Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jamboree: STREAMING VIDEO to be Offered Saturday, June 11

If you can't be there in person, you can still be part of the fun!

The Southern California Genealogical Society proudly announces that several Jamboree sessions will be available at no cost to genealogists and family historians around the globe. This offer is made possible through a special sponsorship provided by one of the conference's exhibitor partners and long-time friend of Jamboree, RootsMagic.

RootsMagic at Jamboree
Five sessions will be live-streamed on Saturday, June 11, 2011. The first session begins at 8:30 a.m. and the last session ends at 5:30 p.m.

"This technological step forward is challenging and exciting for Jamboree," said conference chair Leo Myers. "One of the missions of the Southern California Genealogical Society is to help educate genealogists and family historians, and we take that mission very seriously. We are so excited about the opportunity to reach hundreds of genealogists around the globe."

Sessions to be live streamed include the following. Click on the link to read more about each session and to register.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lisa Louise Cooke - SA009 - Google Search Strategies for Genealogists
8:30 to 9:30 a.m. PDT

Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF - SA019 - Fingerprinting Our Families - Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key
10:00 to 11:00 a.m. PDT

David A. Lambert - SA024 - Researching Your Union Civil War Ancestors
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT

Kory Meyerink, AG, FUGA - SA035 - But it Ain't Really the ORIGINAL Record!
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. PDT

Kerry Bartels - SA043 - The Many Facets of the National Archives Website (NARA)
3:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT

The recordings are an extension of the popular SCGS online "webinar" (web-based seminar) series. Viewers can listen and watch a presentation by registering and then signing on to a website. The original webcast of the streamed video sessions and webinars are available to the genealogical community at no charge. Subsequent viewings of archived versions of the educational sessions are available to SCGS members through the Society's website, www.scgsgenealogy.com.

Other Jamboree sessions will be available through GoToWebinar. Announcement of the webinar sessions will be made by end of day June 6, 2011.

The Southern California Genealogical Society, founded in 1964, has more than 1,700 members. Located at 417 Irving, Burbank, the SCGS library has 30,000 volumes and is open to the public free of charge. SCGS publishes a respected quarterly journal for members; provides numerous lectures and seminars for beginners, intermediate and experienced researchers; sponsors a number of special interest groups; and hosts its yearly Jamboree which attracts some 1,800 attendees from all over the United States.

For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose- to unite families. "RootsMagic", the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. "Personal Historian" will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. "Family Reunion Organizer" takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And "Family Atlas," which makes creating custom family maps fun and easy.

For more information contact Paula Hinkel, Jamboree Co-Chair, SCGSJamboree@gmail.com.

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Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Cyndi's List Launches a New Web Site

It still amazes me that this site is maintained by ONE person. Even more so now, with the newly-revamped site. Give Cyndi's List a try!

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Cyndi's List Launches a New Web Site
A major upgrade to celebrate 15 years of service

EDGEWOOD, WASHINGTON (June 6, 2011) – Cyndi's List is proud to announce a newly upgraded web site. With improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface, the upgrade means that everything will be quicker and easier for both visitors and for the site's owner and administrator, Cyndi Ingle Howells. The upgrade has been done by fusionSpan of Maryland. Their staff worked closely with Cyndi to make improvements and to implement new technology and new ideas designed specifically for Cyndi’s List and for the genealogical community.

Part of the upgrade was made possible by donations from generous users of Cyndi’s List. To date, 20% of what was accomplished in the project was thanks to them. Donors have been listed on the web site.

What's New with the Upgrade:

  • The front page of the Cyndi's List site has a rolling genealogy news feed and a link to The Cyndi’s List Daily, a daily dose of family history news as tagged in Twitter and Facebook. Start each day with the front page of Cyndi's List and read the current genealogy news stories.
  • The links are now contained within a database and pages will be dynamically loaded on each visit.
  • The custom database and administration interface means that maintaining the link list will be much easier for Cyndi, which ultimately benefits the user with faster and more frequent updates.
  • The new interface means that the backlog of uncategorized links can be processed much faster. The goal is to get the entire backlog done by the end of this year.
  • New links will be reviewed, approved, and categorized within 24-72 hours after submission by visitors.
  • Updates made to Cyndi's List will be immediately available to the public.
  • Previous to the upgrade, the "What's New" page and mailing list post contained only new links submitted by visitors. The new "What's New" page and e-mail will contain those, as well as links added to the site during the day by Cyndi, *and* existing links that have been updated throughout the site (new addresses, updated descriptions, etc.).
  • Across the site links have been labeled with graphics as "new" or "updated" when appropriate. With the upgrade these will now be text-based notations (easily spotted in green), which means that you can search on a page for "new" or "updated" with the Edit>Find function in your web browser.
  • Now sub-categories within a category heading each have their own page. And each page displays 20 links, with pagination in place to go to the next page and so on. This means there will be a lot less scrolling through long pages as in the past. Shorter pages mean faster load time in the browser as well.
  • Intuitive navigation at the top of the category makes it easy to find your way to previous category headings.
  • The number of links within each category/sub-category is displayed at the top right on each page.
  • Each of the U.S. counties (more than 3,100) now has a designated page of its own.
  • URLs (addresses) for the pages have changed so bookmarks, favorites, and links to Cyndi's List will need to be updated.
  • Opportunities to shop, support, or donate are highlighted on each page.

What Has Stayed the Same?

  • The category and sub-category names are all the same.
  • Related Categories are highlighted at the top right on each category.
  • The layout and format of the links are the same.
  • The policies, procedures, and disclaimers for maintaining the link list are the same.
  • The Cyndi's List Mailing List will still distribute a daily What's New e-mail and a daily Link Activity e-mail.

However, the What’s New e-mail will contain information about all new and updated links.

  • You can still follow Cyndi's List on Facebook and Twitter.
  • The purpose and intent of Cyndi's List is to be a free jumping-off point for your daily genealogical research.
  • Cyndi’s List remains free for everyone to use just as it has for the past 15 years.
  • This is still just a one-woman show!

"I started doing genealogy research in earnest back in 1998 and Cyndi's List has always been one of my very favorite websites. It is on my 'Go To' list because I always find so much good information there.” --Kay F.

"I've relied on your website as THE best resource on the 'net to help with my research..." --Jan J.

"Where can you get at all things genealogical in one fell swoop? Everyone knows it's CyndisList.com. Every genealogist who uses the web MUST use Cyndi's List." --Polly K.

About CyndisList.com

CyndisList.com is the world's largest one-woman family history resource, with more than 300,000 categorized links for genealogical research. For more than 15 years Cyndi's List has helped hundreds of thousands of people with their online journey to trace their family history. The site averages 275,000 unique visitors and 5,000,000 page hits every month. Cyndi's List has won numerous awards and consistently remains one of the top genealogical portals for beginners, intermediate, and veteran researchers.

About fusionSpan

fusionSpan is a start-up consulting firm focused on serving the comprehensive needs of non-profit associations and commercial organizations in the full range of the business cycle. With a core staff of highly experienced professionals from non-profit associations and a team approach to most consulting projects, fusionSpan will be able to offer a more balanced quality service and sustainable solution than many of its competitors. Our expertise covers the entire range of the web site and application development process: Strategy, Design, Development, Hosting, and Maintenance. For more information, visit www.fusionSpan.com

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Sunday, June 5, 2011

These Are the Faces of Genealogy

John, Reba, and Sarah Jane (Swatzell) Dunn

 ~ Three of the faces of my genealogy ~

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My reason for this posting is here.

UPDATED: I also sent the following message to the publication in question (not that I think they will read it or even care, but doing so made me feel a teensy bit better):

To Whom it May Concern:


I'm not even sure there are words to describe how offensive the photo included with this article was. If whoever selected the photo felt it was representative of his/her own family, that is one thing. But it is certainly not representative of the thousands of genealogists who will be attending the Jamboree this week.

Personally, I found it offensive as a genealogist, a mom, and a human being. Is this really what you think of genealogists? Or perhaps what you think of readers of your publication?


As of this afternoon, the publication in question has removed the offending photo and replaced it with a photo of the lovely Jamboree app. Much better choice... and thank you for listening, publication-in-question.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, June 3, 2011

Best Bytes for the Week of June 3, 2011

Evil, they name is "Carbohydrate."

I started a new diet this week, so I hope you will forgive my grumpiness. I seriously think I'm having carbohydrate withdrawals, and it's starting to affect my mood.

That being said... I will be taking the next 2 weeks off from writing "Best Bytes." Next Friday, I'll be busily enjoying the SCGS Jamboree, along with about 70 other geneabloggers and thousands of genealogy enthusiasts from all over the country (dare I say WORLD?). The following Friday, I'll be in San Mateo at the N.S.C.A.R. Western Regional Meeting, enjoying the sights and sounds of the lovely California Bay Area.

Hopefully by the time I return, I will have experienced an attitude adjustment.

Note to my husband: Please do NOT remind me ONE MORE TIME that today is National Donut Day. It's a bad idea to mess with a woman having carb withdrawals.

In the News

5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet

Want to go back to get those ancestor answers? Desktop Big Bang Shows Time Travel May Be Possible After All.

Students Curate 'Inventing Brooklyn' Exhibit at Brooklyn Historical Society

R.I.P. Paul B. Ferrara, pioneering Virginia DNA scientist, dies at age 68; remembered as visionary.

Help Wanted

The FGS Outreach Committee is accepting nominations for the FGS 2011 Youth Award, which honors volunteers under the age of 18 who have made a significant contribution to an FGS member society. Submit your nominations by July 15, 2011.

Sheri from The Educated Genealogist is looking for interested genealogist to participate in a research group. See NGSQ Articles Online Study Group for details.

Jen from Climbing My Family Tree wonders if she did the right thing in Tombstone Tuesday: Gravestone-Tipping. Really?

D Lee from A Patient Genealogist wonders about the safety of sharing family information online in Tech Tuesday: How do I protect my family?

Jim's Girl of Jim's Girl Family History Blog is Looking for Julia Moynihan, Grandad's Sister the Sister. Can you help?

From the Blogs

This one will give you a big case of ancestor envy: John Laymon - a photograph helps locate 100 family members from Long Lost Relatives.net by Susan Petersen

Had enough of Blogger down-time? Check out Is it time to move to WordPress? from Moultrie Creek Gazette by Denise Barrett Olson.

Smartphone users: don't let this happen to you - Scrappy Gen Gets Organized - Backup Smackdown Meets Lookout from The Scrappy Genealogist.

Chris Staats from Staats Place wrote a thoughtful post about the ol' "pros vs. hobbyists" discussion in Beep, beep! Researcher Coming Through!!

It appears that source citations passions are "blooming" like spring flowers again. Randy Seaver from Genea-Musings does his best to fan the flames round up various bloggers' posts on the topic in Inflaming Source Citation Passions.

Another hot topic this week has been self-publishing your genealogy. By Kimberly Powell of the About.com Guide provides some resources in Self-Publishing for Genealogists.

And... not really genealogy-related, but still a great story: How Twitter made a believer out of me by Shelley from A Sense of Family. I'll be keeping an eye on TweetDeck the next time I fly!

The Last Byte

My family takes honoring military veterans and service people very seriously, especially at times like Memorial Day. So this story made me very unhappy: Soldiers' graves at Old West Farms cemetery tell story of bravest sacrifice.

Sadly, the 40 men who served in four wars buried in this 200 year-old cemetery were forgotten on Memorial Day.

I know, I know... people are busy, and not everyone cares.

But let us never forget that freedom isn't free.

And it doesn't cost anything to spend a few minutes saying thank you to a veteran, alive or deceased.

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If I missed a good story, please share in the comments!

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items (which are some great stories that I just didn't have the time or space to post here), please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Sweet Girl

It's so hard to believe that my little girl is 5 years old today.

5 years have gone by in what seems like the blink of an eye.

Weren't you just a little baby in my arms a few minutes ago?

You've already become your own person, with your own distinct personality.

You're fun and good-natured, and you let Mommy take silly pictures of you.

You have so much talent and such big dreams.

I'm so proud of you, and I can't wait to see what the next 5 years will bring.

Your mommy loves you, peanut.

Happy 5th birthday to my sweet girl.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal