Sunday, March 30, 2008

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 30 March 2008

It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. With spring in the air, genealogists are excitedly planning summer research trips. Some of this week’s suggestions will help prioritize your trip(s).

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 30 March 2008 awards go to:

BLOG: If you’ve promised yourself you are not going on vacation until you get the last of those 3,000 family photos scanned, consider Rick Crume’s suggestion to use a high speed scanning service. "The Internet Guy" Rick Crume is from and author of Plugging Into Your Past. His blog posted 3/7/2007 is no longer available at RootsTelevision, but Rick’s text pulled in by Ol' Myrt’s feed reader is noteworthy: “This blog usually focuses on Internet genealogy, but today I'm going to sneak in a posting on digital photography. Over the holidays, I spent a lot of time scanning old family photographs and copying them to CDs to share with relatives. I scanned several pictures at a time and used Adobe Photoshop Elements to divide the pictures into separate files, but it was still a time-consuming process. Yesterday, USA Today had an interesting article on high-speed photo-scanning services that could save me a lot of time next Christmas. 30 Minute Photos in California uses a high-speed scanner to digitize up to 750 photos in 5 minutes. You can have up to 1,000 photos scanned for $49.95 or as many as you can fit in their prepaid box (more than 1,600 4x6 photos) for $99.95. The pictures are scanned at 300 dpi and returned to you, along with the scanned images on a CD or DVD. This service sounds like a great time-saver, but it's not a perfect solution. You have to pack your irreplaceable family photos in a box and entrust it to the US Postal Service. The owner of 30 Minute Photos says none of his customers has lost a single picture in shipping. Also, 30 Minute Photos won't scan photos smaller than 3x5 inches, so that leaves out 126mm pictures. And they won't scan bent or curled pictures. Still, 30 Minute Photos sounds like an excellent way to get scans of modern snapshots. But before sending off my pictures, I'm going to see if local companies offer a similar service.”

INSTRUCTION:’s genealogy expert Kimberly Powell posts links to a series of articles titled Genealogy Research Trips & Vacations including:

DATABASE SITE: The Olive Tree Genealogy website has (thankfully!) been around for a long time, making it easier for all of us with her transcriptions. No need to travel any farther than your computer desk and “information super highway.” Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy Blog posts free lists including these added in February 2008:

SCANNED IMAGE SITE: 40% of Americans trace their roots back to an ancestor that came through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. provides an online search the index of passenger records listing over 22 million people. Once you’ve found an ancestor in the index, click to view his original passenger list entry, and then it is another click to view a photo and description of the transport ship. From this website, we learn the “Ellis Island Immigration Museum is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and is one of the country's most popular historic sites. In 2001, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, unveiled the American Family Immigration History Center®. This exciting family research facility at Ellis Island provides visitors with advanced computer and multimedia technology, printed materials, and professional assistance for investigating immigration history, family documentation, and genealogical exploration.”

PODCAST: The new FGS 2008 Philly Podcast, hosted by Shamell Jordan, is sure to be of interest to those planning to travel to Philadelphia for the Sept 3rd through 6th 2008 Federation of Genealogical Society annual conference. The March 26th episode features an interview with Leslie Albrecht Huber, MPA, previewing info she will present in her FGS conference class “Crossing the Ocean with the Internet”. Tune in for Philly-related discussions about the $10 airport shuttle, and local facilities that will be of use to out-of-towners. Test your knowledge as two contestants play “Genealogy Jeopardy”, scheduled to continue during upcoming podcasts. I sure hope the FGS decides to keep running this podcast in the years to come. This is a brilliant idea for building interest in the event, and orienting people to the travel experience!

VIDEO:Flat Stanley’s Family Tree” posted at Stanley travels this world, and the genealogical leg of his journeys is chronicled by Aunt Mae-Mae’s nephew “Austin” Brock Jackson. This is a fun, inter-generational look at family history. Stops along the way: the National Archives; Williamsburg, Virginia, including the stockade; and San Francisco cable cars. It is a good idea to combine ancestral research with doing “touristy” things, particularly for the non-genealogists in your touring group.

COMMENTARY: The article by Paula Stuart Warren, CG “Preparing for a Successful Research Trip” was published 1 July 2004 in Ancestry Magazine also available online. Included is a list of books to assist your planning, in addition to this advice “Coordinate your itinerary carefully if you are traveling with a spouse, family members, or friends. Let your travel companions know in advance what you want to do with your limited research time. You want to be successful in your genealogical research, but you also want your travel companions to enjoy themselves. If they have something fun to do, it is less likely they will be unhappy when you go to the historical society for just one more afternoon.”

INNOVATION: Google Maps provides not only maps and driving directions, but also traffic view, satellite view, terrain view, and street view with your car parked in the driveway. (If it was there the day the Google team shot the photos!) For you men out there who “don’t ask for directions” maybe this hi-tech interface will make the mapping challenge a little easier to take. Create & save your own series of maps, and add interactive content from Google. Google Maps is where I’ve begun to keep DearMYRTLE's Salt Lake City Map to include links for genealogists who visit the Family History Library here in Salt Lake City and need to know where the closest pharmacy, grocery and dining places are located. I’ve now visited all the restaurants listed. (It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!) I won’t list restaurants I don’t like. If your favorite isn’t listed, let me know -- it probably just means I haven’t been there yet. After all, I’ve only lived here since 15 November 2007.

MOST INTERESTING THREAD:Take at least 1 genealogy Trip this year” an ongoing discussion at 43 Things. Challenge yourself to take that trip and write about it.

ETHNIC STUDIES: Being away from home and hearth will probably make even the most enthusiastic genealogy researchers “home sick” and appreciative of Schelly Talalay Dardashti’s “Rain, cold, wind call for comfort food” posted 15 Feb 2008 at the Tracing the Tribe blog. We can each relate to family food traditions, passed down for generations. Catch Schelly’s sense of humor as she begins “The past few days in Israel have been wet, windy and cold. And, of course, there was that pesky earthquake, which at a desk-rattling 5.3 was strong enough to remind me of our Los Angeles days. This sort of weather and environmental danger makes me nostalgic for Jewish comfort food, deli-style. And since Israel lacks even one traditional Jewish deli (felafel and humus just doesn't cut it).”

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.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Genealogy Manners

Genealogy Manners
Originally posted Tue, 1 Feb 2005

Not meaning to put myself in the position of becoming the "Miss Manners" of genealogy, ol' Myrt wishes to relate her reaction to a terrible breach of propriety among family members. We were in the genealogy department of the library in Tampa on Sunday afternoon. What happened would curl any one's hair-- however thin at this late date.

Whilst your humble writer was perusing index books and comparing them with the database on her laptop, a terrible scene ensued between a 50ish daughter and her 80ish mother. When the unfortunate interchange had concluded, Ol' Myrt was so moved as to attempt to provide reassurance to the elderly woman.

This dear woman had become frustrated by attempting to read microfiche of an old city directory for the first time. She got up and asked her daughter for advice. The daughter literally stormed over, pushed her mother back in the chair and spoke in loud, angry terms. The mother's questions concerned their regular page placement on the microfiche compared to the chronological arrangement of pages in a printed city directory. The daughter very literally yelled said "If you will be quiet, I will tell you!"

What followed were disrespectful, unkind comments about how one reads microfiche either across or down. She then ordered her mother to look for every one of the family names. The mom quietly stated that she was overwhelmed with just looking for one surname. The daughter stomped off and said "Fine, do whatever you want. I'll get this all done myself, then."

It was impossible for anyone in the entire department to avoid witnessing this unfortunate conversation.

Looking up from my book across to the older woman, ol' Myrt here stated "I think you are doing a wonderful job." She smiled, and replied thank-you. For additional support, the researcher sitting next to her explained that sometimes the pages skip around, and are not in perfect order on a microfiche. However, within minutes, the elderly woman left, obviously overcome by emotion.

And the moral of the story is -- be kind to everyone you meet.

This goes beyond the boundaries of genealogical research, but is especially important for family historians. I have been guilty of almost the same infraction, though obviously on a much lighter scale. Years ago I invited my stepmother to join me in a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had previously identified 78 microfilms that might mention her ancestors. It took me half a day to realize that while I am accustomed to searching 14 hours a day, with 2 short breaks and lunch, most newbie researchers are not. My step-mother's slower pace at first frustrated me.

Then, by some fortunate bolt of lightening from above, I realized that if she were to enjoy this ancestral quest, it needed to be done on her terms. I needed to relax, and enjoy the process and not worry about getting a tremendous volume of results. After all, hadn't I just succeeded in getting one other family member into the genealogy research mode? Why ruin it?

It goes without saying that the position of family historian can be a pain or a joy to our living relatives. It all depends on our attitudes about sharing information. There is a reciprocal relationship between the amount of kindness we employ when asking for copies of old photos and documents and the positive response from the non-genealogists in our families.

And what does it accomplish if we locate one tidbit of information on an ancestor, but alienate our living relatives in the process?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy.

© 2005-2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Master Genealogist (TMG)

The Master Genealogist (TMG)

This week’s podcast featured an interview with a TMG expert, and perhaps this has whetted your appetite to change genealogy management programs. TMG conforms to GEDCOM file format for data import and export, though it isn’t necessary to create a GEDCOM file in your old genealogy program if you wish to start using TMG. Remember Ol' Myrt here recommends using a main-stream genealogy management program to facilitate exchange of data with other researchers. Excel and Word are not considered main-stream genealogy programs.

TMG (The Master Genealogist) is up to version 7 now, and has been called the “gold standard” for professional genealogists. But what about folks like you and me? Is the program just too complicated? NO WAY. You can get started with the program in a matter of minutes, directing it to bring in your existing database with just a few mouse clicks.

Of particular interest to Ol' Myrt here are these TMG options:
  • Evaluate and record reliability of your sources (adding a surety value)
  • Name variables can be listed on the main screen, not buried in notes
  • Combing an indivdual’s time line of events with a historical time lines
  • Listing a person as a witness to an event
  • Track correspondence
  • Advanced options can be activated later
  • Managing multiple data sets (databases) with TMG showing where a new data set might augment your exisiting database, while preserving data set numbers for imported database

Since we’ll all eventually want to make a book, so do pay attention to the TMG “publish” options that include:

  • Output to more than 50 word processors (Word, WordPerfect, etc.) not just .rtf.
  • Multiple indexes (not just names, but places would be nice in my case.)
  • Table of contents
  • Endnotes or footnotes
  • A great deal of control over the fonts, data to be included, etc.

Here are some links for more info about TMG The Master Genealogist:

  • Full product description
  • Guided Tour (This involves a self-paced 8MB tutorial to download. The language & screen shots are drawn from the US edition of TMG, however the concepts apply to the UK edition and other language versions.)
  • Upgrade Center

Why not go ahead and Download a 30-Day Free Trial of The Master Genealogist, and see how it works?!! Remember, you don’t need to worry about importing your data – TMG imports directly from most genealogy programs & back up files without the necessity of creating a GEDCOM file. Remember, TMG also works with GenSmarts (research advisor), Second Site (to assist in using your data to create a family website) and wall-sized charting services such as Got Charts, another service of

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Borders Las Vegs: New Concept Store opens 4 April

You've perhaps heard that Borders Books is opening "New Concept" stores which will include a kiosk about genealogy sponsored by Today there is the announcement from Borders about their new store in Las Vegas. The announcement has hit the news wires, but isn't yet posted in their website's newsroom.

