Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Lost Creek Friends

My Haworth ancestors were founding members of Lost Creek Friends Church in New Market, TN.  The large field behind this marker was the original cemetery next to the church.  This once large cemetery was probably destroyed at the same time the original church building was burned during the Civil War.  Even though this part of Tennessee had many Union supporters, it was still a risky thing to be an abolitionist in that time and place. Quakers were known for their anti-slavery views which made the church an easy target.  After the war the church founded a new cemetery across the road.

Monday, September 26, 2011

In praise of worthy genealogists

I came of age in the time of campus protests, disco balls and tie-dye t-shirts.  The phones in my parents house had rotary dials.We never owned a dishwasher (Dad: "Why do I need a dishwasher when I already have 3!")  Our television would display every shade of black or white and required a pair of pliers, not a remote, to change the channels of which there were 3.  Four if you count the public station.  When I wanted to communicate with my parents from college I usually wrote a letter (remember those..paper? stamps?) because long distance collect calls were expensive.  On the other hand my college daughter just picks up her cell phone.  Anyway, you get the picture.  I'm sure most of you have similar stories.  Bottom line, I am old enough to still marvel at technology that sometimes seems almost magical.
But I  came of age, in the genealogical sense, in the Internet age.  My research is mostly online. I store it on my computer with a specialized genealogy database.  It is double-click, drag and drop instant gratification.  I admit it.  I am spoiled.  So my hat is off to all of you who were researching your families before computers and cell phones took over our culture.  I would like to think that I would have eventually found genealogy without the technology but frankly, I doubt it.  To have to send a letter for every record then waiting weeks and months for information that would only maybe take me back one generation on just one family line.... well, I don't think I would have had the attention span.  I would probably have collected a couple of records, filled out a family group sheet or two and then been distracted by basket weaving or something.
So I have nothing but admiration for my genealogy "elders".  I just doesn't seem right that those of us who came so late to the party, should have it so easy.  You have spent decades collecting information that nowadays can be obtained in a few hours on the Internet. That kind of dedication requires a strength of character and commitment that is becoming as rare in our society as the milkman.  Or transistor radios.   Or vinyl records.  Okay, now I'm really getting depressed.
Welcome to the future!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Laptop or iPad, that is the question

A woman typing on a laptopImage via Wikipedia
There is an excellent article by James Tanner on the FamilySearch "Tech Tips" blog  that brings up a question I have been pondering:  should I take a laptop or an iPad to Rootstech?   Please note that I  don't currently own either one.  But if I did, which would be more useful?  I'm leaning toward a laptop simply because of the keyboard but I would love some input on this question.  Help!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Murphy Dreher

Okay, this one was too good to pass up. 
One of my favorite writers, Rod Dreher, recently lost his beloved sister to cancer.  He wrote a beautiful post on his blog about her life and her funeral.  Included in the post was a picture of his uncle's headstone, who is buried near his sister.  It reads "This ain't so bad- once you get used to it".  What a character!  I would have loved to have met this guy.

Tombstone Tuesday - Jonathan & Nancy Haworth

Haworth Family Cemetery- near New Market, Jefferson, TN

Its always interesting to see a maiden name on a tombstone.  Apparently Jonathan's wife went by her middle name as another tombstone in the cemetery, for their son John, gives 'Jane' as the mother's name.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

A great challenge from Geniaus:  Are you a tech savvy genealogist?  I got 30 our of 50.  Not too shabby for a newbie.  Who knew "geek" and "genealogist" were not only NOT an oxymoron but dovetailed so nicely?

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you?
  1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad
  2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
  3. Have used Skype to for genealogy purposes
  4. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
  5. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
  6. Have a Twitter account
  7. Tweet daily
  8. Have a genealogy blog
  9. Have more then one genealogy blog
  10. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
  11. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise  (member but not so active)
  12. Have a Facebook Account
  13. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
  14. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
  15. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
  16. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
  17. Have registered a domain name
  18. Post regularly to Google+ (have account but don't post much...yet.)
  19. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers
  20. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
  21. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
  22. Can code a webpage in .html
  23. Own a smartphone
  24. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
  25. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
  26. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
  27. Use Chrome as a Browser
  28. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
  29. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
  30. Have a personal genealogy website
  31. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
  32. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
  33. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
  34. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
  35. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
  36. Own a netbook
  37. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
  38. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
  39. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
  40. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
  41. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
  42. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
  43. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
  44. Know about Rootstech
  45. Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy
  46. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud
  47. Schedule regular email backups
  48. Have contriibuted to the Familysearch Wiki
  49. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
  50. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

The Sidetracked Genealogist

I never get sidetracked.  Oh no.  I just started to write a post about connecting with my cousins on Facebook and needed the picture that started the initial discussion.  I have now spent an hour looking for said picture.  I think FB must have swallowed it.  So an hour later I have no post and no picture. I think I"ll go knit.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Your Story is Important

I found a great article on Ancestry.  We tend to dismiss our own experiences as not important enough to write down.  But they are important and future generations will treasure them just as we treasure the diaries and letters of our ancestors.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


photo by alborzshawn
Welcome to my new home...er...blog! Since November, 2010 I have been blogging at Family Tree Firsts on the Family Tree University web site.  I'm still blogging there and I love visitors (hint, hint).  But I thought it was time to create my own little bloggy outpost on the internets.   I am a collector of stories.  Sometimes the stories are sad, sometimes tragic. sometimes quirky but never, ever boring.
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