13 Apr 2015 HistoryLines Has Soft-Launched!
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I don’t usually come across software that just “blows me away”… software that is so cool and different that I just have to buy it!  But such software has popped up for all to see today — it’s called “HistoryLines.” It’s an online utility that creates stories on-the-fly for your ancestors. Auto-magically! All you do is put in the details for your ancestor (or just import your GEDCOM file), and HistoryLines does all the work. It has short stories about major events that happened during your ancestor’s lifetime. But not only that… it has stories about the culture of where your ancestor lived, the clothing that was specific to that time period and place, what they ate, what education they may have had, what their household was like, what type of entertainment they may have participated in, what their typical hygiene was like, the types of medicine that was used at the time, military events, political events, the forms of religion that was prevalent in their area and time, and the types of transportation they may have used. ALL of that information is attached to your ancestor, which creates a smoothly written, highly interesting, high-quality story of your ancestor! And of course, you can add/modify/delete any items you wish, or add your own story snippets!

If you haven’t checked out HistoryLines yet, now’s a fabulous time to do so because they just soft-launched it TODAY for us beta-testers and our friends and family!  And since I had the job of testing it during the last week of Beta (the easiest beta test I’ve ever done!), they have given us a discount which our family and friends can use too — 40% off the regular subscription price of $59. That’s just $35.40 for a yearly subscription. But that’s only but it’s for just THIS WEEK only, so check it out NOW!!  Just use the code SHARE40 to get your discount. I highly recommend it!

Wow, I did really hype that up, didn’t I? I should’a been a sales person (not). But rest assured, I am in no connection whatsoever to HistoryLines; I just wanted to pass this very cool offer on to my friends out there who read my blog.

14 Aug 2014 Beware of GADD: Genealogical Attention Deficit Disorder
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Well folks, I have some very disturbing news to tell you. It’s not easy to admit this, as it’s actually a little embarrassing. But I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that I have a disease that is very invasive and consuming, so I feel that I must tell you so that you can be warned.

I have GADD.

Yep, it’s true. I have the “Genealogical Attention Deficit Disorder.” I realized this today as I was researching some of my family history.

EOGN logoIt all started innocently enough… I was reading an email I received from Dick Eastman about 3:30pm today. You know Dick Eastman… he’s the guy that sends out an awesome newsletter each week with attention-grabbing articles and news about all (well, okay, “most”) things genealogy. I started reading his software review about RootsMagic, and read that RootsMagic has “alternate names to make it easy to find a person by their maiden or nick names;”… Hey! My genealogy software doesn’t do that specifically, but I think I can MAKE it do that by writing a query! So I open Family Historian (my genealogy software) and start creating the query… just to prove I can do it… and I do. Great! Except, oops, I see I have some ladies in my genealogy that are married, but I don’t have their husbands’ names recorded. Hmmm. I should fix those. There’s only a couple…

AncestryI go to Ancestry.com to look them up. But wait… I haven’t been to Ancestry for awhile, and I see I have new shakey green leaves! Yay!! Oh, I gotta see what those are about…

Capture3A shakey leaf reveals a new posting on FindAGrave. I go to FindAGrave. The memorial has a ton of info, and just opened up a whole new branch to my tree! Whoo hoo!!! Doin’ the genealogy dance… Ooooh, gotta record all of this…


Oh, let’s be diligent here. Don’t forget to CITE THOSE SOURCES!! Making source records…

Okay, now that I have those recorded, I better go look up their census records… back to Ancestry…

Oh, but wait a sec — before I do that, I see there’s more entries in this same cemetery on FindAGrave for a different family in my family tree! More links! Gotta investigate those…

Which leads me to one that has military service. Hmmm. Should go look on Fold3 for military records for him….

Capture4Oh look — Fold3 has more 1812 military pension records available now! I need to look up my 1812 pensioners…

What? I see a great-great-great-grandfather has a pension record that names a son I don’t have in my family tree! I wonder if there’s anything on FamilySearch about him…

Capture2I go to FamilySearch. Oh look, I haven’t indexed anything on FamilySearch for awhile. Feeling guilty, I index a page. Gee, that really didn’t take long, think I’ll do another…

All of a sudden I hear my cats furiously meowing to get my attention. I’ve been ignoring their cries for awhile now, I guess I should see what they want. Ah, they’re starving, poor things, I haven’t fed them their supper yet. I look up at the clock — it reads 11:37pm. What??? No. Uh-uh. Not possible!  It was 3:30 just 5 minutes ago! I look at the clock on my laptop. Hmmm… it says 11:37pm too. No *bleep*in’ way! Then I realize the rest of the house is dark. I triple-check on my iPhone. 11:38pm. Ugh!!!! No wonder my cats are giving me angry “we’re starving!” looks.