Mar 28, 2008 08:00 ET
Borders(R) to Open New Concept Store at Town Square in Las Vegas April 4

Las Vegas Only Second City in the Nation to Get Breakthrough Retail Concept from Borders

LAS VEGAS, March 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Borders made national headlines last month when it launched its first-ever concept store in Ann Arbor, Mich. The breakthrough retail concept represents a significant enhancement over existing Borders stores inside and out and fulfills the company's mission to be a headquarters for knowledge and entertainment. The store blends digital and Internet options with a fresh new look, enriching in-store services, and a number of exciting features to create a uniquely satisfying customer shopping experience. Now, this new concept store -- only the second in the nation -- will premier in Las Vegas. Borders will officially open the 22,000-square-foot store, located at Town Square at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 on Las Vegas Blvd., when grand opening festivities kick off April 4. -
For MORE info see: Borders(R) to Open New Concept Store at Town Square in Las Vegas April 4

For a 360 degree view of the first store, see:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

NGS: Pamela K. Boyer, Education and Publications Director

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at NGS, the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to NGS at


Arlington, VA. 28 March 2008

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) appoints Pamela K. Boyer Education and Publications Director.

Janet A. Alpert, president of the National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Pamela K. Boyer, CG, CGL, Education and Publications Director, effective 31 March 2008. Boyer will work at the NGS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

During a strategic planning session in 2007, the Board of Directors decided to establish the position of Education and Publications Director, which is necessary if we are to deliver on our mission statement "to serve and grow the genealogical community by providing education and training, fostering increased quality standards, and promoting access to and preservation of genealogical records."

We are pleased to have someone with Pamela K. Boyer's background as a professional trainer and genealogical researcher, writer and lecturer.

Boyer has been a self-employed professional genealogist for the last 14 years. She earned Certified Genealogist credentials in 1998 and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials in 2001. She has been the editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and copy editor of OnBoard, newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She also co-wrote Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family's History and Heritage with the Power of the Internet (Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, 2003) and Research in The States-Missouri (National Genealogical Society, Arlington, Virginia, 1999 and 2007). Prior to becoming a professional genealogist Boyer was a technical writer and trainer in several different industries. She has a Bachelor of University Studies degree from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico, and has pursued courses towards an MBA from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.

As Education and Publications Director, Boyer will develop a three-year plan of courses and publications that will enhance the educational benefits for our NGS members. She will work closely with Connie Lenzen, CG, chair of the NGS Education Committee. She will work with other members of the staff in redesigning the NGS Web site so we can deliver more educational courses and publications electronically.

Pamela K. Boyer is pleased to be joining the National Genealogical Society and is excited about the opportunity to continue to fulfill its 105-year legacy as the premier national society in the United States through the tangible membership benefits of education and publications.

In a recent interview, Boyer expressed her thoughts about her new role as Education and Publications Director:

"Most Americans hunger to know more about their ancestors, and learning how to effectively research your roots is a proven way to meet them face to face in historical sources that come alive if you know how to interpret them.

NGS offers the opportunity for anyone in the world to learn about American genealogical research by availing themselves of online courses and publications. I plan to work closely with NGS's Education Committee, board, and volunteers to analyze our currently available courses and NGS-published instruction guides and produce some new and innovative methods of instruction.

The success of the Research in the States series, which has been offered as downloadable electronic documents and traditional print versions, suggests that members are ready and eager for newer methods of learning. I plan to identify topics of vital interest to our members and assist in planning and developing new courses at an affordable price and in a convenient format.
This may be accomplished through interactive on-line courses that incorporate such features as audio, video, and self-grading, in addition to guidance from experts in the field.

Our NGS top-notch publications, NGSQ, NGS NewsMagazine, the Research in the States series, and the e-zine UpFront with NGS offer genealogical methodology instruction, practical how-to information, useful articles, and news of immediate value. These forums will be augmented by new publications or timely revisions of old favorites such as Numbering Your Genealogy. A complete revision of the NGS guide for beginners is under way, which will bring back a favorite of classroom genealogy teachers.

I'll also be working closely with a graphic artist and Gayathri Kehr, our NGS Information Technology specialist, to give the NGS Web site a facelift for easier navigation, and we'll be adding more content.

The National Genealogical Society belongs to its members, and I want to help ensure that they receive quality products and continuing expanded membership benefits."

The National Genealogical Society was founded in 1903, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and has over 10,500 individual and organizational members across the United States and the world.

Janet A. Alpert, President
National Genealogical Society
Telephone: (703) 525-0050
FAX (703) 525-0052

Thursday, March 27, 2008

BookShelf: Getting Started with The Master Genealogist

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following press release was received from author Terry Reigel. This week's podcast features an interview with him. Please address all inquiries to: "Software Saturday" this week will feature my take on the software.

Getting Started with The Master Genealogist is Now Easier than Ever New Book by Terry Reigel is Available

Boone, North Carolina - 8 February 2008 - ReigelRidge Press is proud to announce availability of a new book by Terry Reigel, "A Primer for The Master Genealogist." As the title implies, the book is intended to help new users quickly become comfortable with what is called the most comprehensive family history software available. The book provides the reader a foundation for working with The Master Genealogist (TMG), and is designed to help users understand just how they can best make use of its capabilities. Some more advanced features are introduced because many users move to TMG to take advantage of these features.

"As I have exchanged notes with new users of TMG in online forums, and talked with them in person at genealogy conferences, I have observed that many new users would appreciate some assistance in becoming comfortable with a program that is more capable, but also more complex, than their previous genealogy programs," said the author. "This guide is intended to fill that meet that need."

The book introduces the reader to TMG with the following topics:

- TMG's basic concepts
- Getting your initial data into TMG
- Finding your way around TMG
- Establishing personal standards for data entry
- Adding or editing people, events, and sources
- Creating Reports and Charts

For readers ready to explore more advanced features it continues with more advanced topics:

- Customizing the program's Screens
- Customizing Events and Sources
- Using Witnesses and Roles
- Understanding Projects and Data Sets

"This is a great introduction for new users!" says John Cardinal, author of Second Site, TMG Utility, and other companion programs for TMG. "Terry explains complicated topics in terms a beginner can understand, and he explains the concepts as well as the specific steps to make fast, effective use of TMG. Even experienced users will learn from this book, particularly in the chapters about more advanced topics. Terry's TMG Tips web site is a great resource for TMG users, and now Terry has expanded that with 'A Primer for The Master Genealogist'."

