Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bookshelf: Shaking the Family Tree

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Well, the folks at Simon & Schuster, Inc. sent the following information about a new book titled Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson. Ol' Myrt here wishes her DearREADERS not to confuse this new offering with Shaking Your Family Tree by Ralph J. Crandall and the Shaking Your Family Tree Workbook by Maureen McHugh. I haven't seen Buzzy's book, but trust that one of my DearREADERS will provide some feedback about Buzzy's research.

Shaking the Family Tree

Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist“Who are you and where do you come from?”  As a historian, Buzzy Jackson thought she knew the answers to these simple questions—until she took a closer look at her scrawny family tree. 

In SHAKING THE FAMILY TREE: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist (Touchstone; on-sale July 6, 2010; 978-1-4391-1299-1; $14.99/original trade paperback), Buzzy dives headfirst into her family gene pool: embarking on a weeklong genealogy Caribbean cruise, flying cross-country to locate an ancient family graveyard, trekking to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and sending her DNA for testing to try and find her Jacksons (no easy task with the 20th most common surname).

Great early reviews include:

 “In conversational and witty prose, she conveys not only how much fun she is having but also what she is learning. . . Jackson is a skilled writer, and the fun she has trying to find her dead kin is nicely balanced with the touching reconnections she makes with her living relatives.”  ~Publishers Weekly

 “Jackson packs an amazing amount of information and advice into small, pithy paragraphs. . . her descriptions of the process and the people she met will prove fascinating to everyone with an interest in tracing their family backward.”  ~Booklist

You can learn more about Buzzy by visiting or watching her book trailer:

Dayton Ohio ~ 9 Oct 2010

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the Montgomery County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to

sponsored by the Montgomery County Chapter
Ohio Genealogical Society

Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
 Sinclair Community College
Ponitz Conference Center, Building 12
444 West Third Street
Dayton, Ohio
Featured Speaker - Elissa Powell, Certified Genealogist
Click on Genealogy Seminar Flyer to see additional details.
Click on Registration Form to register for the seminar.
$35 includes parking & lunch.
Seminar Topics:

  • The Research Cycle: Don't Pedal Backwards

  • Even When There is No Will There is A Way: Examining Probate Records

  • Twenty Years of Stuff - Now What Do I Do?

  • Rubik's Cube Genealogy - A New Twist on Your Old Data

  • Please park in lot C (under building 12), enter from West 4th Street.

    LexisNexis now available at NARA research facilities

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries to

    National Archives and Records Administration Makes Available U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection
    Washington, DC… The National Archives and Records Administration will make available  the LexisNexis® U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection of US Government publications to the public free of charge in all NARA research rooms nationwide. 
    The U.S. Serial Set is a collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under directive of the Congress. It contains comprehensive and often detailed information on an extremely wide range of subjects. Its earliest documents date from 1789 and additions are made continually.
    The LexisNexis® U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection provides researchers—whether novice or advanced—fast, immediate access to this broad collection of historical congressional information.  This digital collection is powerfully indexed, easy to use, and lets researchers search across multiple other collections for more comprehensive results.  Researchers can access full-text, original documents from the pages of the original U.S. Serial Set. 
    This Serial Set is the latest addition to the list of online commercial resources that NARA makes available free of charge to all researchers at its research facilities nationwide.  Other free online resources at NARA facilities include,, JSTOR, ProQuest’s Research Library, HeritageQuest, Archive Finder, Digital National Security Archive, and digital New York Times and Washington Post, as well as EBSCO’s America: History and Life and Gale’s Biography and Genealogy Master Index and Declassified Documents Reference System.  Together, these resources provide free and open access to digitized NARA records as well as contextual information about NARA’s holdings.
    For more information on these resources, see NARA’s Archives Library Information Center at  For information on NARA research centers nationwide see

    ThinkGenealogy: Windows 7 Phone Genealogy Ap

    Ever the vigilant creative genius that he is, our friend Mark Tucker has come up with a video describing his Genealogy Ap for the new Windows 7 phone.

    My DearREADERS may recall that Mark came up with the Research Process Map. It is so valuable that I have a copy of it as my computer's desktop wall paper. The map is much more instructive than the Windows logo, and reminds me to keep refining my thinking when it comes to solving genealogy research problems.

    By his own admission, "Mark is a software architect by day and a family historian on as many nights and weekends as possible".Aren't we lucky to have his brain working on things from a genealogist's point of view?

    As we move from clunky old desktop computers, to laptops, netbooks, iPads and multi-function cell phones, we need folks like Mark to think of aps to help us keep track of our family data.

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

    NARA: Origins of the US Navy

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries to

    Setting the Record Straight:  A Public Program on the Origins of the U.S. Navy
    Boston, MA. . . What do Beverly and Marblehead, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Machias ME; Providence, RI; and Whitehall, NY have in common?  They all claim to be the birthplace of the U.S. Navy. To unravel the complicated history of the early years of the United States Navy - and perhaps at last determine who deserves this distinction - the National Archives and the USS Constitution Museum are hosting a public program on October 13, at 5:30 PM.
    The program is free and open to the public, and will be held at the USS Constitution Museum, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, in Boston.
    Using original documents from the holdings of the National Archives in Washington, DC, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, a native of Beverly, MA and a Navy veteran, and Trevor Plante, a senior archivist at the National Archives specializing in military records, will shed light on the various arguments made by each town staking the birthplace claim.
    In a meeting in Philadelphia on October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the outfitting of two ships to intercept vessels from overseas sent to resupply British forces on American shores. On this, the 235th anniversary of that critical vote, the debate continues, for the other five cities above can likewise point to discrete events that some might say marked the beginnings of the United States Navy. Mr. Ferriero and Mr. Plante will offer up documents that represent some of the claims, and together tell the complex story of the beginnings of our Navy.
    Can the controversy be settled once and for all?  Come to the program and find out!
    The working press is invited to attend.  Please call the Museum 48 hours in advance for parking details.


    Thanks, Jody, for serving your FamilySearch mission

    Two good friends view the south side of the Manti Utah LDS temple.
    You may not know that my Florida friend Jody Riddick has just completed her year long FamilySearch mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr. Myrt & I had the honor of having Jody stay with us during her time here in Utah. (Unlike the younger, two-by-two proselyting missionaries, FamilySearch missionaries can live at home and commute.)

    Jody previously served many years as the director of the Sarasota Family History Center, and was a strong supporter of the Manasota PAF Users Group to which most of us genealogists in Manatee County, Florida belonged.

    It is truly amazing all that Jody accomplished during her mission. Despite the difficulty getting up and down our staircase, Jody was there every morning to catch her bus, and serve in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building as part of FamilySearch World Wide Support. She and the other FamilySearch missionaries handled some of the hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls the LDS Church receives weekly from folks needing help with their family history research. The call volume increased considerably immediately prior to the annual NGS Conference which was held this year in Salt Lake City.

    Most days Jody came home exhausted, but ever cheerful and obviously happy to serve. We loved to hear about the odd challenges that she and her fellow missionaries encountered ~ weird requests, testy patrons, malfunctioning training computers, changes in support software and telephone systems. Oh my!

    During this time, our Florida gal had to face one of the more severe winters Utah has had in decades. Though she was from Michigan, you gotta know that life in Florida thins one's blood. Yet Jody kept up with her assignments. Even following surgery, Jody got back to work much more quickly than I would have considered customary for recovery. Jody's dedication demonstrates her love of family history and temple work.

    Jody distinguished herself as a trainer (of new family history missionaries) as her talents with the computer came shining through. She was also able to do some comprehensive personal genealogical research on her monthly 1/2 day off to visit the Library. I enjoyed working through some of the research conclusions with her. That gal is a whiz!

    Jody will return to Sarasota with the assignment to continue to serve 8-10 hours per week, telecommuting as a quality assurance person, reviewing previous responses for assistance for tone and accuracy. As the newFamilySearch website rolls out to the world (now only to LDS Church members) the volume of work will increase. Fortunately, Jody's adaptability and natural curiosity to learn will see her through these coming major changes.

    So to recap ~ Thursday was Jody's last day on her mission.

    Friday we packed Jody's car for the trip home.

    Saturday Jody followed us as we all went down to see Red Canyon, the Manti Utah LDS Temple (shown above), Bryce Canyon, Zion' National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We had a wonderful time marveling at the grandeur and majesty of the world our Heavenly Father created for us. After our sad farewells yesterday, Mr. Myrt and I returned to Salt Lake City, as Jody headed south for her home in Sarasota.

    I am thankful for the hundreds of FamilySearch missionaries who take time out of their lives later in life to augment the Family History Library staff and to accomplish a thousand other things that we'll never know about. Jody did this at her own expense, contributing nearly 40 hours each week.

    We just couldn't have anticipated such a happy, productive year. Jody is indeed a true friend, and we will surely miss her presence in our home.

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

    FGS seeks new Forum Editor

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Please address all inquiries as indicated below.

    The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) today announces that it is accepting applications for the position of editor of its electronic quarterly magazine, the FGS FORUM.

    The Federation is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 for the purpose of helping
    genealogical and historical societies and family associations strengthen and grow. The
    FGS FORUM is an important publication that supports the organization’s mission. The
    magazine is accessible in PDF format by individual subscribers and by two officers of
    each FGS member organization.

    Requests for details about the editor position are available via email. Requests should be
    sent to Applicants may then submit a detailed résumé for
    consideration, along with several examples of publications for which they have been
    responsible as editor. These should be sent electronically to

    Submissions should be received no later than November 1, 2010.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Google Earth for Genealogy - Video Series Volume 2 announced

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Lisa Louise Cooke. Please address all inquiries to her at .

    The Google Earth for Genealogy Video Series Expands with Brand New Volume

    Second Installment by Genealogy Gems Podcast Host Lisa Louise Cooke

    SAN RAMON, CA, September 29, 2010 – Genealogy Gems announced today that the second installment of the Google Earth for Genealogy video series has been released at

     “Google Earth has the power to geographically document and tell the stories of our ancestors' lives, and in this new video I show you how to do just that,” said Lisa Louise Cooke, Genealogy Gems owner and  producer and host of the popular Genealogy Gems Podcast at and in iTunes.

    “I’m excited to be expanding on the concepts covered in the first DVD, and in Volume II we take Google
    Earth from family history research tool to compelling genealogical storyteller.”

    In the brand new step-by-step tutorial DVD Google Earth for Genealogy Volume II Cooke shows you how to:

    • Pinpoint your ancestors’ property using land patent records
    • Locate original land surveys
    • Customize Google Earth place marks with photos and documents
    • Add video to your Google Earth maps
    • Incorporate custom and ready-made 3D models to your maps to add a new dimension
    • Add focus with polygons and paths
    • Pull it all together to tell your ancestors’ stories in riveting ways by creating and sharing Family History Tours
    In addition to the seven videos, the DVD (for PC use only) includes an introduction video, a menu with convenient links to the websites mentioned in the tutorials to help you quickly get started, and a bonus  podcast interview.

    Here's a video from the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel to see Google Earth in action:

    About the Author
    Lisa Louise Cooke is the producer and host of the internationally popular Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show. A national speaker, video producer, author and online instructor, Lisa's passion for geographic genealogy is out of this world!

    Atlanta GA: FHExpos & Ol' Myrt

    Make plans to visit Atlanta to attend the Family History Expo 12-13 Nov 2010 at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarload Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097.

    Ol' Myrt will spend the better part of each day in the exhibit hall in the "BLOGGERS OF HONOR" (Booth#'s 605, 606, 607) area ready to help you set up your own blog, or learn new tricks to customize your blog.

    Register here for the Atlanta Family History Expo right now! Call 801-829-3295 to register by telephone. Click here for details.

    The lineup of speakers is still being arranged. (It takes a lot of contract work to get things worked out!)
    But as Dick Eastman, Thomas MacEntee and other GeneaBloggers will tell you, any conference put on by Holly Hansen our friends at Family History Expos is well worth attending.

    Besides, I haven't seen many of my Southern genealogy friends lately.

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

    Myrt's Webinar: Blogging for Beginners 20 Oct 2010

    If you've been following me at all, you know that Ol' Myrt here thinks blogging is good for societies and  family history organizations to "get the word out". Blogs are also a great way for individuals to honor a specific ancestor and to keep track of research notes.

    Well, now we've got a chance to discuss how to set up a blog and run with it.

    Our friends at have invited me to teach this free webinar on Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 via the internet. (That is how webinars are done!) The time zones for participation are as follows:

    8pm Eastern US
    7pm Central US
    6pm Mountain US
    5pm Pacific US
    No special equipment is necessary to participate. Directions will be emailed to you once you've signed up. Your questions can be typed in the webinar screen, or stated in person if you call in during the webinar. Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen will be the host and moderator. I hear seating is limited, so be sure to sign up early. (Geoff tells me several hundred have already signed up!)

    Blogging for Beginners with DearMYRTLE. Step-by-step approach to creating a blog, and making postings using the free service at A great way to share genealogy research, post your society's newsletter, share info with extended family members. The webinar will also feature a survey of sample blogs, and links for additional help.
    If you'd like to participate, register at the LegacyFamilyTree website.

    Ol' Myrt's goal is to see you emerge from this class as successful bloggers, ready, willing and able to join the ranks of genebloggers who are taking advantage of free internet space to tell their ancestral stories.

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

    Bookshelf: Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors 2nd edition

    A Guide to Tracing Your Mayo AncestorsA few years back, Ol' Myrt had the privlege of interviewing Brian Smith, author of Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors. Now we find he has come out with an updated edition A Guide to Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors 2nd edition.

    Brian explains the book "describes how to best use the records available, and where they can be accessed. For each type of record it provides background information on how they were compiled and what information was contained, and on which categories of people. It also provides background on the social history of County Mayo and how this history has affected the keeping and survival of records."

    For more information, see Brian's website:

    Interested researchers may order A Guide to Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors 2nd edition through and other online booksellers.

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

    Illinois State Gen. Soc. 2010 Award Winners

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to the ISGS directly.

    Illinois State Genealogical Society
    2010 Award Winners

    Awards to be made at ISGS Fall Conference
    23 Oct 2010

    September 27, 2010 – Springfield, IL. On Saturday, October 23, 2010, five individuals will be honored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) with awards for their outstanding achievements in the field of genealogy. ISGS will present the awards at the upcoming ISGS Fall Conference – “You Have Family – You Have History” – held at the historic Hotel Père Marquette in Peoria, Illinois. The recipients include:
    ·         Cheri Hunter, of Decatur, Illinois will receive the ISGS Community Service Award for her extensive work with the Decatur Genealogical Society (DGS) as well as her service as a board member with ISGS.
    ·         Fred Katko, of Peoria, Illinois, will receive the ISGS Special Recognition Award for his work as a generous volunteer with the Peoria County Genealogical Society as well as other societies.
    ·         Christian Bender, a student from Oglesby, Illinois, will receive the ISGS Youth Award for his research project on the Cedar Point Cemetery. The project included researching the history of the cemetery, photographing the headstones, mapping the cemetery and writing a report on the research. This report received a rating of superior at the Illinois State History fair.
    ·         Curt Witcher, Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will receive the ISGS Distinguished Service Award for his numerous contributions to the field of genealogy.
    ·         Margaret Collins and Daniel W. Dixon, of Springfield, Illinois, and Auburn, Illinois respectively will receive the ISGS Individual Writer Award as co-winners this year. This award is selected by the editorial board of the ISGS Quarterly and is for the article The Inventive McWhorters of New Philadelphia, Illinois: Patents as a Genealogical Resource.
    “We congratulate all the award recipients,” said ISGS President Carole McCarty. “Each winner has made important contributions to the genealogy community in Illinois and the United States. Their efforts and projects will allow future family historians to learn more about their ancestors and hopefully encourage them to make similar contributions to the field of genealogy and historical preservation.”
    About Illinois State Genealogical Society
    The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was organized in 1968 – the state’s sesquicentennial year – and is a non-profit, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:
    ·         To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
    ·         To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
    ·         To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
    ·         To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.
    For more information visit

    Utah: UGA 40th Anniversary Banquet 19 Oct 2010

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: It is a honor to promote the Utah Genealogical Association's 40th year anniversary celebration dinner. Please address all inquiries to

    You are invited to launch
    the Utah Genealogical Association's
    40th anniversary year 
    at the
    Annual Banquet 
    Membership Meeting 
     featuring Mark Lowe, CG

    J. Mark Lowe,CG has been researching families for more than 40 years.  He was President of the of the Association of Professional Genealogists, former Vice President and Secretary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

    "Pitfalls, Pratfalls and Loud-Mouthed Children"

    WHEN: Tuesday 19 October 2010 7:00 pm

    WHERE: The Gathering Place at Gardner Village
    1100 West 7800 South
    West Jordan, Utah

    Tickets are available at

    Come witness the renaissance of UGA with the inauguration of our Virtual Chapter, and invigoration for revered programs and new initiatives.

    Enjoy an evening of association with old and new friends.

    Shortened Georgia Archives hours effective 1 Oct 2010

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Georgia Archives. Please address all inquiries to Rosa Leverette

    Georgia Archives New Hours

    Effective October 1, 2010 the hours available for public visitation to the Georgia Archives will change to Thursday through Saturday 8:30am to 5:00pm.  This is an unfortunate action we must take to meet the difficult budget environment facing all State Agencies.

    With the reduction in public hours the Archives staff will now be deployed to fulfill different functions on different days.  When the Archives is open to the public, most or all employees will serve the public in the Reference Room.  When the Archives is closed to the public, most or all of the employees will work with state agencies to bring records into the Archives, catalog them, and shelve them.  To provide better and timelier service for research requests outside the core duties of the State Archives, i.e. genealogy requests, a list of other sources of information can be provided.  In this way the Archives will maintain its critical functions with reduced staffing.

    Lunch and Learn lectures, normally held on the second Tuesday of each month, have been rescheduled (where possible) for the second Thursday of each month.  Please see the web site for a revised schedule.

    Medford Oregon: Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA ~ 16 Oct 2010

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to

    The Rogue Valley Genealogical Society and the Jackson County Public Library are sponsoring a day-long seminar Saturday, October 16, 2010 from 9am to 4pm featuring Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA. The seminar will be held at the Jackson County Public Library, 205 S. Central, Medford, Oregon. Karen's scheduled Saturday classes include:

    1. Understanding Research Methodology
    From forming an hypothesis, setting goals, documenting sources, sorting information, developing communication skills, studying clues, comparing and explaining evidence, and using charts and forms to aid in that analysis, review how your research methodology compares with others in order to determine if some elements might need to be enhanced. 
    2. Using 2010 FamilySearch
    One of the largest and still growing data bases for genealogists, free FamilySearch has undergone and is still undergoing major updating. Because of its updates, users are often unaware of millions of new resources now available. Speed up your research, learn of new areas that can extend your lines, and be prepared for what is coming.
    3. Tool Chest for Tracing 18th Century Immigrants
    Tracing an immigrant ancestor in the 1700s to the foreign town necessitates a greater knowledge of compiled resources, an understanding of history in the 1700s, specific research methodologies, an awareness of ethnic genealogy societies, knowing how to interpret names properly, and overcoming a lack of knowledge regarding foreign terminology.
    4. Tool Chest for Tracing 19th Century Immigrants
    Tracing an immigrant ancestor in the 1800s to the foreign town necessitates a complete name, the date of an event in the "old country," the name of a relative, and the place of origin. Learn how to find those key items to extend your family further back in time
    Optional Land Records Workshop -- Friday, 15 October 2010 - 7pm to 9pm
    The Genealogical Value of Land Records

    Land records can be broken down by various time periods and localities to make it easier to link the possible land record you might be looking for with the ancestor you are seeking. Land records have existed since the beginning of permanent settlement in America and are one of the few records that have survived for extended periods of time. Their very survival is one reason they are so important. They are also important because of the type of information they might contain. Land ownership consisted of different quantities, jurisdictional ownership, rental or transfer specifications, and even measurement methods in the various parts of this country. Learning about land records at the outset of research can help you find your ancestor faster.

    For registration details go to, call the genealogy library at (541) 512-2340 or visit us at 95 Houston Road, Phoenix, Oregon. Tickets for the seminar are $25 per person before October 1 and $30 per person thereafter.   

    The Rogue Valley Genealogy Library contains the largest collection of genealogical books and documents between Eugene, Oregon and Redding, California. The web address for the library is

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    NARA: Civil War Symposium 20 Nov 2010

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries to

    September 23, 2010

    National Archives to Hold Civil War Symposium

    Washington, DC. . .The National Archives observes the sesquicentennial
    of the American Civil War with a day-long symposium, The Civil War:
    Fresh Perspectives on Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 5:30
    p.m. The symposium will feature three panel discussions related to
    themes found within the National Archives special exhibit, Discovering
    the Civil War. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, will
    make opening remarks. Keynote remarks will be presented by Edward Ayers,
    President of the University of Richmond.

    Note: The symposium is open to working press, but due to a limited
    number of press passes, pre-registration is required before October 15.
    Contact Public Affairs at:

    Advanced registration is required along with a fee of $50. Registration
    opens to the public on October 1. Register online at:,
    or by phone at (877) 444-6777.

    Summary of Panels:

    Welcoming and Keynote Address, 9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

    The Home Front, 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    How did the Civil War impact everyday life, and how did people confront
    the challenges of living in a nation at war? A distinguished panel
    discusses the home front in both the Union and the Confederacy and how
    daily life was affected. Moderated by Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III
    Professor of History, University of Virginia, panelists include J.
    Matthew Gallman, Professor of History, University of Florida; Thavolia
    Glymph, Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and
    History, Duke University; James Marten, Professor and Chair of History,
    Marquette University; and Amy Murrell Taylor, Associate Professor,
    University of Albany, SUNY.

    A Global War: International Implications, 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    Through diplomatic negotiations and naval conflicts, the Civil War’s
    impact extended far beyond U.S. borders. While Union and Confederate
    troops battled on American soil, a global diplomatic battle ensued.
    Moderated by Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond,
    panelists include Richard J. M. Blackett, Andrew Jackson Professor of
    History, Vanderbilt University; Howard Jones, University Research
    Professor, University of Alabama; Phillip E. Myers, former Director of
    Administration, Western Kentucky University Research Foundation; and
    Brian Schoen, Assistant Professor of History, Ohio University.

    The Nation Before and After, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    What was the state of our nation before and after the Civil War?
    Before the war, as southern states were seceding from the Union, few
    Americans could have imagined a war that would last four years, destroy
    much of the South, and free four million slaves. How did our injured
    nation begin to create a new social, political and economic order?
    Moderated by Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University,
    panelists include Paul A, Cimbala, Professor of History, Fordham
    University; Elizabeth R. Varon, Professor of History, Temple University;
    Eric H. Walther, Professor of History, University of Houston; and Joan
    Waugh, Professor of History, UCLA.

    Reception, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    The symposium will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the
    National Archives Building located at Constitution and 7th St., NW. Use
    the Special Events entrance. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green
    lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

    Presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives,
    the University of Richmond, the Lincoln Group of the District of
    Columbia, and the Civil War Roundtable of the District of Columbia.

    CA Family History Expo 8-9 Oct 2010

    NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to

    Learn the Tech to Trace Your Roots,
    California Family History Expo

    Learn the tech to trace your roots at the California Family History Expo, October 8-9 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton, California. 

    “Family History Expos can be a beacon in a dark sea of confusing documents and information,” founder and president Holly Hansen said. “We want to be a guiding light.”

    The Expo begins at 8 a.m. on Friday with a keynote address by Beau Sharbrough. Houston native and graduate of Texas A&M, Beau is presently selfemployed, maintains the website and is the author of Gene’s Anniversary Scrapbook. He was the founder of the FGS and GENTECH web sites, former president of GENTECH, Product Manager at and VP of Content at 

    “He is an amazing speaker and we can’t wait for him to open the show,” Hansen said.

    The Expo will feature almost 100 classes and demonstrations on techniques and technology to conduct family history research. The classes and demonstrations are taught by professional genealogists and industry experts from throughout the country. The cost of registration for the event, $75, allows participants to select from a variety of classes being taught throughout the two day Expo.

    “We have something to offer everyone from those who are just curious about family history to those who are performing genealogy research professionally,” Hansen said.

    The exhibit hall, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9a.m. to 4p.m. on Saturday, will feature companies focused on families and family history research. The event is sponsored by FamilySearch,, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Generation Maps, Flip Pal, California Genealogy Society, and Criminal Research Press. 

    Butch and Jean Wilcox Hibben of Sawdust and Strings will be the highlight of the luncheon both days. Hibben plays multiple instruments and is frequently accompanied by her husband, Butch, on the saw. Hibben is a board certified genealogist and president of the Corona Genealogical Society and the Southern California Chapter of APG. Hibben has a doctorate in folklore and an MA in speech communication. She is a national speaker and staff trainer for the Corona California Family History Center.

    Our Friday evening event features genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke who will be chatting with the audience and a captivating line-up of guests including Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie and Sheri Fenley of The Educated Genealogist blog. Attendees can partake in a delicious dessert bar and see first-hand a podcast production in action. 

    At the door registration for the Expo begins at 7 a.m. on Friday, and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Register in advance online at Contact Family History Expos by telephone at 801-829-3295.

    Let Your Light Shine at the
    California Family History Expo 2010
    October 8-9, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 9 a.m.)
    At the door registration begins at: 7 a.m. Friday & 7:30 a.m. Saturday
    Learn the tech to trace your roots with two full days of classes, hands-on demonstrations and exhibits.

    The Alameda County Fairgrounds
    4501 Pleasanton Ave.
    Pleasanton, California

    Classes and Workshops
    At the Door: $75 for both days, $40 for a single day, or $12 per class
    Register right now online at and receive immediate access to all class syllabi! Note: Online class syllabi are available only to those who register online.

    Genealogy Blog Bling

    Thanks to GeneaBlogger's Thomas MacEntee who took the suggestion of Judy Webster of Queensland Genealogy to introduce the following blog topic:  what gadgets, widgets, plugins, etc. do you consider ESSENTIAL for a genealogy blog?Judy asked that we "think of not just your own genealogy blog, but say as a first time user of genealogy blogs, what would be most helpful to these newcomers? The motivation for Judy’s questions comes from the fact that there are still folks using dial-up (rural Australia, and I bet the rural United States as well) and some blogs seem overloaded with bells and whistles which can slow down page loading."

    In addition to Judy's short list of "must haves", Ol' Myrt would like to weigh in with some additional essentials for those who are considering starting up a blog.

    Judy's List of Essentials are posted in RED. Ol' Myrt's comments are in black.
    • About Me YES
    • Subscription option YES
    • Follow option YES
    • Labels NO, Ol' Myrt thinks these make the screen too busy.
    • Blog Archive YES
    • Links to Other Blogs HOW could I narrow it down? Therefore, I list only those blogs I write
    • Links to websites about related topics NO, too much clutter on my blog
    • PrintFriendly - so people don't have to print out all the sidebar stuff when they want a paper copy of one of my blog entries.
    • Google Search box - Custom search box works on the blog site; alternately on the web in general.
    • Remove the banner & search - because sometimes the "next" option has taken my DearREADERS to a questionable blog.
    • Facebook link for each article - so people can share
    • Twitter This - so people can share with their Twitter Peeps
    • Listen Now - Right now I use Odiogo to translate my text to a podcast to accommodate my DearREADERS with hearing challenges.
    • Comments - Open comments have been problematic in the past, so now I require moderation, meaning Ol' Myrt here must accept or reject each comment. It is essential that my DearREADERS are able to discuss a topic in one place. I no longer want those comments to come to my email box, because I travel so much, and don't want to delay the distribution of reader feedback.
    Thomas asks "Have you taken steps to minimize or streamline your blog in consideration of dial-up and even mobile users?" I no longer do this. For years, I kept my podcasts, website and blog at a "low tech" stage, for in years past, online genealogists were the least internet savvy, and used very old versions of web browsers, etc. (A website owner can track stats like that!)

    Now with the presentation of scanned images of old documents mentioning ancestors being the industry norm, the majority of my DearREADERS have better equipment and consider high speed internet access an essential tool. Where once we spent money hiring distant researchers, or taking trips to an ancestor's courthouse, we spend that money on the convenience of high speed internet access.

    The young and techie readers tend to have cell phones and no land lines, using the savings to pay for high speed internet access. They independently learn to pull in my tweets to their mobiles with links to my blog entries.

    Thomas also asks  "What about other blog template items such as font size, background color, etc.?" Ol' Myrt here uses the settings for my blog template because I love the colors. I know that sight-challenged readers can use a variety of blog readers (like GoogleReader) with a generic look if the colors aren't pleasing to them. Font size is not an issue since viewing any blog directly is easily enhanced using Windows OS commands to increase or decrease font size changes. I assume there are similar options for Mac users?!

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