Friday, February 29, 2008

BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 2 March 2008

DearREADERS,
It is (almost) Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. I am sending this out early, owing to a big family event and my travel schedule this weekend.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 2 March 2008 awards go to:

1. BLOG: Karen E. Livsey’s “Holland Land Company Records: Land Research in Western New York State” posted 21 Feb 2008 at GenealogyandFamilyHistory.com, sponsored by GPC Genealogical Publishing Company. I like it when articles are written showing how specific books can aid the genealogical research process. It is a lot more fun than reading a list of books for sale.

2. INSTRUCTION: GenClass.com offers 4-week online class series on a variety of family history topics. Instructors are experienced researchers, adept at online interaction with students -- the small fee doesn’t begin to compensate them for their efforts. View the online class outline & instructor’s bios before signing up. Participate in different classes each month of the year. March’s offerings include:

3. DATABASE SITE: Legacy.com, known for its current obituaries from 500 affiliated newspapers, has another feature: Legacy.com’s Memorial Websites. “A Memorial Website combines cherished photographs, video and audio clips, personal content and music in a unique way to honor and remember your loved one. You can create a biography, an online obituary, and a timeline of milestones and achievements. You may also include a Guest Book allowing visitors to express their sympathy and share thoughts and fond memories.” Merely choose a color scheme and theme and Legacy.com’s Memorial Website “creator” prompts you for the rest.

4. SCANNED IMAGE SITE: Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: War Office: Soldiers’ Documents from Pension Claims, First World War (Microfilm Copies); (The National Archives Microfilm Publication WO364); Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies; The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.

5: PODCAST: Biography Podcast 0018: LiliÊ»uokalani, Queen of Hawaii posted 9 Jan 2007 at The Biography Podcast – Stories of Life. “Hawaii’s last sovereign queen was born on September 2, 1838 in Honolulu. According to Hawaiian tradition, she was adopted at birth by Chief Abner Paki and his wife, Konia (a granddaughter of King Kamehameha I). This tradition spread the future queen's other syblings (10 or so) to other strong chiefs on the islands - as a way to promote unity amongst the Hawaiian people.” Also available for download at Podcast Alley & iTunes.

6. VIDEO: Family Survival Kit posted at RootsTube.com. A hysterical look at a few tools to help you live through the next family reunion.

7. COMMENTARY: Chris Dunham’s “Top ten worst ways to begin a Family History” posted at The Genealogue: News you cannot possibly use 16 Jan 2008. Chris has brought us once again to our knees in side-splitting laughter.

8. INNOVATION: Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia is so innovative that wikis are popping up all over the net, including one for Family History Consultants to use to improve the content of tech support telephone calls. At this writing, the ORIGINAL Wikipedia boasts 2,259,301 articles in English and there are Wikipedias in other languages as well. The trick is that the articles can be edited by anyone. Sounds a little scary and unreliable, but it WORKS. Did you know from Wikipedia's newest articles:

9. MOST INTERESTING THREAD: Editor ‘Jasia” pulls together 18 genealogy blog entries from all over the internet for the "Carnival of Genealogy, 23rd Edition" about “school days” posted 3 May 2007 at Creative Gene. Be sure to click Jasia’s link to the full posting by David Bowles titled “School Kids Today Are Missing Something?”

10. ETHNIC STUDIES: Robert Ellis’ “Looking for an Ancestor in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904–1914” from Prologue (a quarterly publication of the NARA National Archive & Records Administration) Fall 2007, Vol. 39, No. 3, also posted online at the NARA website. “According to the 1912 census of the Panama Canal, the population of the Canal Zone, which shifted continuously with the workflow, was 62,000. More than half, approximately 36,000, were unmarried men, and 40 nationalities were listed.”

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.


LostCousins changes

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was written by LostCousin.com. Please address all inquiries to found Peter Calver pr@LostCousins.com .

Upstairs, downstairs - where were YOUR ancestors?

"Upstairs, Downstairs" was one of the most successful TV series of the 1970s, winning awards on both sides of the Atlantic as it told the tale of the Bellamy family and their servants. But what was an enjoyable drama for us could have been grim reality for our ancestors, because in late 19th century England over a quarter of girls aged 15-19 were live-in servants and for most of them their only hope of escape from a life of drudgery was to marry.

Whether your ancestors were "upstairs" or "downstairs" you can now use the LostCousins site to look for the descendants of the people they lived with - whether employees, co-workers, or employers - who may well have known them better than their own family.

It's a chance to get behind the stark facts set out on censuses and certificates and find out more about how people really lived. For example, the household accounts may have been preserved, revealing how much each member of staff was paid - or perhaps one of the servant girls kept a scrapbook or a diary.

Wealthy families often had at least two residences - a house in town and an estate in the country - but this typically won't be obvious from censuses, since people couldn't be in two places at once. Many domestic staff would re-locate with their masters, and this frequently explains how romance could blossom between people born on the opposite sides of the country.

With luck you might solve a mystery that has lasted more than a century such as whether the father of an illegitimate child was the heir to a fortune, or a humble stable lad. (Did another servant leave the household at around the same time? Was one of the sons sent abroad, ostensibly to broaden his mind?)

Some members will have relatives who worked for famous politicians or celebrities, for members of the aristocracy, or even for royal personages. Who knows what you might discover by contacting the descendants of a fellow servant, or a member of the employer's family?

The LostCousins website has a unique system that matches people with a common interest automatically, confidentially, and with virtually 100% accuracy. But what makes the LostCousins really special is this - you'll know how you're related or otherwise connected to the other member even before you get in touch!

All this is achieved with a very simple system that utilises census data as a 'key' to open the door to new contacts, new information, and new opportunities. Once LostCousins members have entered their information from the census it takes just one click to look matches with the data entered by other members, and you can repeat the search as often as you like.

Because the LostCousins system is fully automatic the information members enter remains hidden - there's no chance that anyone else can see your entries. At a time when concern is increasing over the disclosure of confidential personal data it's reassuring to know that, from the very beginning, the LostCousins system was designed to protect members' privacy.

How much extra will members have to pay to use these new features? Nothing - basic membership of LostCousins remains FREE and, for those who want to upgrade, a 12-month subscription is still only £10 ($20).

The LostCousins website can be found at: http://www.lostcousins.com/

Holocaust fraud solved by source documents

DearREADERS,
My podcast this week features an interview with Sharon Sergeant who alluded to a holocaust fraud case she resolved using sound genealogical methods. Today the first US newspaper, the Boston Globe, picked up the story:

Author admits making up memoir of surviving Holocaust
By David Mehegan
Globe Staff / February 29, 2008
“Eleven years after the publication of her best-selling Holocaust memoir - a heartwarming tale of a small Jewish girl trekking across Europe and living with wolves - the Massachusetts author yesterday admitted the whole story was a hoax. […] Yesterday's confession follows a week of intense publicity in French and Belgian media, prompted by disclosure of documents unearthed by Waltham-based genealogical researcher Sharon Sergeant showing that Monique De Wael (Defonseca's real maiden name) was baptized in a Brussels Catholic church in September 1937 and that she was enrolled in a Brussels primary school in 1943-44. The researcher also discovered that Defonseca's parents, Robert and Josephine De Wael, were members of the Belgian resistance and were arrested and executed by the Nazis.”

Podcast listeners will recall that Sharon focused using a photo timeline that helped her team create a research plan, and on the importance of following the paper trail. The subjects of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and proper source citation must continue to receive our studious efforts, that we may arrive at the most complete understanding of our ancestors’ lives.

FOR FURTHER READING

Board for Certification of Genealogists. BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. Orem: Ancestry.com. 2000.

Evidence: A special issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (Sept 1999) no. 3.

Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy Third Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2000, reprinted 2005.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! Citation & Analysis for Family Historians. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 1997, reprinted 2006.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2007.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Analysis - A Research Process Map. Board for Certification of Genealogists. 2006.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown, editor. Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2001.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources Evidence! Style. First Revised Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2007.

Tucker, Mark. Genealogical Research Map. ThinkGenealogy.com: 2008.

Rose, Christine. Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case. San Jose: CR Publications. 2005.

Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.



Thursday, February 28, 2008

Archive CD Books Australia & Gould Genealogy: Partners with FamilyLink.com,

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just posted by our friends at FamilyLink.com. Please address all inquires to Corporate Communications Director whitney@familylink.com .

PROVO, UT, February 28, 2008Archive CD Books Australia and Gould Genealogy have partnered with FamilyLink.com, Inc. to make 344 Australian and New Zealand databases more accessible to a worldwide audience at WorldVitalRecords.com (a service of FamilyLink.com, Inc.).

“We are delighted now to be part of WorldVitalRecords.com’s new international focus. The benefits we see are many,” said Alan Phillips, Managing Director, Archive CD Books Australia and Gould Genealogy. “For us, it is a great way to market our content online. For WorldVitalRecords.com, it is an opportunity to provide more significant Australian content than from any other single source. For Australian content owners, WorldVitalRecords.com is a great avenue to get their data online. For libraries, it brings joy to those who have no love of CDs. For ‘Down Under’ researchers, it provides the best Australian and New Zealand content online. For end users overseas with Australian and New Zealand interests, at last they can have some great accessible content.”

Initially Archive CD Books Australia will provide WorldVitalRecords.com with half of the Archive CD Books Australia product list, which includes:
  1. directories
  2. electoral rolls
  3. government gazettes
  4. police gazettes
  5. war records
  6. biographical volumes
  7. general, church and regional histories and records
  8. a starter selection for New Zealand
  9. a few products on the Pacific Islands, Britain and Scotland

This initial data launch from Archive CD Books Australia will be followed during the year by data from Gould Genealogy, which will include birth, marriage, and death notices, shipping records, biographical databases, cemetery records, and obituaries.

“We are excited to partner with Archive CD Books Australia and Gould Genealogy. From our first conversation with Alan Phillips, we knew we found a great partner to collaborate with to develop a significant offering of Australian records,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

The content databases provided by Archive CD Books Australia and Gould Genealogy comprise WorldVitalRecords.com’s first major collections from Australia.

“A WorldVitalRecords.com subscription is a superb value for researchers everywhere, not just to Australians and New Zealanders,” Phillips said. “I am confident that WorldVitalRecords.com can become the number one site for quality, high value Australian and New Zealand content online. I trust our contribution will be beneficial to all.”

About Gould Genealogy
Gould Genealogy has been a genealogy reseller since 1976, with a current list of around 10,000 worldwide genealogy and related products. Gould Genealogy is also a publisher with publishing/marketing agreements with content owners and authors for print and CD publishing, and now online publishing with its new FamilyLink.com, Inc. partnership.

About Archive CD Books Australia
Archive CD Books Australia began in 2003, with a similar goal to all four international Archive CD Books partners - to scan and make available long out of print books, records and other resources for family and local historians – all fully searchable. Archive CD Books Australia currently has nearly 800 products, many of which have never been practically accessible to researchers before. Archive CD Books Australia has partnered with universities, libraries, archives, genealogical and historical societies, and specialist and private libraries throughout Australia. These collaborations have resulted in high-quality content for end users.

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, and the We’re Related application on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families.

About WorldVitalRecords.com
Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com, Inc. provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 600,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 9.4 million monthly pages views and has more than 25,000 subscribers. With thousands of databases—including birth, death, military, census, and parish records—WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch™. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

Halvor Moorshead retires tomorrow

DearREADERS,
Just received an email announcement from Halvor Moorshead, publisher of Family Chronicle, History Magazine, and Internet Genealogy Magazine, which reads in part:

I am retiring on Friday, 29 February 2008

I wish I had the capacity to e-mail everyone with whom I do business - and my friends – individually about the following but this is not practical so I am sending out this general announcement about important changes affecting our publishing
company.

I have sold Moorshead Magazines - which includes Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and the new Discovering Family History and will be retiring. The sale finalizes on Friday 29 February 2008.

This is not quite as radical as it first sounds. I am selling the company to two of the staff - Ed Zapletal and Rick Cree. They have made it clear that their main reason for buying the company is that they do NOT want any changes. There will obviously be some differences as I will be out of the picture, but there will be no staff changes.

Victoria, Marc and Jeannette will be continuing in the same roles.

I turned 65 in November and want time to travel and do other things with Marian (my wife) while we are still capable (I also plan on spending a lot of time researching my own genealogy!). I also want to do more lecturing.

I am intensely proud of what we have done with Moorshead Magazines - we have dedicated, loyal and highly experienced staff. Ed and Rick have both been with me for 24 years - way, way before we published Family Chronicle. We work very well together and we have been pretty successful.

Things are going well – Discovering Family History looks as though it will become another success story and this is important to me; I very much want to retire on a high note.

Part of the sale agreement is that I will act as a consultant related to the magazines for three years so I am not entirely cut off. In addition, I plan to be at the NGS Annual Convention in Kansas City in May, largely to say goodbye personally to the many friends I have made in the genealogy field over the years.

Ed Zapletal, who will take over as publisher, can be reached at
Edward@moorshead.com
(416) 491-3699 xt 110

Rick can be reached at
rick@familychronicle.com (416) 491-3699 xt 106

The company is still Moorshead Magazines.

OL' MYRT'S HAT’S OFF TO YOU, Halvor! Time to enjoy life with your dear wife. Please know you have been a strong influence in the world of genealogy and your legacy lives on through the high standards you’ve set for magazine publishing. I have no doubt you'll be in high demand on the genealogy seminar lecture circuit.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Across My Desk: 27 Feb 2008

DearREADERS,
New genealogy and history blog entries quite literally pop onto my iGoogle page at all hours of the day or night and I love it. On the outside chance that you may not eat, sleep and breathe genealogy like Ol’ Myrt does, here are a few interesting items:

Mark Tucker’s Genealogy Research Map posted Sunday, 24 Feb 2008 at ThinkGenealogy.com. “The Genealogy Research Map combines the concepts found in The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the many works of Elizabeth Shown Mills into a single visualization.” I hope to interview Mark on this topic during an upcoming podcast.

John Michael Neill’s The Baby Was Thick and Fat: Clues in 1880s Letters to Nebraska posted 24 Feb 2008 at 24/7 Family History Circle. John analyzes who the letters were about and provides some thoughtful clues for researching family correspondence.

Perhaps the newest entry in the genea-blog arena is The Unofficial Footnote Blog by Beau Sharbrough, VP of Content at Footnote, also a long-time genealogy technology guru. Blog entries are short & sweet. Check out the circa 1960s long hair pic (longer than I ever let mine grow).

That last blog page got me to thinking -- do we need to start labeling our online photos so we don’t leave our descendants in a pickle like our parents and grandparents did to us with those shoeboxes and drawers full of unidentified photos?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Syllabus materials for MAF Family History Expos

From: Suzanne
DearMYRTLE,
I am wondering if it is possible to buy the CD of the MyAncestorsFound Family History Expo at St. George. We live too far away to attend and would like to obtain one if possible. Thanks for your attention to my request.

DearSUZANNE,
Indeed, syllabus materials from previous MyAncestorsFound (MAF) Family History Expos (and Jamborees) are available for purchase through their website www.myancestorsfound.com . MAF President Holly Hansen said it best when suggesting we consider this syllabus a genealogical course manual to use throughout the coming year until we gather again for the next Expo.

If you'd like to view video reports from the St. George Expo, find links in Ol' Myrt's blog entry titled Video from St. George Expo.

For those able to attend the 1-day event in Logan, Utah 22 March 2008, see the registration page and note the following line-up of classes:
  • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Bringing Families together with FamilySearch - Timothy G. Cross
  • Preserving Oral Histories Digitally - Mary Lynn Sharpe
  • How to Interest Your Family in Family History - Janet Hovorka, BA
  • New Ways to Enhance, Study and Share Your Family History - Marlo E. Schuldt
  • Welsh Censuses - Marianne Crump
  • Ready, Set, G.O.! - Janene S. Morgan
  • Simplify Your Research - Arlene H. Eakle, Ph.D.
  • FamilySearch Indexing: The Next Revolution in Providing Access to Records - Stephen J. Valentine
  • Genealogy Teachers and Family History Consultants Learn to use PowerPoint to Teach - Holly T. Hansen
  • Using New FamilySearch with RootsMagic 4 - Bruce Buzbee
  • The FamilySearch Research Wiki - Jim Greene, FamilySearch Product Manager
  • Rounding up English and Welsh Cousins - Blaine Crump
  • Where to look next - DearMYRTLE
  • Creating an Extensive Family History Doing "Whole Family" Research in United States Records (Part 1) - Jeanette K. B. Daniels, BS
  • New FamilySearch - Bryce Rober
  • Personal Historian: Bringing Life to Your Life Stories - Michael Booth
  • Where Do I Start? 3 Easy Steps - Paul Larsen
  • Historical Context - Baerbel K. Johnson, AG
  • The Power of DNA: Discovering Lost and Hidden Relationships - Melissa Phillips
  • Scotland the Brave! (Scotland research on the Internet) - Barbara Baker
  • Creating an Extensive Family History Doing "Whole Family" Research in United States
  • Records (Part 2) - Jeanette K. B. Daniels, BS
  • Footnote.com - Beau Sharbrough
  • Making Memories Matter: Creating Storybooks to Share Your Heritage - Kathleen Updike Strickler
  • Helping those with Hispanic Ancestry at your Family History Center - Jonathan Walker
  • Strategies for Solving German emigration problems - Baerbel K. Johnson, AG
  • Applying the Basics of DNA: Finding Success in What You Know - Melissa Phillips
  • PAF Users Love Ancestral Quest and the New FamilySearch - Gaylon Findlay
  • New Research Strategies for Virginia Research - Arlene H. Eakle, Ph.D.
  • Labs.FamilySearch.Org -- Future tools to dig up the past - Timothy G. Cross
  • It Killed the Romans but it Can't Kill You!: Latin in European Church Records - Ruth L. Merriman
  • The Godfrey Scholar Program for Family History Center Users - Richard Black
  • DNAame: Surnames Distinguished by DNA - Diahan Southard
  • TBA - Kimberly A. Savage
  • The History of Religion and Church Records in Scotland - Barbara Baker
  • Now That You've Found Them . . . Go Visit - Dale Bartlett
  • Families by the Dozen: Using a wide-angle lens to research - DearMYRTLE

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 26 Feb 2008 genealogy podcast

DearLISTENERS & READERS,
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 26 Feb 2008 genealogy podcast is available for listening via computer or transferred to any .mp3 player if you choose to download the file. An alternative would be to download the file automatically via iTunes, just search for “DearMYRTLE” and click to subscribe for free.

You don’t need an iPod to listen, any .mp3 player and even your computer (with the speakers turned on!) will do. For a complete list of current DearMYRTLE podcasts visit: http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com. Please note the new “play button” in the upper left on the screen for those who wish to listen to the podcast via the internet.

TOPICS & GUESTS THIS WEEK
Sharon Sergeant
is a professional genealogist, specializing in large complex projects, including international tracing, property settlements, provenance of artifact collections, large migration and occupational group projects. Sharon creates and manages teams of specialists for each project. Through her website www.ancestralmanor.com she provides teleconference seminar educational programs. Sharon serves on the Massachusetts Genealogical Council board organizing on-site educational conferences and records access advisory. She also performs public relations services for many national and international genealogical society events and services. This interview starts 12 minutes into the podcast.


Bruce Buzbee, creator of Family Atlas software that “lets you add your own sets of custom markers to the map. For example, you could create a red triangle marker for places where your direct ancestors were born, or a green circle where anyone with the surname Jones was buried. Markers make it easy to visually see migrations or clusters in your family data. You can create unlimited sets of markers which can be hidden or displayed with a simple checkbox. Family Atlas also lets you add sets of markers by hand, meaning you can create maps even without importing your genealogy data. So you can create custom sets of markers like "Civil War Battles" or "Our Vacation Spots". You can use both hand entered and data-based markers on the same map.” See: www.FamilyAtlas.com. The interview starts 47 minutes into the podcast.

MIGHTY MOUSE TOUR (38 minutes into the podcast)
Join Myrt click-by-click as she visits the Board for Certification of Genealogists website www.bcgcertification.org – its more than an online business card with contact info. There are examples of research models, links to articles describing standards of excellence in genealogical research and instruction. See especially Genealogical Proof Standard from the Board for Certification of Genealogists BCG website “The GPS reflects a change from the term "Preponderance of the Evidence," used earlier to describe the high standard of proof BCG had always promoted. (For further information about this topic, click here for information on BCG's decision and here for a detailed article on this subject.) Case studies in national genealogical journals, such as the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and The American Genealogist, illustrate the GPS.” Elements discussed in this podcast include: Proof is a fundamental concept in genealogy. In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as proved. Acceptable conclusions, therefore, meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).” The GPS consists of five elements:
  • a reasonably exhaustive search
  • complete and accurate source citations
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

LINKS WE MENTION

LINKS TO DearMYRTLE’s RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Magna Carta at the National Archives

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: It is Tuesday and the first of the NARA press releases is coming through. Please address all inquiries to Public.Affairs@nara.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2008

Exclusive Press Preview of Magna Carta Before It Returns to Display at the National Archives

WHAT: One time only opportunity for the media to photograph/videotape 1297 Magna Carta outside its exhibition display case and talk to its new owner. The document, however, remains sealed in its protective environmental encasement. It will return to public display in the West Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on March 12, 2008.

WHO:
  • Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States
  • David Rubenstein, who recently purchased Magna Carta
  • Terry Boone, National Archives exhibits conservator

WHEN: Monday, March 3. Remarks begin at 1 p.m. availability ends at 2 p.m.

WHERE: National Archives Building Conservation Lab, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. NOTE: Use Pennsylvania Avenue entrance

PLEASE NOTE: NO ARTIFICIAL LIGHT MAY BE USED.

BACKGROUND:
In 1215 on the plains of Runnymede an assembly of barons confronted the despotic King John of England and demanded that traditional rights be recognized, written down, confirmed with the royal seal, and sent to each of the counties to be read to all freemen. King John agreed, binding himself and his heirs to grant "to all freemen of our kingdom" the rights and liberties described in the great charter, or Magna Carta.

Between 1215 and 1297, Magna Carta was reissued by each of King John's successors. To meet his debts from foreign wars, King Edward I imposed new and harsher taxes in 1297. This provoked another confrontation between the king and the barons, resulting not only in the reissue of Magna Carta, but for the first time its entry into the official Statute Rolls of England. The 1297 document on display represents the transition of Magna Carta from a brokered agreement to the foundation of English law.

Only four originals of the 1297 Magna Carta remain. By the 17th century, the one shown here was in the possession of the Brudenell family, the earls of Cardigan. It was acquired by the Perot Foundation in 1984 and purchased by David M. Rubenstein in 2007. David Rubenstein has placed Magna Carta on loan to the National Archives as a gift to the American people. It is the only Magna Carta permanently residing in the United States.

# # #

For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

Woomail: very private e-messaging

DearREADERS,
No one likes unsolicited email. Attempting to combat the non-edible spam costs millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours each year. Ol' Myrt here easily spends 50 minutes a day just hitting the "delete" button to remove the latest batch from my inbox. (Yes, I check my email box about ten times a day, and spend roughly 5 minutes each time getting rid of spam. That is how I manage to listen to so many genealogy & history podcasts each week!)

Yes, I have spam control using Norton. The same is true on my laptop with McAfee. Spam is just part of our online life, but should it be? Spammers of the world take fiendish delight in working around all known fixes, so their spam will "leak" through the shields and sit there waiting for me the next time I open my email inbox.

The following Woomail announcement came across Business Wire about an hour ago. The concept behind this service is that you visit the Woomail website to send and receive encrypted e-messages using Woomail. You don't have to have Woomail to communicate with me, just go to my Woomail page and fill in the blanks. The encrypted part is where you must type in the unique code toward the bottom of the Woomail message form before the message will be accepted by my Woomail inbox.

If you'd like to test this out, without registering for Woomail, you can visit my personal Woomail page at: woomail.com/DearMYRTLE

This process is supposedly safe from intrusion, because it is all "held on one server" and the Woomail does not have to be sent through the internet connection of several hundred email servers to get from you to me.

Apparently, it is the transfer of traditional email between my computer and yours that leaves an opening spammers take advantage of -- much to our consternation.

I had one question: It would seem that as soon as you let non-Woomail people know about your new Woomail address, this wouldn't work. Yet it does work because I cannot receive email in the traditional sense. I receive your Woomail because you go to my Woomail page, and type an e-message to me. Before completing the form, you type in your email address or your Woomail id.

In Ol' Myrt's mind, this is really more like a messaging service rather than email. I can send a message to your regular email account through Woomail, but for your reply, you must click the link in the email, or visit Ol’ Myrt’s Woomail page. I cannot subscribe to a genealogy mailing list using Woomail, because no external source of email (like @RootsWeb, @Yahoo or @Comcast.net) can get into the Woomail arena to play. It takes a real person to type in the encrypted code at the bottom of the message form so that Woomail will accept your message to me.

Unlike traditional instant messaging, I do not have to install a program. To read my Woomail, I merely log in at my Woomail page to view your posting to me. Unlike traditional instant messaging, no notice will appear on my computer’s desktop that your message awaits. In fact, I won't know about your posting to me until I log on to my Woomail page.

I haven’t yet experimented with group or merchant accounts on Woomail.

Woomail Launches Instant Email That Never Enters Cyberspace

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It is estimated that the cost of spam worldwide is teetering around the $100 Billion mark which includes lost worker productivity, user issues and the increased IT spending. Within a typical enterprise business, spam can easily cost a company somewhere in the region of $600 to $1,000 per year per employee. Spam wreaks havoc on corporate network storage, user support and squandered bandwidth. More importantly, it can have negative impact on a company’s priceless assets such as corporate brand and reputation.

In 2003, Basex released a white paper study titled Spam E-Mail and Its Impact on IT Spending and Productivity. Within the white paper, Bob Kahn, the co-designer of TCP/IP Networking Protocol was quoted as saying, “I have a hunch that there is a better solution waiting to be found, technical or otherwise, but until it is, we will likely have to cope with spam and other unwanted email as best we can.”

What is clear is that solutions to date such as anti-spam software programs are not effective. As long as the communiqué must enter cyberspace, it can fall victim to spam and security breach. A better solution was urgently required, and Woomail is the answer. Woomail is an innovative type of e-messaging that could replace spam infested email.

The desktop skin may look like a common Hotmail or Gmail user account, and Woomail does interact seamlessly with email, but it is nothing like email. Unlike traditional email, Woomail gives all power to the user by controlling both ends of the information exchange. Messages never, ever enter cyberspace and the risk of spam is completely eliminated. Woomail is an intelligent and controlled online communication tool that works in an efficient way, eliminating spam and putting total control in the hands of the recipient.

Businesses can get back to the business of doing business; knowing that every message is handled by a real person and that corporate networks are not clogged with unwanted messages. Employees are instantly more productive and overall IT costs are drastically reduced. Woomail also offers large enterprise solutions, where all online communications are sent and received on in-house servers, never leaving their corporate shelter.

The true essence of Woomail is that it switches control to the end user, which saves time, money and productivity. More information on Woomail and its numerous business applications and free individual service is available at
www.woomail.com.

About Woomail
Woomail is a revolutionary form of electronic communication online of which there are no competitors or parallels. John Halloran, CEO of Woomail.com: “We understood the problems that have infected and crippled conventional email and we set out to change the process and succeeded.

Woomail is a new process that could change online communications for individuals, small business and large enterprises.” Woomail is an unmatched echelon of online messaging that is 100% encrypted, easy to use and the safest available.

Enquiries and media information regarding Woomail, The World’s Safest Mail™ can be directly to John Halloran at 650-739-8082 or
www.woomail.com/1.

Contacts
Woomail, San Francisco
John Halloran,
Founder
1-650-739-8082
www.woomail.com/1


So, DearREADERS, we are to call Woomail "e-messaging” -- not e-mail or instant messaging. Let's see how this develops. At least someone is thinking outside the box, err... inbox.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Irish Research Cruise of Caribbean: Jan 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was sent by our friends at www.tiara.ie. Please address all inquiries to megrogan@ix.netcom.com.

Irish genealogy is one of the most difficult research topics in family history. To make it a little easier, The Irish Ancestral Research Association (http://www.tiara.ie/) is organizing an Irish genealogy cruise in January 2009. You do not have to be a member to join the cruise. We want to create an opportunity for everyone to learn how to research Irish families.

As every reader of Dick Eastman’s newsletter knows, genealogy conferences held on cruise ships have become very popular. The price is comparable to attending a national conference and you get a fabulous vacation at the same time! This is also a wonderful opportunity to travel with friends and family who are not interested in your passion. There really is something for everyone on modern ships.

This trip will focus on Irish research. All speakers have presented at national genealogical conferences and are recognized as knowledgeable in their fields. There will be two tracks. Track 1 will have lectures on basic resources and techniques for Irish research. Track 2 will focus on more advanced topics and is intended for those with experience in using Irish records. The first thirty registrants will be given a one-hour private consultation with one of the professional genealogists on the program.

SPEAKERS:
  • Valerie Adams, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast
  • Mary Ellen Grogan, TIARA, Boston
  • George B. Handran, expert on Griffith's Valuation, Boston
  • Michael J. Leclerc, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston
  • Gregory O’Connor, National Archives of Ireland, Dublin
  • Eileen and Sean O’Duill, Dublin
DATES: Saturday, January 10 through Sunday, January 18, 2009

SHIP: Royal Caribbean, Independence of the SeasThis is Royal Caribbean’s newest ship. It is only now being built and will come into service in May 2008. Independence is a sister ship to Freedom of the Seas. If you watch the Travel Channel, there is an hour-long program on Freedom of the Seas hosted by Samantha Brown. Independence will be a large ship, but it will have something for everyone from the Conference Center to the FlowRider surf simulator.

ITINERARY: 8 nights in the Eastern Caribbean. Cruise begins and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with day visits to: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Royal Caribbean’s private beach at Labadee, Haiti. The lectures are scheduled for the three “At Sea” days. They will not conflict with opportunities to visit the ports.Please join us.

For detailed information on the cruise, go to the TIARA website (http://www.tiara.ie/) and click on “Trips”Any questions? Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at megrogan@ix.netcom.com.

BookShelf: Deciphering Gothic Records

DearREADERS,
While pouring through items offered at the Maia’s Books in the visiting vendor area at the St. George Family History Expo, I ran across a small spiral-bound booklet of tremendous value to those of us attempting to read old German script with numerous examples of common alphabet variations:

Deciphering Gothic Records
By Fay S. Dearden
© 1996 by the author
Payson, AZ: Family Tree Press

For instance, in one Gothic alphabet, there are 12 variations for a capital “F”. Also included are basic German vocabulary words for births, burial, christening, death and marriage and references to other useful books. If you’d like to pick up a copy, it is only $6.95 plus shipping. Buy two and give one to your local Family History Center or public library.

Contact my new friend Martha Mercer, of Maia's Books & Misc. Martha@MaiasBooks.com and on the web at: http://www.maiasbooks.com/, Her number in Ohio is 614.838.1280.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 26416
Columbus, Ohio 43226

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Award 24 Feb 2008

DearREADERS,
It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 24 Feb 2008 awards go to:

1. BLOG: FamilySearch Lab’s Everyone Can See the Family Tree! posted 19 Feb 2008 by Dan Lawyer which reads in part “That’s right, everyone that comes to the FamilySearch Labs website can see the Family Tree. We’ve created a demo version of the Family Tree project that allows anyone to take a look at the Family Tree without having to register or login. Tell your friends. Tell your family. We need all of the feedback you can send us. The more feedback we receive, the faster we can improve the Family Tree.” You know this is the “think tank” part of FamilySearch where much of the new stuff is posted. Check it out, and let them know how it works for you.

2. INSTRUCTION: RootsWeb’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees was written & compiled by professional genealogists, Julia M. Case, Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG and Rhonda McClure, three of the most capable gals Ol’ Myrt knows when it comes to teaching sound genealogical research principles. Among numerous research outlines, find the following basic tutorials:
1 Where to Begin?
2 What's in a Name?
3 Using Technology: Software and GEDCOMs
4 Vital Records: Death, Tombstones and Cemeteries
5 Vital Records: Marriage Records and Evidence
6 Vital Records: Birth Records
7 What is the Question?
8 Why You Can't Find Them
9 U.S. Census Records: Soundexes, Indexes and Finding Aids
10 SSDI (U.S. Social Security Death Index) & Railroad Retirement Board Records
11 Taxing Tales
12 Creating Worthwhile Genealogies: Evidence, Sources and Citation
13 Military Records (worldwide)
14 Military Records (United States)
15 Tracing Immigrant Ancestors
16 Naturalization Records
17 Church Records
18 Fraternal Organizations
19 Heraldry for Genealogists
20 City Directories and Newspapers
21 Irish, Scots-Irish and Scottish
22 Italian and Hispanic Ancestors
23 Scandinavian (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Icelandic) Roots
24 Canadian, French-Canadian, Acadian and French Connections
25 African American, Native American, Jewish, Unique Peoples (Melungeon, Black Dutch, etc.)
26 Germanic Ancestors (Plus: Austrians, Dutch, Belgians, Swiss, Luxembourgers, and Liechtensteiners
27 Polish, Russians, Czechs, Hungarians, Croatians, Slovakians . . .
28 English, Welsh, Australian, New Zealand, South Africa . . .
29 American Land Records
30 Court Records
31 Adoption and Orphans Records

3. DATABASE SITE: Canadian Home Children database at the Library & Archives of Canada. “Between 1869 and the early 1930s, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain during the child emigration movement. Members of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa [www.bifhsgo.ca/] are locating and indexing the names of these Home Children found in different records held by Library and Archives Canada.”

4. SCANNED IMAGE SITE: Ancestry.com's Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission: Records; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication T71/553-564); Records created and inherited by HM Treasury; The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Expect the original documents from Barbados to include name, sex, age, race, parish, year.

5: PODCAST: The BBC History Magazine podcast is one way US researches can begin to look at the world through a different set of eyes. We need balance in our studies, particularly when it comes to ancestors who lived under different political and cultural circumstances. This monthly podcast reflects items in the current issue of the magazine. Also available through iTunes.

6. VIDEO: Down Under: Florida features a thoughtful look at cemetery studies with an appreciation for diversity. The discussion includes researching surviving records to explain the story of a unusual couple who are immortalized by a distinctive tombstone at the Oaklawn Cemetery in the heart of Tampa, Florida. Produced by RootsTelevision with hosts George G. Morgan and Drew Smith.

7. COMMENTARY: Lately, there have been a lot of emails from adoptees searching for birthparents. Ol' Myrt here recommends studying everything posted at the Adoption Triad website. “The Triad consists of adoptees, birth families, and adoptive families who share a common bond which enables us to offer insight and knowledge to others who seek understanding. Through the sharing of information, personal experiences, compassion and support, the healing process can begin."

8. INNOVATION: When it comes to staying in touch with siblings, distant cousins and grandchildren, you cannot beat Blue Mountain electronic cards. This is perhaps the granddaddy of the online card websites. Although there are free ecards, a simple $13.99 annual membership purchases the options of an online address book, access to more cards PLUS reminders for upcoming birthdays and special occasions. On the first of each month, I select electronic cards for each member of my family with events coming up that month. Blue Mountain delivers ecards on the day I specify, not just the day I customize them. Neat!

9. MOST INTERESTING THREAD: The public genealogy mailing list of APG, the Association of Professional Genealogists, has recently discussed a topic proposed by ThinkGenealogy,com’s Mark Tucker who asked: [APG] How Widely Used is the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)?Browse replies in the Feb 2008 APG archive folder. These are the replies to date:

10. ETHNIC STUDIES: The Cherokee Heritage Center has an internet presence in addition to a strong real-life program promoting understanding of Native American ancestry. Be sure to click on Learn, then Genealogy to find information on how to trace your possible Cherokee progenitors. “With most genealogical research, it is best to begin with yourself and work back through the previous generations. It is not a good idea to attempt to start with someone on the Trail of Tears, for example, and then try to work forward.”

Please note that this week's award winners may have published the spotlighted content earlier, it is just that this week Ol' Myrt here stumbled across them and wishes to honor excellent work.If you have suggestions for winning genealogy content be sure to drop me a line. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Imorial Advanced Social Networking Site Helps Bereaved

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following story is circulating the internet following this morning's press release.

Imorial Advanced Social Networking Site Helps Bereaved With Free Online Memorials

Feb 25, 2008 08:00 ET
MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the best ways of dealing with grief is to try and share the memories surrounding a lost loved one. And thanks to Imorial, the process of sharing these memories can be done conveniently through a free online memorial.


"Our website is not about death, it's about life. It's about appreciating the beautiful gift of being alive and taking the time to remember those who are no longer with us, and those that are," notes Benjamin Goldhammer of Cinnic Interactive, the company responsible for bringing Imorial into being.

The style of the online memorial will depend on the person who is designing it, as there are no limits to what can be posted on them. Graphically, family members can choose from several pre-designed themes for their memorial or they can get Imorial to design customized themes for them.

In addition, the memorials can contain videos, photographs, slide shows and an area where visitors can post messages of condolences. Family members can also include a tribute page where visitors can send virtual tokens of affection such as a lighted candle, flowers, stones or a heart. To access these memorials, family members receive their own unique website address.

Imorial also allows another way the bereaved can assuage their grief; networking with other bereaving individuals. The site allows members to create their own groups, which are simply message boards discussing various topics. Members can also meet people by visiting other online memorials that have been posted. In fact, there is even an area within a member's account that will allow them to see how many people have visited their memorial as well.

Since Imorial has launched three months ago, it has seen tremendous growth. Currently, there are 562 memorials, 2, 357 tributes and 1,492 members. And, for individuals that would like to chat with other members online, even during the early AM hours of the night, there are hundreds of visitors participating in groups or posting memorials.

In the near future, Imorial will expand its services by incorporating family trees within the memorials. With family trees the whole history of a person can be remembered by both their descendants and anyone else on the Internet. Such a feature will offer an excellent tool for future generations looking into their genealogy.

For more information please visit: www.Imorial.com

Source: Imorial.com


CONTACT:

Benjamin Goldhammer
Imorial.com
61 3 9867 7044
info@imorial.com
Web site:
http://www.imorial.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 19 Feb 2008 genealogy podcast

DearLISTENERS & READERS,
DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 19 Feb 2008 genealogy podcast is available for listening via computer or transferred to any .mp3 player if you choose to download the file. An alternative would be to download the file automatically via iTunes. You don’t need an iPod to listen. For a complete list of current DearMYRTLE podcasts visit: http://podcasts.dearmyrtle.com. I’ve added a new “play button” for those who wish to listen to the podcast via the internet.

TOPICS & GUESTS THIS WEEK
Geoff Rasmussen from the Millennia Corporation to discuss the soon-to-be released Version 7 of Legacy Family Tree, and the upcoming 2008 European Cruise. This interview starts 18 min. 15 seconds into the podcast.

Craig Manson, best known for his outstanding GeneaBlogie found on the web at: http://blog.geneablogie.net, joins Myrt to talk about his new project HARP Historical Appellate Review ProjectSetting the record straight, sponsored by GeneaBlogie, MansonMedia & the Law Offices of Craig Manson. You've heard the story that Great-Uncle Festus was a no-good horse thief. But was he really? Did he get a fair trial? Did he have a good lawyer or even a lawyer at all? Can his name be cleared all these decades later?” This interview starts 43 min. 24 seconds into the podcast.

LINKS WE MENTION

LINKS TO DearMYRTLE’s RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Video from St. George Expo

DearREADERS,
Dick Eastman was very busy interviewing folks at this month's MyAncestorsFound.com Genealogy & Family Heritage Expo in St. George. The first batch of those videos is showing up at RootsTelevision -- as we each make our bribery payments to have the rough parts edited out. This should give you an idea about how much fun and learning goes on at these special events.

Family History Expo Overview
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1420195918&channel=151802639

Dick Eastman interviews Expo Developer Holly Hansen of MyAncestorsFound.com
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1415670043&channel=151802639

Dick Eastman interviews DearMYRTLE
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423436174&channel=151802639

Dick Eastman interviews Jon Shupe of Passage Express
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423838498&channel=151802639

Dick Eastman interviews Ken McGinnis of Legacy Family Tree
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423436164

Dick Eastman interviews Stacey Allison of Family Tree Magazine
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423436158&channel=151802639

RootsTelevision spotlights FamilySearch
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423436121&channel=151802639

RootsRelevision spotlights Forever Family Embroidery
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423832994&channel=151802639

RootsTelevision interviews Lisa Cooke of GenealogyGems.tv
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423832982&channel=151802639

RootsTelevision interviews Paul Larsen, author of Crash Course
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1423436122&channel=151802639

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley, All Rights Reserved.

Castro has resigned from power

DearREADERS,
My New York Times alert provided the following notice:

Fidel Castro Says He Has Resigned
"Cuban leader Fidel Castro said Tuesday that he will not return to lead the country, retiring as head of state 49 years after he seized power in an armed revolution. The announcement was posted in a letter to readers on the website of the state-run newspaper Granma."
Source: The New York Times Tuesday, February 19, 2008 -- 3:01 AM ET. Read More: http://tinyurl.com/3xnz4b
This subject got me to thinking about our ancestors and how they may have adapted to changes brought on by newspaper headlines, politics, war, food shortages, floods and other man-made or natural disasters. I imagine they were much the same as we are – human in our responses. Perhaps they lived lives with more uncertainty, due lack of efficient communication methods. Maybe it was blissful ignorance, until disaster struck close to home.


Our ancestors had similar fascinations with things celestial, if the following newspaper posting is any indication. This article was one of 130,391 hits following an advanced search for the word “comet” without quote marks in GenealogyBank.com’s Historic Newspaper Collection this morning. I specified publications created between 1800 & 1900 to exclude modern commentary. Source: Comets. to the Editors of the Nat. Intelligencer. Date: 1817-09-06; Paper: The American Star. Copyrighted by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society. 2004. Posted in GenealogyBank.com's paid subscription database, viewed 18 Feb 2008.
Obituaries can list peculiar connections to historical events such as this posting from The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"The last known survivor of the 1889 Johnstown Flood, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, has died at 108. Frank Shomo was just 100 days old when the earthen South Fork Dam in Cambria County collapsed and released a wall of water that killed 2,209 people in southwestern Pennsylvania. The deluge swept through Johnstown and traveled 20 miles down the Conemaugh River valley to the Indiana County community of Robinson, where Shomo's family lived. Shomo died in his sleep Thursday at Blattenberger's Evergreen Manor." Source: Deceased Name: SURVIVOR OF 1889 FLOOD DIES AT 108 - FRANK SHOMO WAS AN INFANT WHEN THE WATERS SWEPT JOHNSTOWN, KILLING 2,209. The Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) - March 22, 1997. Copyright (c) 1997 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Posted in GenealogyBank.com's paid subscription database, viewed 18 Feb 2008.

Patriotic emotions ran high at an American Legion meeting of 14,000 in Madison Square Garden, as Gold Star Mothers are escorted into the arena 18 March 1921 in New York City as reported in the Lexington Herald. Source: Sobs Break Silence as Legion Commander Eulogizes Gold Star Mothers; Thousands Pack Garden for Americanization Date: 1921-03-19; Paper: The Lexington Herald. Copyrighted by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society. 2004. Posted in GenealogyBank.com's paid subscription database, viewed 18 Feb 2008.

Using old newspapers in genealogical research, and presentation to family members goes a long way toward putting our ancestors in historical perspective. BRAVO to GenealogyBank.com, a division of NewsBank.com for making this huge collection available to researchers. See Historical Newspapers 1690 - 1977 & the title list to this collection of over 108.6+ million articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and other items published in more than 500,000 issues of over 2,400 historical U.S. newspapers. Director Thomas Jay Kemp tells Ol' Myrt here that new content added monthly.

Ol’ Myrt here is off to the Family History Library for another day of research on the British Isles floor. Yesterday I found the 1780 Church of England bann and return indicating the marriage of my 4th great-grandparents Benjamin Saunders and Hannah Hudson took place on 7 Sept 1780 in Bisham, Berkshire, England. Both were listed as being members of that parish. Since the microfilm includes christenings, marriages & burials back to the mid-1500s, hopefully I’ll uncover a few more names and generations for my family tree. But alas, the handwriting is cryptic, and there is a lot of "bleed through" of ink from the other side of each page. That's the fun of research, isn't it?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Award 17 Feb 2008

DearREADERS,
It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. With all the feedback from readers, it is getting harder to narrow down the award winners. Ol' Myrt here has created an Excel worksheet to keep track of your suggestions for sites to honor in the upcoming weeks and months.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 17 Feb 2008 awards go to:

1. BLOG: Being Dick Eastman’s friend isn’t prejudicing my recommendation because everyone will tell you that Eastman’s Online Genealogy News is THE place to learn about the latest in genealogy technology and gadgets. Dick simply loves to delve into all aspects and provide detailed reports to his readers. Be sure to join as a plus member, so you can read George Morgan’s new columns.

2. INSTRUCTION: Genuki’s Getting Started in Genealogy & Family History, a good basic tutorial for UK & Ireland researchers, created from a FAQ edited by John Woodgate, page created by Brian Randell and additions by Louis R. Mills.

3. DATABASE SITE: Genline Discover your Swedish ancestry & heritage through this commercial online archive contains an index and scanned images of church records from the 16th-20th century.

4. SCANNED IMAGE SITE: USGenWeb’s Digital Map Library, the brainchild of Donald Leroy Spidell who passed away in 1999. Now coordinated by Pat Blankenship.

5: PODCAST: With all the discussion of late about using iGoogle to create your own custom home page, you'll find that Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast – Episode #15 will painlessly guide you through the set-up process. Lisa has helped Ol' Myrt here this past week in this regard.

6. VIDEO: Digging for Irish Roots posted on YouTube featuring a Canada AM live broadcast from Dublin 17th March 2007, where a TV personality Seamus O' Regan's finds out about his family dropping the “O” during his interview with orofessional researcher Fiona Fitzsimons, from Eneclann, who advises “grill your granny” before doing research online or at the local parish.

7: COMMENTARY: Craig Manson's "Copyright Issues: Photographs" posted at GeneaBlogie -- just another of his thoughtful offerings, helping family historians to mind their Ps & Qs.

8. INNOVATION: My friend Libbi Crowe introduced me to StoryCorps and its traveling interview “booth”. The site includes ideas for telling your story and passing it on. Listen to recorded stories for ideas, sing up for the weekly newsletter and consider scheduling a StoryCorps visit in your area. See also:

9. MOST INTERESTING THREAD: Thanks to AdrianR for pointing me to this brand new Internet Genealogy by Example blog written by “Tom”. This looks like the beginning of a wonderful collection of how-to articles for newbies. Keep up the good work, Tom!

10. ETHNIC STUDIES: JewishGen has long been a valuable research resource for those with Jewish ancestry. Major projects include:

Please note that this week's award winners may have published the spotlighted content earlier, it is just that this week Ol' Myrt here stumbled across them and wishes to honor excellent work.
If you have suggestions for winning genealogy content be sure to drop me a line. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.