" 'A Primer for The Master Genealogist' is a 'must have' for the new user. With its easy to read format and multiple illustrations even those seemingly complex features and tasks are easy to understand," said Mark A. Cunningham, a TMG user for two months. "I wish I had had a copy of this book when I first started using The Master Genealogist."

The book is currently available from Wholly Genes Software in Columbia, Maryland, at, and from Gould Genealogy in Modbury, Australia, at The suggested retail price is $19.95 in the U.S. and AU$29.95, including GS Tax, in Australia. More information is available at or by email at

About the Author: The author is well known as an expert user of TMG and a frequent contributor to the on-line TMG user support forums. He is the author of Terry's TMG Tips, a website with over 75 articles, many also available in German. He has written several articles about TMG for newsletters published by user groups and two chapters in the sell-out book "Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist." He is not affiliated with Wholly Genes Software.

The Master Genealogist and TMG are trademarks of Wholly Genes Software.

Contact information
Terry Reigel
Phone: 828 268-0637

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Slave research: US & Barbados Drayton family papers

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the Lowcountry Africana website. Please address all inquiries to Toni Carrier

March 24, 2008
Contact: Toni Carrier, 813-246-2201

Results of Groundbreaking Slave Genealogy Research to be Released March 29, 2008 With Lowcountry Africana Website Launch

The results of groundbreaking genealogical research to reconstruct family lineages of enslaved communities on Drayton family plantations in the United States and Barbados will be released Saturday, March 29 with the launch of the Lowcountry Africana website (

The yearlong project, sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, South Carolina, has focused on gathering, compiling and interpreting records from all known Drayton family plantations. The Draytons held plantations in Barbados, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas.

Researchers from the University of South Florida Africana Heritage Project and descendants of former Drayton family slaves worked together to rediscover the scattered document trail which may reveal the family and cultural heritage of many thousands of African Americans living today. Drayton Hall Plantation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who hold the Drayton family papers, were major partners in the research.

Because Charleston was a major port of entry and a hub for the international and domestic slave trade, African Americans throughout the United States may discover their families’ roots among the records to be released March 29.

No former slaveholding family has ever funded such research in their plantation records to rediscover the names and life stories of former slaves. “This is a wonderful example of enlightened stewardship,” said Toni Carrier, director of the USF Africana Heritage Project. “The Drayton family is taking an unflinching look at its history; a history shared by the hundreds of Africans and African Americans who lived and worked on Drayton family plantations. This research demonstrates, in a remarkable way, that we have nothing to fear from bringing this painful history out into the light.”

In addition to sponsoring this groundbreaking research, the Magnolia Plantation Foundation has also funded the development of the Lowcountry Africana website, which will be an enduring archive for those researching African American genealogy, history and culture in the Lowcountry Southeast. The project will continue to gather and interpret records for the former rice-growing areas of the coastal Southeast, which gave rise to the rich Gullah-Geechee cultural heritage.

Access to the entire content of the Lowcountry Africana website will always be free. The website will feature a searchable database of primary historical documents, book and multimedia excerpts, a research library with articles of interest to genealogists and scholars, information on key archives and websites with significant holdings pertaining to the Lowcountry Southeast, and a members area where readers can keep a research journal and bookmark links.

The Lowcountry Africana website development has been a collaborative effort of the USF Africana Heritage Project and, a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. is the world’s largest genealogy wiki, with pages for more than 1,500,000 people and growing. “We are honored to be a part of this exciting effort to make records documenting the history of African Americans freely available to all,” said Dallan Quass, President of the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy. has customized its family tree software for African American genealogy by adding events and document categories that are relevant for research in plantation and other Antebellum records. Readers will be able to navigate seamlessly between Lowcountry Africana and WeRelate, where the lineages of known descendants of Drayton family freedmen will be posted. In addition, many of the original document images will be hosted at

The major Internet archives and have contributed many document images to the Drayton family research presentation, and to the Lowcountry Africana website.

The March 29 launch event at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina will include a commemoration ceremony to honor those once enslaved on Drayton family plantations. The Lowcountry Africana website will be live at Saturday morning, March 29, 2008.

For more information about the Lowcountry Africana website, please contact Toni Carrier at 813-246-2201 or email to

For more information about Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, please contact Jane Taylor Knight at 843-571-1266, or visit the Magnolia Plantation website at .

DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour 25 March 2008

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 25 March 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: .

  • Creating a podcast (top of the hour)
  • Terry Reigel, TMG (The Master Genealogist) instructor extraordinaire, discusses his newest publication A Primer for The Master Genealogist. Terry is well known as an expert user of TMG and a frequent contributor to the on-line TMG user support forum and the TMG email list. He is the author of Terry’s TMG Tips, a website with over 75 articles about using TMG, many also available in German. He has written several articles about TMG for newsletters published by user groups and two chapters in the sellout book "Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist." The interview begins at 14:09.
  • APG Association of Professional Genealogist’s open records position paper and Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW) (the topic begins at 39:40.)
  • Genealogy groups on Second Life (the topic begins at 45:00) and Ol' Myrt’s appearance as “DearMYRTLE Writer” avatar.

MightyMouse TOUR
From DearMYRTLE's The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists - 23 Mar 2008 (begins at 26:10)

  1. BLOG: “Salamanca and a Common Problem” posted by Lynn Turner AG
  2. INSTRUCTION: PhotoLoom News
  4. PODCAST: Michael O'Laughlin hosts the “Missouri Irish History & Legend: Ireland to America” podcast series posted at the Irish Roots Café.
  5. VIDEO: "Creating a Protective Book Box"
  6. COMMENTARY: Jana Lloyd’s Leonis or Lewis? Some Quick Tips for Finding Your Ancestors in the Census
  8. MOST INTERESTING THREAD: First Name Quirks Message Board at
  9. ETHNIC STUDIES: Price & Associates’ “Expert Links: English Family History & Genealogy


Links to some of DearMYRTLE’s recent blogs:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NARA unveils new Vietnam Wall interface tomorrow

Because I remember my best friend Jane Johnson’s brother, a medic who was with a unit not heard from for about six weeks while on the delta, I have special feelings about the Vietnam servicemen. Fortunately, he returned, though jarred by the experience -- but at least he returned alive. I have tears of joy, awe and respect as I write about a special project by Footnote that will be unveiled at a press conference tomorrow at the NARA building in Washington, DC. The official word from Footnote insiders is:

“Archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein, will be doing the unveiling along with Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote. The project has been months in the making and provides an interactive experience for searching out names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It also provides the ability to upload photos and create tributes.”

So Ol' Myrt here viewed the video, and discovered Richard Schroepher explains his initial experience visiting the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC. He described the same feelings of reverence and respect I felt as I walked the sidewalk in front of The Wall. Richard says The Wall is more than than 58,000+ names. These are many of his friends, who lost their lives in that military conflict. Richard served in the 1st Infantry Division, 1st of the 19th Infantry “Swamp Rats”.

In the YouTube video, Richard goes on to explain how he uses the always free Vietnam Memorial Wall at to search for his buddy William “Glade” Henderson. Once he clicked Glade’s name on the hit list, the name is also highlighted a picture of the Vietnam Wall at Footnote. Options include “MORE INFO” where one can view Glade's public record info of name, birth date, home town, religious affiliation, enlistment date, unit, enlistment type, casualty date, casualty type and his age at death. There are also options to add images and personal recollections.

Amazed by the effort put into this collection for such a worthwhile cause, I visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall at, where I discovered the following one may also browse the collection by the following categories:

Facts about The Interactive Wall
At full size, The Wall image on Footnote is about 460 feet wide (400,000 pixels wide by 12,500 pixels tall).

  • found 58,320 names inscribed on The Wall.
  • There are about 70 names, which are duplicates or misspellings.
  • 8 names are women.
  • 2,056 are listed as "body not recovered."
  • Average age is 22.8 years old.

This is a marvelous use of technology in this modern day and age – to honor the men and women who served in Vietnam. Bravo to Footnote for combining information on each individual whose name appears on the Vietnam Wall, and for making this virtual memorial possible.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists - 23 March 2008

It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. You are probably spending time with family and friends over this long Easter weekend. -- Don’t worry, these wonderful sites will still be there when you get back to your research.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 23 March 2008 awards go to:

Salamanca and a Common Problem” posted by Lynn Turner AG on his Hispanic Genealogy blog. “Believe it or not one of the biggest problems I face in Hispanic genealogy is misspelled town names. Last year I spent 2 months trying to find Baloria, Soria, Spain (spelled Baloria in a birth certificate), only to find that the town was actually spelled Valloria.” Spelling is a problem faced by all genealogists, so check out Lynn’s blog to learn about some solutions. See also: Versión de Español / Castellano

INSTRUCTION: PhotoLoom News postings explaining how we can better archive our old family photos, to ensure future generations will benefit.

DATABASE SITE: helps you find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials, add 'virtual flowers' and a note to a loved one's grave, etc. Search 22 million grave records. Also searchable through

SCANNED IMAGE SITE: The Historical Newspaper Collection at where you can “find names and keywords in over 112.3+ 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. New content added monthly.” Click to see the title list. When Ol' Myrt was visiting with some of the Certified Genealogists that presented at the Utah Genealogical Association’s Salt Lake Institute, there was a lively discussion about how this newspaper collection has helped them with research for their clients.

PODCAST: Michael O'Laughlin hosts the “Missouri Irish History & Legend: Ireland to America” podcast series posted at the Irish Roots Café. Also available through iTunes.

VIDEO: "Creating a Protective Book Box" posted on Family Tree Magazine’s YouTube space. Assistant editor Grace Dobush shows you how to make a protective book box for your fragile keepsakes. Download the PDFwith detailed instructions and a list of materials. This project requires book binder board, PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue and acid-free paper.

COMMENTARY: Jana Lloyd’s Leonis or Lewis? Some Quick Tips for Finding Your Ancestors in the Census published at 05 August 2007. See especially Jana’s thoughts for getting around the errors in addition to actual census image challenges to illustrate each point.

INNOVATION: IS IT DOWN FOR EVERYONE or JUST ME is a Google service brought to my attention by Gina Trapani on the Lifehacker blog. If you are having trouble getting to a website, and are wondering if the site isn’t working properly use this service to “ping” the site in question. If it IS working properly, then you know it IS your computer, the network, your browser or ??? Tonight I had trouble getting through to RootsWeb mailing list archives, and so I asked “Is it down for everyone or just me” to check. Within less than a few seconds, I received the report: “It's not just you! looks down from here.”

MOST INTERESTING THREAD: First Name Quirks Message Board at Drury for Joseph? Zenda? Milney? Make a posting to add to this thread.

ETHNIC STUDIES: Price & Associates’ “Expert Links: English Family History & Genealogy” was something I learned about from Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG® as he presented the top 25 English Genealogy Websites at the March 2008 Brigham Young University Computerized Genealogy conference. You can bet he knows his research. They’ve instituted a bi-monthly spotlight on a particular website, which is currently Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1872). A key source for English research, these digitized volumes identify civil registration districts, nearby towns, and population counts for every parish in England. Detailed descriptions help genealogists gain a 'sense of place' for localities where ancestors resided. Courtesy: A Vision of Britain through Time, produced by the Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth)” See also the archive of previous featured sites.

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 :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Second Life: A new type of genealogy society

Though Second Life has been around for a few years, I’ve only been experimenting with it for 12 months. At first I saw it as a big virtual chat room, where you create & clothe your personal avatar (a lot more interesting that a name and generic type in a chat room). You go from here to there meeting all sorts of other folks. What I discovered is a wealth of information about how to do genealogical research and a growing community of people who get together to talk about their recent discoveries, as well as relax at the end of the day.

Remember the popularity of Cheers, a tv show about a bar where “everybody knows your name”? Well, Second Life is like a place where “everybody knows your avatar”. And like a popular country-western song right now which goes something like “I’m so much cooler online”, your avatar can be as mild-mannered or kooky as you wish. Not everyone in Second Life (SL) is as willing to share his/her Real Life (RL) identity, but Ol' Myrt’s Second Life experiences include meeting 2 delightful individuals who obviously have a passion for family history:

Krag Mariner (RL owner of Heritage Books)
Clarise Beaumont

I know you could find in them a friend, and a willing tour guide to some of the genealogy spots in Second Life.

TIME IN SECOND LIFE is reckoned by Pacific Time (daylight now), and that is used as the universal time for anyone signing in, regardless of his actual location on earth. In this manner, if I were to sign in at 8 pm my time, and it is 7pm Second Life time.

Natually, one gravitates to groups reflecting personal interests. Last fall after my father died, I participated in grief support groups. I also made a few friends who liked to go dancing on Friday afternoons at POZ – Poets of Zarahemla. But my biggest personal interest is (of course!) GENEALOGY. Yes, Dick, there ARE people in Second Life interested in genealogy, and several have created places to go to learn more about how to do genealogy.

Three schedules of events are posted which will interest family historians:

FAMILY HISTORY CENTER (in the Adam ondi Ahman) – weekly chats on the following topics in April 2008, held Sundays at 5:15pm SL (which is 5:15pm Pacific US daylight time) Drop in and figure out how to make progress climbing your family tree. Clarise Beaumont is the hostess here.

  • 6 April 2008
    Genealogy Software & the "new" FamilySearch
  • 13 April 2008
    Finding help online: FHL Research Outlines
  • 20 April 2008 (no meeting, owing to uncertain travel schedules.)
  • 27 April 2008
    Coordinating with family members

GENEALOGY CENTER (on Info Island) – monthly discussion, and an exhibit that changes periodically. Currently it is a Native American Genealogy Exhibit. The Genealogy Scribes group is the host here.

JUST GENEALOGY (in Wollah at Heritage Books) – weekly discussions on the following topics in April 2008, held Tuesdays at 7pm SL (which is 7pm Pacific US daylight time.) Krag Mariner is the host here.

  • 1 April 2008, Tuesday
    Topic: Finding WHAT to search next
    DearMYRTLE, Guest speaker
  • 8 April 2008 (2nd Tuesday is ALWAYS EE)
    Introduction to Evidence Explained - open discussion
    Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained (EE)
    Chapter 1 – Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis, with emphasis on “Textual Criticism”
  • 15 April 2008
    Tax Rolls as census substitutes
  • 22 April 2008
    Overcoming Handwriting challenges
    Dearden's Deciphering Gothic Records
    Kip Sperry’s Reading Early American Handwriting
  • 29 April 2008
    Eyewitness reports
    Burgoyne’s Enemy Views
    County Histories (ie. Chester, others)
    P William Filby’s Bibliography of American County Histories

Previously Ol' Myrt has written about Rumsey Maps, which have a presence on the web and in Second Life. Learning about genealogical research in this hi-tech virtual world is a video and audio experience not to be missed. Besides it is fun to have a place to relax on the web, and mull over your findings with like-minded family historians.

NOTE: as with anything in the online world, there are also some ruffians out there, whose tastes may be different from yours. Just like I didn’t go to unknown chat rooms when on AOL, I know to hang out with the genealogy groups on Second Life. SL Membership is free. It is a different kind of “social networking”. This is an opportunity to participate in three distinct online genealogy groups -- or societies if you will.


What is second life?

System Requirements

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Blogging: An Alternative for Family & Society Newsletters

The following is the outline from the presentation Ol' Myrt gave twice at the Brigham Young University Computered Genealogy Conference a week ago. During each session, we set up 2 blogs, created a post, then looked at some of the settings and layout options provided by

Blog author posts
RSS Distributes
VIEW with a “feed reader”

  • Rising cost of paper & printing.
  • No need for mailing committee.
  • Save the cost of bulk mail permit and postage.
  • Unlimited length.
  • Bold, italics, variety of fonts & pictures not allowed in RootsWeb mailing lists.
  • Permanent archive.
  • Google Search makes info available to everyone, not just current members, thereby encouraging future collaboration.

We’ll use the example of to create blog entries.

  • Post from any computer, using the screen instead of software installed on a specific computer.
  • Multiple choices of design & layout.
  • Add hyperlinks and graphics to a post before publishing.
  • Save in draft mode.
  • Add permanent links and ads on the side bar.
  • Google searchable within 10 minutes of posting.


  • What is RSS?
  • Feedblitz
  • iGoogle
  • Outlook 2007

Items are delivered to your blog reader, so you don't have to hunt all over the internet to see what's new.

  • Diary blog
  • Family blog
  • Research blog
  • Professional blog
  • Historical society blog
  • Genealogy society blog
  • Friends of the library blog

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW)

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at APG - the Associaiton of Professional Genealogists. Please address all inquiries to:


Formation of the Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW)

WESTMINSTER, Colo., March 21 - The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) contends that there is no proof that open records significantly contribute to ID theft or terrorism. In a position paper that outlines the case for open public records, APG asserts that open records are rarely used by identification thieves and maintains that the benefit of open access to records far outweighs any potential abuse.

APG has joined forces with other genealogical organizations including the National Genealogical Society (NGS), The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) in endorsing the position paper and calling on legislators to keep records open.

"Public records allow genealogists and other professionals such as medical researchers, journalists, historians and academic researchers to do their jobs," explains APG President, Jake Gehring. He urges that "concerned citizens tell their representatives that they want to keep public records open."

A group of professional genealogists within APG formed the Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW) in 2007 and prepared the position paper. Melinde Lutz Sanborn, FASG (Fellow, American Society of Genealogists) and member of the committee, says, "Open records and transparency in government are the best protections we have against twenty-first century fraud."

The KGROW committee recommends in their paper that "lawmakers respond to the ID theft problem, not try to prevent a nonexistent problem." Further, they encourage "private companies and government improve their protection of personal data." The Case for Open Public Records position paper is available on the APG website at

The Association of Professional Genealogists is an independent organization whose worldwide members number over 1,800. The group's principal purpose is to support professional genealogists in all phases of their work: from the amateur genealogist wishing to turn knowledge and skill into a vocation, to the experienced professional seeking to exchange ideas with colleagues and to upgrade the profession as a whole.

Contact: Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director, Association of Professional GenealogistsP.O. Box 350998, Westminster, CO 80035-0998Phone 303-422-9371, fax 303-456-8825, e-mail

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Making Podcasts: Getting the word out

The is the outline for one of my presentations at last weekend's Brigham Young University Computerized Genealogy Conference. The Deseret News chose to report about the conference using this class as an example:

Deseret Morning News Genealogy venturing into podcast territory "Podcast is another means of getting the word out on genealogy subjects without the expense..."

  1. Record your podcast’s “talking/interview” content.
  2. Add “bumper music” at beginning and end – custom, 15 seconds or voiceovers.
  3. Use additional “bumper music” to segway between recorded segments.
  4. Mix it down to .mp3 format.
  5. Publish podcast where people can find it on the web.

Typically podcasts are made in homes or small businesses, to save the cost of a recording studio. So unless you have access to tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, consider this stripped-down approach.

  • (optional) A microphone attached to your computer’s sound card if you are doing “in person interviews. Usually not powerful enough to record a telephone call.
  • Headset (with USB connection to your computer) Don’t skimp here – this is how your voice will sound to the world, so make it good. I have a Logitec, and the reason I bought this one is that I inadvertently cut the cord on my old Logitec headset.
  • USB portable digital recorder. You’ll be happy with the sound quality of those offered by Sony or Olympus in the $100-200 range. Also, the cheaper recorders tend to cut off the recording after about 15 minutes even if there is plenty of space on the unit’s drive. Because it is USB, it is easy to transfer recorded interviews to your computer.
  • Wired or wireless 6.0 digital telephone WITH speakerphone option to record telephone interviews.
  • Don’t use the tape recorder hookup for your phone from radio shack. Your side of the conversation will be too loud compared to your caller’s voice.
  • Yes, you CAN record Skype calls, but the quality is very poor and the software to do it acts squirrely.


  • Audacity (I started with this.) It is free, open source audio recording & editing software for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.)
  • Mixcraft (This is what I use now, because it produces clearer podcasts, and allows multiple overlapping tracks with differing aspects of volume, fading, etc.) “Mixcraft™ is an affordable multi-track audio and MIDI recording studio that enables you to compose original music, record your band, create a podcast, or remix a song. Use it as a multi-track recorder or as a music loop remix program.” Download the free trial.
  • Audacity Audio Converter Pro (sometimes files come to you in different formats, and you need a converter.) “… will convert MP3, WAV, WMA, CDA & OGG files with just a right click!”

Following my signature is a stratchy version of a Mixcraft screen shot showing the first 21 minutes of a recent podcast before it was crunched into .mp3 format and published on the web. Each segment can be rearranged by dragging and dropping it to a different place on the time line.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Listening to Podcasts: Learn while jogging

The following is the outline (and a few of the graphics) from one of DearMYRTLE's five presentations made last week at Brigham Young University's Computerized Genealogy Conference. Several readers have asked, so here it is...

WHAT IS A PODCAST?Podcasts are pre-recorded internet radio shows of sorts, varying in length and available via the web 24/7 in .mp3 format. Although the term originated through the use of iPods, one does not need an iPod to listen to a podcast. Alternative listening methods include:

  • Directly from the podcaster’s website (using your computer with the speakers turned on).
  • Through a computerized subscription service such as iTunes.
  • Via any .mp3 player after you’ve transferred the files.
  • Usually free
The main reason you’ll enjoy podcasts is that you listen on YOUR schedule, not that of the podcaster.
  • Archive of previous podcasts.
  • Pause, rewind & play.
  • Listen as many times as you wish.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GENEALOGY & HISTORY PODCASTS (if you want to listen “manually”).

GET ITUNES - Download from (Mac & Windows platforms). This software manages purchases of music (singles or albums), movies, TV shows, podcasts, radio and cell-phone ringtones.

OPEN the iTunes software on your PC.
SEARCH the iTunes “store” for:

  • Genealogy podcast
  • History podcast
  • Family history
  • DearMYRTLE

Once you find a listing you'd like, CLICK THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON to add the podcast to your personal iTunes lineup on your computer.

ALLOW TIME for .mp3 file download.

CLICK PODCASTS in the left navigation bar on iTunes to view the list of podcast feeds & individual podcast episodes.

SELECT a podcast episode by double clicking, and it will begin playing.

Note, the Swedish roots podcast titled Anna-Karin’s Genealogy Podcast 20080126 is 21 minutes and 44 seconds long, and was released on 1/26/2008.

NOTE CONTROLS (above the listing of podcasts) to pause, skip forward, and adjust volume in the iTunes screen shown above. At this point, the listener has heard about 13:35 minutes of the show, and has another 8:08 minutes to go in the podcast.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions. This class includes a demonstration of how to transfer podcasts from iTunes to an 80gig iPod.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy.

© 2006-2008 Pat Richley, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hispanic civil registration

From: Lynn Turner, AG®
RE: “
More Hispanic Resources
Some of your readers might be interested in knowing that the civil registration list of beginning dates that you posted are incorrect (understanding you got the information from the
Latin America Research Outline). A few examples include:
  • Brazil - 1889 generally accepted in the genealogical community as the official year of civil registration - it should be noted that civil registration was not really adopted by Brazilians until after 1930ish.
  • Peru - 1874 marks the date when municpios began keeping records, some pre-date, however, records from this year and forward had a copy sent to the regional (similar to U.S. state archive).
  • Mexico - 1860/1 though even with this date it is highly unusual to find an ancestor in both parish registers and civil registration, it's usually one or the other.

Thank-you for your immediate feedback shedding light on beginning dates for civil registration of births, marriages & deaths. My readers will no doubt benefit from your additional insight and expertise. You have studied hard and have a proven track record for excellence in research as an AG® (Accredited Genealogist) with a specialty in Spain. Your email response to the blog entry illustrates a basic genealogical research challenge that cannot be overlooked:

Learn all you can about a particular region of the world where your
ancestors once lived, even though you may need to study a variety of sources over a number of years to gain a better understanding.

In some cases, our understanding of the time period records were kept is a matter of our own experience level. In other cases, old records that were once thought lost, come to light and expand our research possibilities.

Certainly, the “official date” and that of practical application of a government directive may vary. Researchers of US vital records know the “official date” imposed by the federal government is 1920 for keeping public vital records of birth, marriage and death. Yet, experience has taught us that many states, counties and towns kept records for decades prior to that year. There are almost more exceptions to the 1920 rule than not. Indeed, the colonies in New England kept public vital records from early time periods. How Ol' Myrt wishes she had more ancestors there.

Genealogical research certainly isn’t a “quick” study, is it? But it sure is FUN. Thanks, Lynn for adding to the discussion.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

The ICAPGenSM service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and the AG® certification marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

BEST of the Internet for Genealogists 16 March 2008

It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. I have had a hard time narrowing things down after attending the BYU Computerized Genealogical Conference in Provo, Utah this past weekend, and hearing about all sorts of resources available to family historians on & off the web.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 16 March 2008 awards go to:

BLOG: “Salute to Gutsy Women Travelers” posted at What’s Past is Prologue by Donna Pointkouski, 11 March 2008. Comparing and contrasting ancestor experiences with our own are part of the learning curve. Thanks Donna for including the stories of nine women who pulled up roots and came to America. Also included are links to related articles to help readers understand the immigrant experience.

INSTRUCTION: Dick Eastman’s “Kekule Numbering System” posted in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, 26 Feb 2008. “The German mathematician Stephan Kekulé of Stradonitz (1863-1933) was a genealogist as well as the son of famed mathematician and chemist Friedrich August Kekulé. He used a numbering system to show relationships in text format.” Plus Edition subscribers get the full details.

DATABASE SITE:Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills Index 1750-1800” posted at “The present index, which includes about 208,000 entries, is not complete, but it was felt that it was worthwhile making this version available in any case. About 15% of the records are yet to be added.” FAQs include:
SCANNED IMAGE SITE: Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 edited by Sir Arthur Vicars, F. S. A., Ulster King of Arms. Originally published in Dublin, 1897. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1967, 1989. Scanned images from this index book should lead you to the location of your ancestor’s original will. From the preface: “The wills in Ireland may be said to consist of two classes, Prerogative and Diocesan. Those proved in the Prerogative Court are the most important, containing, as they do, testamentary devises from all parts of Ireland, and generally referring to the more important members of the community. They commence in 1536 and continue to 1858.” From this, we see that 48 years of the wills are not covered by this index. The compiler explains the jurisdiction of various courts. Be sure to see the “Table showing the Relations between the Counties and the Dioceses of Ireland” on page 512.

PODCAST: The show notes for the “Teutonic Knights” podcast are posted at Ancient & Medieval History by “Catherine”. The .mp3 file came to my attention through iTunes, and does not appear to be linked at the show notes page. Beginning “around 1198, the Teutonic Knights were both a military and charitable force in the medieval world.”

VIDEO:Giving Maps a Second Life with Digital Technologies” linked at David Rumsey Map Collection. David has collected over 17,000 maps from the 18th and 19th century, and is making them available digitally in a variety of formats, including a partnership with Google Earth. In the video, David explains his project, and includes a brief tour of the 3-dimensional map tours at Rumsey's Map Islands in Second Life. “Out-of-this-world” thinking. This video will simply knock your socks off.

COMMENTARY:Life Returns to a Tree from the Bottom Up” posted at Arlene H. Eakle's Genealogy Blog, 10 March 2008. Most of us in the "frozen northland" regions of the world have had enough snow. The prospect of spring and life returning to our trees is delightful. Arlene observes the process and makes an analogy for family historians.

INNOVATION: provides a method for creating online postings at no cost, with the oldest web log service, now owned by Google. Because of this affiliation, about 5-7 minutes after making your blog posting, Google Alerts will show up on the topics you discussed. Options include multiple template designs, public or private access, inserting video clips & graphics, and allowing postings to be forwarded. Be sure to take the Blogger Quick Tour.

MOST INTERESTING THREAD:Ireland to Australia on the 'Mangles 2' 1822” posted by ‘Sjones923’ on New Years Day 2007 at Ancestry Australia Convicts (1788-1868) Message Board, 2007-2008. Responses include referrals to the Aus-PT-Jackson-Convicts RootsWeb Mailing List, a note from a researcher working one of the same lines, an explanation of the Rockite Rebellion with a link to more information, and a copy/paste from the National Archives of Ireland website listing an ancestor’s date of conviction as 17/06/1822.

ETHNIC STUDIES: The Volga Germans in either English or Russian created by Steve Schreiber at “The Volga German colonies were founded during the years 1763 to 1772 by 30,623 colonists primarily from the central region of present day Germany. The colonies were located on the unsettled Russian steppe near the banks of the Volga River.” To help preserve the history and heritage of the Volga Germans by sharing your knowledge, family information, stories and photographs on this website, contact the webmaster. See currently posted memoirs including:

Check out the “Customs & Traditions” pages with entries such as:

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 :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.