So I start closing everything on my laptop, window by window by widow by window (geez, how’d I get so many browser windows open?) and finally get to the last one… and I see I didn’t finish reading Dick Eastman’s article about RootsMagic. *Sigh* I really do need to read the rest of it.


GADD. It’s real. It’s disturbing. It’s real disturbing.

21 Aug 2013 FGS 2013, Tuesday
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The first day, the pre-conference day, started out with a “Blogger’s” Dinner, hosted by FamilySearch. This was a free dinner, by invitation only, for the bloggers of the conferene.

Thomas MacEntee was not there, but his beads were 🙂  Each blogger received a bead necklace as well as a pretty cool gift from FamilySearch which wass a solar charger for electronic devices. Thank you FamilySearch and GeneaBloggers!

FamilySearch announced their new Director of Family History Libraries, Diane C. Loosle. They also told us about the new things that they plan to implement. One of them is setting up Family History “Cluster Centers” in the bigger cities. These “Cluster Centers” will focus on family names in “clusters” so that individuals with the same surname can research together and collaborate.

Another new program they are implementing is Oral History Recording Studios. This is a place where families or individuals can record interviews with older relatives about family history, which is then saved to a jump drive to take home for only $8.

Yet another feature they are implementing is a “Discovery Center” where those with stacks of family photos can go to scan their photos and it will upload them into their personal account. Then the patron can attach the photos to members of their family trees. In addition, if someone else has attached photos to any person in your tree, you will see an icon next to the name, and by clicking on it, see the photo of your ancestor that someone else has uploaded.

In other news, RootsTech 2014 will have 60 satellite locations around the world next year, and will be broadcasting in 10 different languages. Also, registration for RootsTech 2014 will be live tomorrow.

This all sounds exciting!

12 Aug 2013 FGS 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne, IN
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Next week, I’m off to another genealogy conference! I can’t wait to see the genealogy speakers and folks whom I know. It’s interesting that these conferences never tire of having fresh information and product features… there’s always something new to try out or learn! This year, the conference is jam-packed with sessions, vendors, speakers, and events.

It all starts on Tuesday night with a Blogger’s dinner hosted by FamilySearch that I’ve been invited to. Nearly the same time is the FGS Society Delegates Reception, which I will also attend, as I’m representing one of the societies I belong to, CAGGNI (Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois.)

I’ll also be setting up a society table for CAGGNI for FGS Society Night. If you’re going to the conference, come by the CAGGNI table and see me!

The rest of the week is filled with sessions and key notes during the day and events during the evenings. I just know it will be a great time, and I hope you all can be there!

25 May 2013 Mastering Genealogical Proof
  Do you have your copy of “Mastering Genealogical Proof” yet by Thomas W. Jones? I do. And I’m going to absorb it this Memorial Day weekend.

The book itself is just 102 pages plus it has appendices, an extensive reading list, plus all the answers to the chapter questions. There are 9 chapters, each with a set of exercise questions at the end. And most chapters are less than 10 pages long. I think I can handle that!

And if you really want to get into Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP), Dear Myrtle is hosting a MGP Study Group featuring this book, starting June 2nd. I think I may give it a try, and see what kind of fun I can get into :-). It meets on Sunday evenings at 7pm central via the web. If you’re wanting to join in the fun too, see her blog post at http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2013/05/mgp-study-group-countdown-10-days-and.html.

30 Mar 2013 Come Walk with Us
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I found this poem the other day and just had to share…


Come walk with us,
Back through the vista of the years,
Which our ancestors knew.
We seek the trails which once they trod,
To find the spots where they once dwelt.
And while we search about our hearts,
Read weathered stones,
And turn musty pages of the past,
Their spirits come alive and walk with us.
We learn of them,
Their lives, their loves, their hates.
And with their knowledge,
Learn to understand ourselves,
For each of them has given to us a past.
We owe them this –
That they shall be remembered for that gift.

~ Fern Stokes Eller

01 Dec 2012 Genealogy Analogy for December
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Genealogy is like sex:

  • You think about it most of the time
  • You get funny looks when you buy a magazine or “how to” guide about it.
  • Your partner tries to look enthusiastic when you say that you want to do it.
  • You become irritable if you go too long without doing it.
  • The older you get, the more you appreciate it.
01 Nov 2012 Genealogy Word for November
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gedcomologist: noun. Someone who is capable of manually reading and interpreting a GEDCOM file. Top gedcomologists can read a GEDCOM file faster than leading genealogy software.

01 Oct 2012 Genealogy Word for October
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genealogify: verb. to slowly and imperceptibly turn a conversation towards the topic of genealogy.

01 Sep 2012 Genealogy Word for September
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Ahnentafelagilisticexpialidocious: adjective. a Fantastic Ahnentafel