Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Want to Run RootsMagic on Your Mac?

Those of you who are Mac users might be interested in the following announcement from the nice folks at RootsMagic. For what it's worth, RootsMagic is my preferred genealogy software, and I highly recommend it.

*   *   *

Free Crossover for Mac License

We often get asked if RootsMagic will run on a Mac. We are working on a Mac version, but it is slow going because we have to not only rewrite the program, but most of the libraries we use as well. We do tell people that it *is* possible to run RootsMagic on a Mac using a program called Crossover.

Crossover usually costs $39.95 or more, but the company that produces it just sent us an email offering a 12 month license for FREE for one day only (that's a $59.95 value). And even better, if you already own Crossover, you can take advantage of this offer to extend your existing license another 12 months for free.

To get Crossover for free, visit this page:


on October 31st (this Wednesday). That is the ONLY day you can get it for free, so don't put it off or forget about it.

If you have friends or family that use a Mac and want to be able to run RootsMagic, please let them know about this one time offer, which is available to anyone that wants it.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DAR Library Launches New Series of Revolutionary War Research Source Guides

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The DAR Library has begun a new series of publications that focus on research in each of the original states during the period of the American Revolution. These studies will be offered as downloadable PDF documents and not as printed volumes. Purchasers will be able to download the entire text of each publication for use on their home computer or laptop.

New York State in the American Revolution: A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians, compiled by DAR Library Director Eric G. Grundset, is now available as the first in the series of these research source guides. South Carolina and Virginia volumes will follow, and, in the next two years, source guides on the remaining states will appear. The series is designed to provide detailed information on the availability of manuscript and archival material that exists for each state for the period of the Revolutionary War, along with listings of historical and genealogical studies that have been published and which supplement the original sources.

In many ways, these source guides will be very large expansions of the sections on each state that appeared in an earlier DAR publication, Is That Service Right? For example, the New York section in that older publication was only a few pages long, whereas the new source guide on New York is over 700 pages in length.

While DAR Library employees are collecting information and writing the text, they are also incorporating listings of materials identified by the DAR Office of the Registrar General (Genealogy Department) as being useful for establishing the Revolutionary Service of individuals in military and civil records. When possible, the guides’ researchers are enlisting the assistance of recognized authorities at state archives or historical societies to review the contents before actual publication.

The New York volume PDF is now available to purchase for $25 plus tax from the DAR Store Online at www.dar.org/darstore. Add the book to your shopping cart as you would any other item from the online store. Once your payment is verified, you will receive an email with a special download link to the PDF of the book.

Click here for a preview of this book.

For more information on DAR Library publications visit, www.dar.org/librarypublications.

# # #

The DAR Library is one of the largest genealogical research centers in the United States. Since its founding in 1896, the library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications and recently added powerful on-site ancestry databases to its collection. The DAR Library collection contains over 220,000 books, 20,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections on Native American, African American and women’s history, genealogy and culture. Nearly 30,000 family histories and genealogies comprise a major portion of the book collection, many of which are unique or available in only a few libraries in the country. The DAR Library, located at 1776 D St. NW, is open to the public for a $6 research fee Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The DAR Library is closed Sundays, Federal holidays, and for one week during the DAR annual meeting during the summer. For more information on the DAR Library, visit www.dar.org/library or call (202) 879-3229.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Genealogists in Second Life Book Club to Meet Tonight

WHEN:  Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 6:00 p.m. SLT (Second Life Time, same as Pacific Time)*
WHERE:  Second Life, at the Just Genealogy Firepit

This month, we are discussing chapter 23 (Church Records) of Val Greenwood's book, The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. Many thanks to Erin Grantham, who will host tonight's talk!

Check out the Genealogists in Second Life online calendar for more SL genealogy events.

*   *   *

* Need a time zone converter?
Visit the Genealogists in Second Life group on Facebook.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Scary Than Brain-Eating Zombies!

OMG, the FamilySearch web site is down! Whatever shall I do with my afternoon?

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Chronicling America Posts 5 Millionth Page!

Congratulations to the Library of Congress and Chronicling America! If you have not checked out Chronicling America in a while (or ever!), be sure that you check again.

Popular Online Resource Provides Access to Nation’s Historic Newspapers

The Chronicling America website, chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, a free, searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers, has posted its 5 millionth page.

Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is a part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint effort between the two agencies and 32 state partners.

"This magnificent resource captures the warp and weft of life as it was lived in grassroots America," said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. "Metropolitan newspapers were early targets for digitization, but Chronicling America allows the journalism of the smaller cities and the rural countryside to become accessible in all its variety—and sometimes, quirkiness."

"Chronicling America is one of the great historical reference services on the web," said Roberta Shaffer, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress. "It is a treasure trove of information about communities, personalities, key events and culture in the United States, and it is all free and available to the public."

The site now features 5 million pages from more than 800 newspapers from 25 states. The site averaged more than 2.5 million page views per month last year and is being used by students, researchers, congressional staff, journalists and others for all kinds of projects, from daily podcasts to history contests. The news, narratives and entertainment encapsulated in the papers transport readers in time.

For instance, on this day, Oct. 22, 100 years ago, there was a lot of news about Theodore Roosevelt recovering from an assassination attempt several days earlier. A Washington Times headline said "Roosevelt Home Swinging His Hat with Happiness, Finishes Tedious Trip to Oyster Bay in Good Shape." A crime story in the New York Tribune read, "Girl Runs Down Thief, Pajama-Clad Coed Races over Campus to Save Violin." International news focused on the First Balkan War. "20,000 Turks Reported Taken by Bulgarians," according to a story in The Washington Herald.

In 2003, the Library and NEH established a formal agreement that identified goals for the program, institutional responsibilities and overall support. In 2004, the NEH announced guidelines for grants, funded by NEH, awarded to cultural-heritage institutions wishing to join the program and select, digitize and deliver to the Library approximately 100,000 newspaper pages per award. Since 2005, the NEH has awarded more than $22 million to 32 state libraries, historical societies and universities representing states in the national program.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about NEH and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov.

Press Release from http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2012/12-198.html.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Visit to Apple Lane

I picked these myself!

That one has a bug on it!

And it was THIIIIIS big!

Pumpkins make nice thinking chairs.

This one's all mine!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fold3 Surpasses 100 Million Images!

I'll be honest: I love Fold3. People always ask me, "Why should I bother with Fold3? It's just a bunch of military stuff." Excuse me? Military records are a potential goldmine for genealogists! Pension files, compiled service records, prisoner of war records: all of these help put your ancestor in a specific place at a specific time. And if you're lucky, there will be tons of depositions from family and friends giving those answers you desperately need. Of course, Fold3 doesn't only have military records, but you'll have to go give them a look see for yourself!

So... congratulations to Fold3, who announced today that they have surpassed 100 million images!

*   *   *
Fold3 Surpasses 100 Million Images

Earlier this month, we reached a major milestone when the counter on the Fold3 home page spun to and exceeded 100,000,000 record images. Our digital partners—the National Archives (NARA), Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch, and others—helped Fold3 attain this significant event. We thank them and you, our members and fans, for your support and enthusiasm over the last six years.

In January 2007, Footnote.com (Fold3’s predecessor) launched with an initial 4 million images. Many of the Fold3 Team members have been around since those early days, watching the titles roll and the images multiply at an increasingly steady pace, assuring that our visitors can access an impressive range of original military records online.

The first sets of documents on the site proved very popular and continue to be some of Fold3’s biggest hits today. They include:
Since those early days, Fold3 has added many more popular titles, including:
Here we are, one hundred million images strong, looking eagerly toward the next hundred million. At the pace our team is digitizing and scanning, it will certainly happen sooner than we think. You can catch up on all of Fold3’s significant achievements on our Blog.
Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Makes Me Sad: Greeneville Court Records Damaged by Mold and Water

Yesterday morning, I tuned in a few minutes late to DearMYRTLE's "Mondays With Myrt" webinar, and caught the tail-end of a conversation involving the words "Greeneville," "Tennessee," and "mold." Fearing the worst - and not wanting to interrupt the webinar - I started frantically Googling those words to see what the fuss was about. Finding nothing, I gave up, and promptly forgot all about it.

Later that evening, I got a tweet from Dick Eastman: "Thousands of Court Files Damaged by Water Mold." Figuring that must be the Greeneville story, I headed over to Eastman's Online Genealogy Blog and found the bad news.

Apparently folks at the Greene County Circuit Court Clerk's office discovered a serious water damage problem at a county records storage facility in downtown Greeneville. The damaged records have been sent to a Michigan company for "freeze drying" and attempted restoration.

You can view the sad video on the Greeneville Sun's web site. If you're a Greene County researcher... bring your tissues.

And people wonder why I keep digital copies - and multiple back-ups - of everything.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday's Tip: Take Advantage of Sahyun Library's Extended Hours in October

"The Stacks" at the Sahyun Library
(photo borrowed from the SBCGS Construction Blog because I can't find mine)

Today's tip is a reminder that the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society is offering extended hours at the Sahyun Library in celebration of Family History Month. On Tuesday evenings throughout the month of October, the library will be open from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Before you go, take a look at the online card catalog so you can make the best use of your time while at the library. I am frequently surprised to find books available at the Sahyun Library that I can't find anywhere else, or are in libraries several hours (or states) away. If you're a genealogist in the Tri-County area, you don't want to miss out on this terrific local resource.

So have an early dinner and head over to the library tonight! You didn't want to watch the debate anyway, did you? ;-)

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

My Virtual Research Trip: In Search of Isaac Kizer

Heading down the Information Superhighway

For my virtual research trip, I decided to head out in search of my 3x's great-grandfather, Isaac Kizer (or Keizer, Kysar, Kyser, Kyzer, Keiser, or Keyser, as I was to learn). Isaac's branch had been dangling on my family tree for over 25 years. In fact, I can't remember ever doing any research on him.

Sorry, GGG-Grandpa Isaac. [Hangs head in shame.]

I actually knew very little about Isaac to start with. My Aunt had left notes that he was born c. 1800 in Virgina, and married a woman named Mary. Together they had at least 9 children, including my gg-grandmother, Susannah. To my knowledge, all 9 children were born in Tennessee. Not much to go on, but thankfully he had that unusual name thing going for him... or so I thought.

So off I went, cruising down the Information Superhighway.

My first stop was at Ancestry.com. I put Isaac Kizer's name - and what little I knew about him - in the search boxes, and I was directed to exit at the 1850 U.S. census. There, in Washington County, Tennessee, was 50 year-old Isaac Kizer living with Mary, and 8 of the 9 presumed children, including Susannah. Isaac was indeed born in Virginia, was working as a carpenter, owned $1,000 worth of real estate, and apparently could read and write. Mary and all the presumed children were born in Tennessee. I did not see any other Kizers in the immediate vicinity; however, there was a James Keys a few doors down who might bear further investigation.

Prior to this trip, I had known absolutely nothing about Isaac's wife Mary. I could now glean from the 1850 census that she was born in approximately 1806 in Tennessee. So I decided to take a detour, and headed over to Ancestry.com's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. There I found an entry for Isaac Keizer and Mary Bradly, married 30 April 1825. Oddly, there were two entries for this couple: the first entry seemed to be signed by a witness, and the second entry by the Justice of the Peace. Strange, but apparently this particular clerk found the double-entry method to be the most efficient because he did it for quite a few other couples on the page. Anyway, the date of marriage seemed appropriate, and the name Isaac Keizer wasn't exactly common in the area, so I was convinced that this was my guy. Oh, and now I (hopefully) had a maiden name for Mary... Bradly. And the witness was named Jonathan Bradley. Father? Brother? Hmmmm.

Kizer-Bradly Marriage Records (click to enlarge)

My next stop after the detour was the 1860 U.S. census. I found the family still living in Washington County, Tennessee: 60 year-old Isaac was living with 51 year-old Mary and 5 children, including a 9 year-old Virginia, who I did not previously have in my database (she'll be important later). Susannah was no longer in the household, which made sense because she married Albert T. Swanay in 1855. This time, Isaac was listed as a farmer, owning $3,300 worth of real estate and $770 in personal property. Again, no Kizers nearby, but a few doors down was another Keys family. Interesting.

The Keizer Family in 1860, Washington County, Tennessee

I did not find Isaac in the 1870 U.S. census, so I suspected that he may have died before then. I did find 62 year-old Mary J. Kizer living alone, owning $2,000 worth of real estate and $350 worth of personal property. She was listed as "keeping house," but with that much land, she would certainly need help taking care of it.

When I find a widow living alone, I always check the neighboring households to see if one of her children is living nearby. Right next door was a John Sellars, living with an 18 year-old Virginia. John was a farmer, but did not seem to own any land. Could this be the mysterious Virginia who showed up in the 1860 census?

I checked the Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 database and found an 1868 marriage for Louisa V. Keizer and John W. Sellers. Could Louisa's middle name have been Virginia? Made sense; Virginia would have been 17 years old in 1868, so she certainly could be the same 18 year-old Virginia living with John Sellars in 1870, next door to the widow Mary. At least, I was convinced.

So... that would mean Isaac must have died some time between 1860 and 1 June 1870.

Nothing turned up on Ancestry.com, so I hit the road again and headed for one of my fave places: the Tennessee GenWeb. I suspected that Isaac would have died in Washington County, where he had been living for at least 35 years (that I knew of), so I exited at the Washington County, Tennessee, GenWeb site. I had been there many times before, but had never taken the time to look for Isaac Kizer.

After wasting time looking at a few random pages, I finally got serious and started putting names into the search box. Kizer: nothing. Keyser: nada. Kyser: zip. Keizer: BINGO.

The first hit was for Isaac Keizer's obituary from the Jonesboro Herald-Tribune, 1869:

Keizer, Isaac
Isaac Keizer, an old and respectable citizen of the vicinity of Cherry Grove, departed this life on Wednesday, August 11th, 1869. We have known him for many years and can say that he was a good neighbor, and no doubt is gone to a better world to reap his reward. Vol. I. #1, Thurs., Aug. 26, 1869

Well, that made sense. He did, in fact, die before the 1870 census was enumerated. Seeing this, and finding "closure" on Isaac's life, made me so emotional that I almost missed the other gem that had turned up. In the search results, right under the listing for Isaac's obituary, was a link to Mary's listing in the Pleasant Grove  United Methodist Church Cemetery index:

Keizer, Mary J.
b. 2 Mar 1808
d. 9 Nov 1890
Wife of Isaac Keizer

And you know what I found as I was scrolling through the index today while writing this post? At the bottom of the list of K's was Isaac Kyzer! I had thought it odd a few nights ago that I did not find Isaac buried "next to" Mary, but obviously I did not look hard enough. Which once again proves that you should always double-check your work!

I got back on the Highway again and headed over to Find A Grave. Finding no Kizers, Kyzers, Keizers, etc. listed in Pleasant Grove United Methodist Cemetery, I added Isaac and Mary myself, and requested photos for both. Hopefully their graves are marked, and a nice volunteer will post pictures of them. Soon. Hint, hint.

So now I knew when Isaac died... perhaps he left a will. I hopped back on the Highway, this time heading to FamilySearch.org. I exited at Washington County, Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927, and found that Isaac Kizer did indeed leave a will, proven in September 1869. While it was mostly filled with the usual boilerplate, I did learn something important: he addressed his wife as "Mary Jane," so I now knew Mary's middle name. Unfortunately, he only named one child, "Manda," who was still single and living on the farm, and only addressed the others as "his heirs." I was hoping he might have mentioned Susannah, but... Ah well... we can't have everything we want.

A portion of Isaac Kizer's Will (from FamilySearch.org)

Isaac signed his will with his mark, but in previous censuses, he indicated that he could read and write. I can't help but think he that must have been quite ill at the end of his life. I'll probably never know.

*   *   *

So that marked the end of my virtual research trip. Arriving home, I organized my swag and my thoughts, and decided that a few things would bear further investigation:

1) Finding no other "Kizers" (or other name variation) in the area makes me wonder if those folks named Keys might have dropped the "zer" at one point. Based on the numerous phonetic spellings I found, I can't help but think the name was pronounced "Keezer," so shortening to "Keys" would make sense.

2) "Manda" (or Amanda, as she was found in the censuses) was not in Mary's household in 1870, nor was she found nearby. I wonder where she went? She was obviously very important to Isaac, since she was the only child he named.

3) If Mary's maiden name was Bradly, who was Jonathan?

4) Isaac's will was witnessed by Lewis Cooper and Adam Cooper. Who were they?

5) Isaac seemed to own a bit of land... a review of the deeds is in order here. And tax records, to figure out when the Kizers came to Washington County.

*   *   *

So, where did you go on your virtual research trip? Bring back anything worth sharing?

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Madness with Professional Genealogy

As part of their usual Monday Madness sale, Genealogical.com is offering the must-have book Professional Genealogy for the low, low price of $35.95. This is a 40% discount off the regular price of $59.95!

But don't delay; the sale ends tonight at 11:59 PM EDT!

If you are considering signing up for the ProGen Study Group, or if you just want to add this terrific resource to your personal library, don't miss your chance to own Professional Genealogy at this great price.

Also on sale today are: A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors by Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom ($21.95), and Tracing Ancestors in Barbados by Geraldine Lane ($12.50).

Professional Genealogy
Click to order!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, October 12, 2012

SBCGS Family History Month Open House

If you're looking for something "genealogical" do do on the Central Coast this weekend, be sure to check out the Family History Month open house at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society's Sahyun Library.

Open from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sunday, SBCGS is offering free admission, tours of the library, free use of the library's subscription services, and volunteers to help with your research. Oh, and refreshments, too!

More information is available here.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Second Life Chapter APG to Meet Tomorrow

Members listened to an awesome talk about The Oregon Trail
at the September meeting.

WHEN:  Thursday, October 11, 2012, 5:30 p.m. SLT (Second Life Time, same as Pacific Time)*
WHERE:  Second Life, near the Just Genealogy Firepit

Drop in tomorrow night to hear popular speaker Chart Chick (her Second Life name, but you've likely heard of her in real life)!

In the spirit of Halloween, come in costume, or come as you are. I will be dressed as the Spirit of Genealogical Frustration - she's been visiting me a lot lately, so I know what she looks like! ;-)

The award-winning Second Life Chapter APG is an officially recognized chapter which promotes the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in the genealogical field at the regional level. The chapter is the recipient of the 2012 Golden Chapter Award presented by the APG at the 2012 NGS Family History Conference.

The chapter meets monthly using a free, "virtual world" software called Second Life. It was organized to meet the networking needs of APG members who either do not have a local chapter near them, or are unable to attend their chapter meetings.

Anyone with an interest in genealogy is welcome to attend the meetings; however, official members of the chapter must be dues-paying members of the APG in real life.

*   *   *

* Need a time zone converter?
Visit the Genealogists in Second Life group on Facebook.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Heritage Books Fall Madness Sale Extended

Just a note to remind you that Heritage Books has extended their Fall Madness Sale through October 12, 2012. You can save 25% on all regularly stocked items until Friday (special order and out of print items are not included).

Off to do some shopping now!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Year Five: Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Five years ago today, I published my first blog post. It was, shall we say, NOT my best work.

As I've said many times before, I started this blog with the assumption that I would be a "mommy-blogger." After all, everyone who was anyone was a mommy-blogger back in the day. And I was a mommy... with a blog... so... there you go.

I now, however, consider myself to be a geneamommyblogger.

I'd been reading blogs for a year or so before I decided to give it whirl myself. And back in the day, there were only a handful of people blogging about genealogy. Somehow, I stumbled across Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings one day, and he had links to a few others who were blogging about genealogy.

So I stopped reading mommy blogs - for the most part - and started searching out genealogy blogs. And I started blogging about genealogy, too.

*   *   *

It's hard to believe how much life has changed in five years.

My daughter looked like this when I started blogging. She is now 6 years old. I keep telling her she'll always be my baby no matter how old she gets, which is what my mother used to say to me. She just rolls her eyes and says, "I'm NOT a baby!" I probably did the same when I was her age.

Five years ago, I looked like this (and yes, I'd had a little wine). I now look 5 years more exhausted, so we don't need to go there.

My husband and I have now been married more than twice as long as we were in 2007. He still hates it when I talk about him on my blog. I try not to, but sometimes I can't help myself. In the past year, he has ventured into The Twitter, but I doubt he'll ever get into blogging.

In 2007, I was recovering from a fall down the stairs, which included surgery, a plate and 8 screws, a cast, a wheelchair, lots of meds, and 4 months of physical therapy.

In 2009, I recovered from herniated discs in my lower back and neck. This included x-rays, two MRIs, a CT scan with a myelogram, lots of meds, and another 5 months of physical therapy. I thought the pain in my right arm would kill me. Obviously, it didn't.

In 2011... no major physical traumas, thank goodness! I still battle the disc pain, and I'm still too chicken to have the plate in my ankle removed. But I'm not in a wheelchair, cast, or crutches, I'm off the meds, I can type again, and I haven't seen a physical therapist in 2 years (no offense to physical therapists).

2012 has brought some major life changes for me - mostly all good. I have "retired" from several projects so I can spend more time researching and writing, but as usual, I wound up taking on a few more. My daughter is in 1st grade now, still into everything, and always keeping me on my toes. We continue to homeschool part-time, a decision I question on an almost daily basis (!).

Things continue to change. And more ancestors have been found.

*   *   *

I'm so thankful that I've had this blog. It's given me a place to sharea place to learna place to cry, a place to laugh, and a place to remember.

And I'm thankful to you for coming along for the ride. Knowing and sharing with you has made this journey so much more special.

It has truly been an amazing five years!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Not Just the Genealogists...

An interesting article in the New York Times came across my monitor this afternoon: "Research Is Hampered by New Limits on Death Records."

At first glance, I thought this article would be about genealogists struggling to get information on dead ancestors. But you know what? Apparently genealogists are not the only people who used the Social Security Death Master Index!

For some reason, this never occurred to me, probably because of so much focus being put on genealogists as identity thieves. Hrmmmph.

For instance, that article states that "a research group that produces reports on organ-transplant survival rates is facing delays because of the extra work it must do to determine whether patients are still alive."

Also, "Other medical researchers, including those conducting long-term federally financed studies of cancer and cardiovascular treatments, said the changes imposed last November were now slowing their work significantly."

Another interviewee said that the new policy has "thrown us back to the pre-Internet era where you'd start looking in the phone book for someone with a similar name and sending out a bunch of letters."

Wow, that sounds like old-school genealogy!

And it's possible that restricting access to the DMI is making the identity thief's job even easier. For example, one financial spokesman said, "the arcane change was making it more difficult to detect identity thieves who steal names and Social Security numbers from the deceased."

You mean, lack of access is making it easier to be an identity thief?

But the "lawmakers" (and I use the term loosely here) involved could really give a hoot. Said Texas Representative Sam Johnson, "The decades-old practice of publishing personal death information that anyone can buy needs to end, and now."

And with a wave of his wand, all identity theft ceased to exist in the kingdom. I love fairy tales; don't you?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I look at private information of both the dead and the living everyday, and not once have I had the desire to steal anyone's identity. And you know what? I've never met a single genealogist/identity thief.

People of character do not commit crimes. People who lack in character will find a way to commit a crime, no matter how difficult you try to make it.

So I guess my point here is this: if genealogists are not the only industry using the DMI, perhaps we should band together with these other folks and put pressure on the "lawmakers" who have removed this resource and are trying to restrict access even further?

Oh, and for what it's worth, you can apparently still get online access to the DMI directly from the Social Security Administration. If any of you have the $$$ necessary for a subscription, could you please give me a call?

*   *   *

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Taking a Virtual Research Trip!

Virtually taking a virtual research trip.

Several members of the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society left yesterday for a week-long research trip in at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. While I wish them the best of luck, to say that I'm a bit jealous would be a major understatement.

As a consolation, SLOCGS is sponsoring a Virtual Research Week Challenge for those of us at home, and are hoping the genealogy bloggers out there will come along.

The rules are simple:
  • Find one person in your genealogy database for whom you have little or no information.
  • Formulate a research plan, which might include: 1) locating vital records, immigration records, biographies, etc.; or 2) locate and record information from all available census years. Make your plan work for you based on the ancestor for whom you are looking.
  • Use only online resources - no trips to a "real" library, Family History Center, courthouse, or even your basement/attic to look for grandma's box of papers. This is a virtual trip, remember?
  • Add all the new data to your genealogy database. Be sure to cite your sources!
Post the results of your virtual research trip on your blog on Sunday, October 14, 2012, which is the day the SLOCGS members return home from Salt Lake City. Be sure to report if you broke through any major brick walls or found anything that surprised you!

Leave a comment on the SLOCGS blog, or send an email to slocogenealogy@gmail.com with your blog post link. Links to participating blogs will be posted on Friday, October 19, 2012.

I've been home sick with a virus (courtesy of my wonderful daughter) for the past couple of days, and have already found some great stuff on my virtual research trip. It's amazing what you can find when you actually take the time to look!

Bon voyage, and good luck to all of you!

*   *   *

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jour de l’Action de grâce.

(My ancestors hailed from Quebec, although I don't know where yet.)

*   *   *

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Exhibit at the DAR Museum

If you are in or near the Washington, DC, area, be sure to check out this new exhibit at the DAR Museum.

Fashioning the New Woman: 1890-1925
October 5, 2012 - August 31, 2013

This exhibition looks at fashions of the turn of the 20th century (1890-1925), from the last years of the bustle to the flapper era. The revolution that took place in women's styles at this time reflected enormous changes in women's lives. American women were taking on many new roles and activities, and fashion had to follow. The New Woman was a new stereotype coined around 1890, representing growing numbers of women engaging in athletic sports, seeking higher education and even careers, taking white-collar office jobs, and pursuing other activities outside the "domestic sphere" where society told them they belonged. Active lives required more practical clothes than the many-layered, heavily draped outfits of the late Victorian lady. College life, the office worker or "business girl," Red Cross workers of World War One, and the suffrage movement will all be examined in the exhibit. Sports clothing, including an automobile duster with goggles, swimsuits, golf and tennis outfits, and a divided skirt for bicycling, will also be displayed.

*   *   *

To learn more about the this exhibit, please visit the DAR Museum web site. There are also two great articles about the exhibition featured on the website of The Ultimate History Project.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Columbus Day Sale at Genealogical.com

The following was received this morning from Genealogical.com. Now... if I could just remember the name of that book I wanted to order a few days ago...

Save 30% on Books & CDs

Get in on the great holiday savings that await you in our Columbus Day Sale. From today through 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, October 8, 2012, you can order almost any product available at www.genealogical.com at a discount of 30% off the current selling price of the books(s) or CD(s) of your choice.

To take advantage of this special holiday discount, simply add the special code CD2012 (all caps, no spaces) in the Discount Code box on the "Shipping and Handling" page during the check-out process before the October 8th deadline.

You can use your special CD2012 discount code as many times as you like, so long as you place your final order by 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, October 8, 2012.

Order now and save on:
Be sure to take advantage of this terrific opportunity while you can, and have a great holiday weekend.

Happy shopping!

*   *   *

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, October 4, 2012

GIVE ME A G! GIVE ME AN E! GIVE ME A... Oh, Never Mind.

Hello, my name is Elizabeth, and I'm an alumna of the Genealogical School of Hard Knocks. Not by choice, mind you. Unfortunately, it was the only school available to me when I started my genealogy education oh-so-many years ago.

There are much better choices available to you now. Trust me; stay far away from dear, old GSHK. Because I did it ALL WRONG. And now I'm paying for it, one source at a time.

What did I do that was so wrong? Well... I'll tell you a few. But not here. You'll have to travel all the way over to my buddy Kim Von Aspern-Parker's blog, Le Maison Duchamp, to read all about it. You see, she asked me to do a simple thing and share 3 pieces of advice for beginners for her post earlier this week, and I even did that wrong. It appears that I also flunked KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

But... hee, hee.. I got my very own guest post out of it.

Maybe I be a graduated after all. ;-)

*   *   *

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal