar.

Our photography speaker had to opt out due to a back injury, and we managed to wrangle instead one of the biggest names in the genealogy business for dating old photos and photo preservation. Maureen Taylor has written several books and been on the Today Show several times (see . In addition to speaking, Maureen is offering 15-minute consultations to Seminar attendees to discuss their family photos, if they bring them. She says she can usually analyze 2-3 photos in each 15 minute time period. Don’t miss this opportunity to get expert help dating and analyzing photos of your relatives.

Geoff Rasmussen also answered our urgent call for a "fill-in." He is with LegacyFamilyTree, producer of one of the major genealogy software programs ( In addition to his two presentations, Geoff is bringing a laptop computer to raffle off FREE to attendees.

Please find links to the websites of Megan Smolenyak, Maureen Taylor, and Geoff Rasmussen, and pre-registration info at: and . Only pre-registrants are guaranteed a copy of the syllabus seminar. If you have already registered and indicated preferences for certain sessions, you may change those the day of the seminar.

The combination of Megan Smolenyak (Chief Family Historian for , largest genealogy database site on the Internet), Maureen Taylor, and Geoff Rasmussen makes this a stellar event for the central coast. It is worth cancelling other activities because all of these speakers dazzle every time out of the gate – and you do not have to go to a major conference in Los Angeles to see them. Please forward this email to your friends, family, and neighbors.
Wow! To say that it's rare to get such big genealogy names out here on the central coast would be an understatement. For what it's worth, I have attended workshops/lectures given by Maureen and Megan in the past, and they're both outstanding speakers.

Please visit the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society's web site for registration information. Pre-registration prices are in effect until January 30, 2010.

And please say "hello" if you come to the seminar! I'll be the one bothering Maureen Taylor with entirely too many photos.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sharp Dressed Man

"Lee Swanay: Sharp Dressed Man." Digital image. Undated. Original photograph privately held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Benton Co., Washington. 2010.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

More New Genealogy-Related iPhone Apps: California & Texas Birth Records

A few interesting, new, genealogy-related iPhone applications have debuted this week: announced their new Tree to Go mobile app, which allows you to access your previously-uploaded Ancestry family tree on your iPhone. You can read more about this app on the Blog and at Geneabloggers (hat tip to @durinda for being the first to make me aware of this new app!).

* * *

Also new this week are the California Birth Record Search and Texas Birth Record Search apps, both from FQ Publishing.

The California Birth Record Search is the first of its kind in birth vital records for the State of California. California Birth Record Search givens users the ability to quickly search millions of California birth records and instantly display the results on their mobile device. The records include birth name, date of birth, gender, county of birth and the mother's maiden name. The California Birth Record Search is the perfect application for those conducting research on California births, those doing genealogical research and also for those just trying to find out when a friends birthday is! California Birth Record Search is available for a one-time fee, no reoccurring fees for unlimited access!
Very limited information is given about this app, but it appears to be a mobile version of the California Birth Index, 1905-1995, which is already available online in several places.

Being a California genealogist (and a new iPhone app addict), I couldn't resist downloading the California Birth Record Search app. I looked up several friends and family members, and could not find any birth dates later than 1995. The search engine is fairly fast, but there is no "searching" indicator. There were a few times when I couldn't tell if it was doing anything or not (I'm impatient that way).

The search results include a person's name, gender, date of birth, mother's maiden name, and county of birth.

For only .99 cents, this app may prove useful to genealogists-on-the-go doing California research. If not, think of all the fun you'll have playing "I Can Guess Your Birthday" with your friends at parties!

(I did not try out the Texas Birth Record Search app, since I don't do any reasearch in Texas. I'm guessing it works much the same as the California app.)

These apps are compatible with the iPhone (OS 3.0 and later) and iPod Touch.

For more information or to download these iPhone applications, please visit the iPhone App Store.

* * *

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Apple or the iPhone App Store. I own an iPhone, which I paid for with my husband's very own money.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, January 7, 2010

VA Selects Permanent Location for Historic Civil War Monument

December 30, 2009
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville, Ky., as the new home of the Bloedner Monument, the nation's oldest Civil War memorial.

The Bloedner Monument was removed from Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville in December 2008 and taken to a temporary facility where it was professionally conserved by Conservation Solutions Inc. to arrest further damage.

"The removal of an important monument from a national cemetery is rare and was not undertaken without great deliberation," said Secretary Shinseki. "However, the overwhelming significance of the Bloedner Monument and its failing condition warranted this unusual step."

The monument was carved in January 1862 by Pvt. August Bloedner to commemorate his fellow soldiers of the 32nd Indiana Infantry, all of them German immigrants who fell in the Battle of Rowlett's Station near Munfordville, Ky. The monument's original location was on the battlefield, marking the graves of 13 soldiers who perished there. When most of these remains were removed to Cave Hill National Cemetery in 1867, the Bloedner Monument was moved there as well.

VA historians, in collaboration with the Kentucky Heritage Council and Heritage Preservation Inc., selected the Frazier International Museum as the new home from three interested facilities based on Civil War exhibit plans, controlled environment and security, financial stability, annual visitation and proximity to Cave Hill National Cemetery.

The monument was fabricated from St. Genevieve limestone, with a base of Bedford limestone added in 1867. It measures approximately 5 feet long, 1 foot deep and 3½ feet high. The monument is carved on one side with a relief of an eagle and an inscription in German in a rustic script. The text was approximately 300 words and 2,500 characters long at the time it was carved. Because of the poor quality of the limestone and effects of the environment, the monument has lost a significant amount of material. Only about 50 percent of the original carving and inscription remains.

The monument was temporarily relocated to a University of Louisville facility for treatment while VA conducted a thorough evaluation of potential sites. The evaluation process included written proposals and site visits. VA posted information on the Internet, mailed information to Veterans and Civil War heritage groups and held a public information meeting to solicit suggestions.

A new monument, with an interpretive sign explaining the significance of the original Bloedner Monument and indicating its location, will be placed at Cave Hill National Cemetery in 2010.


News release from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
More about the preservation of the monument.
Image of the Bloedner Monument from United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Bessie Chops Wood

"Bessie Swanay Chopping Wood." Digital image. Undated. Original photograph privately held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Benton Co., Washington. 2010.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, January 4, 2010

Central Coast Genealogy Calendar: January 2010

Thursday, January 7
Monterey County Genealogical Society
7:00 PM (doors open at 6:00 PM)
Dr. Rob Chapman - " Website of the New England Genealogical Society, founded in 1845"

Friday, January 8
San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
10:30 AM - Noon
Hands-On Computer Genealogy - "Using the Online Family History Library Catalog"

Saturday, January 9
San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
Regular Meeting - Topic TBA

Sunday, January 10
Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County
1:30 - 3:30 PM
Debra Kay Blatt and Jan Meisels Allen - "How to Begin Your Genealogy"

Tuesday, January 12
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Computer Interest Group Meeting - Topic TBA

Saturday, January 16
Ventura County Genealogical Society
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Connie Moretti - "Immigrant Ancestors before 1776"

Tuesday, January 19
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
5:30 - 6:30 PM - Genealogy Tools
6:45 - 8:45 PM - General Meeting
Topic TBA

Saturday, January 23
Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
9:00 - 12:00 PM
General Meeting - Topic TBA

Be sure to check out the listing of winter genealogy classes offered by the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society in association with Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. You must register through SBCC. Classes begin on January 19.

Please send me an email if you would like to have your event included in this monthly calendar series.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year! May all your 2010 resolutions come true!

Clip art by The Graphics Fairy.

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal