Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Very Best 2011 Research Adventure

January 7, 2012

Genea-Blogger, Randy Seaver, each and every week, posts a blog about Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

His challenge for today is:

It’s Saturday Night again — time for some Genealogy Fun (what else is there to do on Saturday Night?)!!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Decide which of your (many?) genealogy research adventures in 2011 was your “very best” (your definition).

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Status report or comment on Facebook, or in a Stream note on Google Plus.

Well, I can do this one.

My very best was the study I did on Inferential Genealogy, a method of study by Dr. Thomas Jones.

Using this link, you can follow that journey (backwards)

This was the outcome of studying Inferential Genealogy in Second Life, with that awesome group of people.

Besides the trip to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, several trips to Gettysburg, several other trips to Baltimore, I was able take a Name, mentioned in a PBS TV show, and find out how I was related to that Civil War Hero (David Ridgely Howard).

Along the way, found another connection to DearMYRTLE, a couple of days spending time with she and her husband, only to find that he and I had Revolutionary War gentlemen in the same unit at Valley Forge.

There is a PS: to this story. Over Christmas, the Gettysburg show on PBS was reshown. The kicker is, that at the very end of the discussion of Ridgely Howard (as they called him and where I started), was mention that his house was haunted.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Paid Online Genealogy Tools

January 7, 2012

Week 2 – Paid Online Genealogy Tools:

Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most?

What special features put it at the top of your list?

How can it help others with their genealogy research?

This challenge runs from Sunday, January 8, 2012 through Saturday, January 14, 2012.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy ( by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

This one is easy. I use Two reasons for that is the number of types of records that are found there, and the records and types of records.

The second reason is the ability to use Genealogy Management software with the records on

I think the best example happened a couple of days ago. I was looking at and working on my own ancestry, doing some clean up of the file after 12 years of using the same file. Am taking the tile to make sure that some old data / information is brought up to the way I am handing that information now.

I found a Shaky Leave (Hint) for my Father. I haven’t seen a new hint for a number of years. There were TWO new Hints. Wow! One was an obituary for him, but the second was a link to the Burlington County records website, where I can order the death record for my father. I have NOT seen that one before, nor that type of record. Both of this hints lead to an Index on Ancestry with a link to an external website, where the record could be ordered.

The best news here is that I didn’t even have to “go looking for it” it came to me.

I did a Web Merge, from into my Family Tree Maker Version 2012 file with the Link, downloaded, filling in a form, and am ordering his death record.

I do find two other Paid Website very, very helpful. and GenealogyBank.

Many of the Civil War records that I have posted on this Blog have come from Fold3. Great military website.

I have listened to Tom Kemp, of GenealogyBank, on a couple of webinars. Somewhere during each of his talks, I hear “and don’t forget about newspapers”. I am not sure he uses those exact words, but that is what I hear.

One evening, I was attending a local Family History Interest Group, and the talk was to be about GenealogyBank, but the Library Edition, as we meet at a local library. I had just listened to Mr. Kemp talk, and took a chance at doing a search for a story that had taken place at Montmorenciy (talked many times here about that). The story was that one of the owners of that house had been murdered. Hum. A very quick search on GenealogyBank found THE newspaper article that told, in vivid detail on what happened.

These paid websites have helped me move from being a “name collector” to more of a Family Historian. That is to put Stories about the Names that I have. To me, it makes them real.

Side Note: I am still waiting for GenealogyBank to have THE newspaper that has the story of my Grandfather and two of his siblings, arriving in Philadelphia, PA in 1897, where they were NOT met when they arrived by train, with name tags on their toes, after their parents and grandparent died. The story goes that they were taken to a police station, a news paper article posted, and relatives arrived to pick them up. There was a communications issue with the folks that were to pick them up, due to a Ship Wreck on the Jersey Shore that messed up the mail. Can’t find that article either. BUT I keep an eye on the GenealogyBank Blog for their updates.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Week 1 – Blogs

January 6, 2012

I am going to try this, for a while. It may be helpful for me.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

I have lost count on the number of Blogs that I follow. I watch Genea-Bloggers weekly list of new Blogs, found some of my own, but generally the Blogs that I follow are about Genealogy or Family History. It’s a way for me to learn. Sometimes, I will take such a learning experience, try it out, and share it here. I think that each of us learn in different ways. What’s nice about the Genea-Blogging community, is the sharing that takes place.

There are different types of Blogs. I know, because I have three. This one, mostly about the Worthington Surname, but it’s also about my experience with Genealogy. My second on is about Family Tree Maker, and the third is pictures of Headstone.

For the past 10 or 12 years, I have been responding to about 25 message boards, most of them about the Family Tree Maker program, and some times it’s easier to show how to resolve a problem, with a Blog, then all on the message board. One way I have learned to use the program myself, is to blog about it. How to use a “new feature”, what are the new features, how can I work around a situation that isn’t in the program (yet).

There are other Blogs that do similar things. “How to ….” do genealogy or family research.

Each of the several hundred Blogs that I follow, some I read word for word, some, not so much. When I did some website development and maintenance, I always said that you have about 15 seconds to get someone’s attention on a website. The same goes, for me at least, for a Blog. Many of the Blog posts I will read in Google Reader, but some times I’ll go to the Blog itself, especially to post comments.

I think it is important and helpful to post comments. It’s a way to encouraging the Blogger to keep posting, to let them know that someone is reading their work. There are also times to ask a question.

Some times there are opportunities to meet the Bloggers in person. Genea-Bloggers are the BEST.

My two cents of Blogs.

Are bloggers the new “experts”?

December 16, 2011

Genea-Blogger Michael Hait posted this today.

The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new “experts”?1

I recommend that you read Michael’s offering.

What caught my eye was this:

You might ask, so what if those old local societies disappear? We have the GeneaBlogger community or that Facebook group to support us.

Moral support, yes–definitely. Research support, far less:

  • GeneaBloggers do not generally scour every cemetery in a specific county and publish full listings of the gravestones. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers do not abstract all of the obituaries of some small county newspaper from the mid-19th century and publish them. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers do not maintain genealogical libraries containing decades of work on local families. Genealogical societies do.
  • GeneaBloggers cannot go back to 1965 and reproduce the resources that were transcribed by the local genealogical society before that big hurricane or tornado hit and destroyed everything.

These resources can only remain available as long as we continue to support the societies that provide them.

I am certainly not an “expert”. I am not trained, no plans on doing so, but do try to lean. No Expert Here.

The article caught my eye because I had just returned to a “local” historical society, and cemetery.

I am involved as an “active member” of a local Family History Interest Group. By active, it’s more then attending meetings. I have share my research experience through presentations. I do that in hopes that others have a few more tools in their research tool kit to help with their research.

This group is not a “Genealogical Society” but are Family Researchers. Most of my presentations are put together by blogging about my research, or how to use research tools that are available to us.

My trip this afternoon was to visit the local Historical Society to do some research. I took with my another one of my Research Tools, a Flip-Pal. There were 6 or 7 researchers in the library and were amazed as to what the Flip-Pal could do. One of the “officials” at this historical society, went to and put an order in for one. He saw what it could do. I had blogged about it, and had some pictures on Flickr for a couple of my project, that instantly caught his attention as he has some projects he was struggling on  how to attack that project. The Flip-Pal appeared to be the answer to his question. Again, I was only sharing my experience with his Historical Society. The flip side is that he shared the frustration in getting folks involved with the Society.

I have also talked about cemeteries, I take pictures, post them on Find-A-Grave, and my blog. Certainly those won’t be picked up by any Genealogy Society, but as a Blogger, I do try to capture pictures of those headstones and make them available. To me, this is another way, as a Blogger, to share.

Have I gone into a cemetery and taken every headstone that was there? No, but I did take one cemetery and I did take all of the readable stones and posted them. I don’t just take pictures I HAVE to, but try to take Find-A-Grave requests.

I agree with Michael, but I am NOT an expert. From the Blogs that I read, and that is probably about 1,000, it’s about Sharing of our experience in doing Family History Research.

The flip side, and the major comment from the Historical Society, was getting Help from folks, in the area, to help preserve what they have. I do what I can do, try to share my experience, and try to encourage others, bloggers or no, in doing the same. I HAVE offered to a local Historical Society, to do some work, but haven’t had the call back requesting help. I belong, pay my dues, and show up from time to time, offering to help.

I hope that these Historical Societies, nor Genealogy Societies don’t “go away”. We will loose some valuable history.

I am sure that other Genea-Bloggers read and comment about Michael’s offering to us, and comment on how WE, the Genea-Blogging community can help these Societies survive.

Thanks for listening.

Back to posting some headstone pictures I captured today.


1Michael Hait, CG, “The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new ‘experts’?,” Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog, posted 16 Dec 2011 ( : accessed 12/16/2011). [Please also feel free to include a hyperlink to the specific article if you are citing this post in an online forum.]

Tech Tuesday – What Books do I own ?

December 13, 2011

It appears that Books are the topic of the week among Genea-Bloggers. Getting my genealogy books under control was on my To-Do List this past weekend.

Goal: be able to have a list of books that I own and where they are on my book shelves.

I thought I would share a tool that I found that has really helped me. Book Collector

Home Library / Book Database Software

Catalog your book collection in no time at all.
Just enter or scan ISBNs for automatic book data & cover art.

I thought that I would share how it works and how it allowed me to have a current, electronic version of my Genealogy Book Collection. How many duplicate books to you have? I have my share, but I didn’t have my inventory. I do now.

There are four pieces to this puzzle. You can do with two, but I am lazy, make my share of typing errors, but the majority of the job can be done with a Bar Code Scanner.

  • Collectorz Book (software)
  • Buddy for Barry
  • Collectorz Book for iPad
  • Buddy for Barry for iPad

The database is on my PC. You can manually enter ISBN or LOC codes into the database. But, I wanted to Scan Bar codes as much as possible. I can always go back and manually enter the ISBN and LOC codes if the Bar Code isn’t on the book.

How it works: Open up Collectorz Book program on the computer. (this is not an instruction manual, but a very high level view of how it works)

On the left is the Buddy for Barry Screen.  It’s job is to collect data from the iPad. When I open Collectorz Book and I am going to use the iPad scanner, I turn Buddy for Barry one. When the iPad is on, I then connect to it.

Buddy for Barry for the iPad is an AP for the iPad. Lots of Details HERE.

The larger part of the screen shows the Genre that I created. Basically I am going to put the books, on bookshelves by Genre. I have some basic Genealogy books, a lot of them, Cemetery collections, books for some states, some Family Histories. In the upper part of the screen is one of those Genre “(folders) open with the book title list.

When I am ready to send the collection back to the iPad, the Blue square ICON is used to let Collectorz to send the collection to the iPad.


I then set up Collectorz Book to be ready to receive information from the iPad, using Add Books Automatically. You get there from the Edit Menu.


Over the the iPad, (screen captures are best seen on their website

Making sure that the Wi-Fi connection is active and activating Buddy for Barry, the Scan ICON on the iPad is selected and the camera of the iPad will now try to find a Bar Code.

Making sure that the Cursor on the PC is in the ISBN field, the ISBN number will automatically sent to the PC. You can also batch them between the two, but I found the Automatic feature works really well.

After you collect a number of numbers, then return to the PC to this screen.


Notice the top Blue square is the ISBN field that the cursor goes into. The 2nd blue square is the list of ISBN numbers sent from the iPad.

Now, Collectorz Book will then do a Search for those books and return the Title, Author, front and back covers, if available, as well as a lot of Publication information (Source Material)


You can see the ISBN number now are more information. Selecting one of the items, there is a place to Add the Checked Item. You can ADD ALL, but I had already inputted some data before I got Buddy for Barry. AND I didn’t want any duplication.

Clicking on the Add Checked will bring up a window where you can make changes, or in my case, selected one of my Genre’.


I checked Genealogy. You can create your own Genre just below that list of Genre.

You will see Duplications in at least two ways. You are given the choice to Add it anyway (if you have duplicate books, which I do). The first is a pop-up window, and below that is a warning below the book title.



If you don’t want to add the duplicate, you right click on the item and Remove Book.


Now for the output. Perhaps a screen capture will tell the story.


Lots of flexibility. In this case, the Genre is in the Left Column. That will tell me on what book shelf the book is. Book Shelves have labels. The sort then is by Author. I’ll use that order for the book shelf. At this point Author sort will work for me.

Screen capture of the “I” device that you are using.


Data on the PC, Report Printed, now to get the Data to the iPad, because that is what will be with me at a book store.

Activating the Collectorz Book on the iPad would be the next step. Here is a screen capture of that.


In the upper right corner of this screen is a Downward Pointing arrow, which will be clicked for the download, then going to the PC and clicking on the ICON in the first screen capture, this screen will be opened. It shows the iPad is there, if it isn’t, the Refresh button is there, and once the iPad is selected, the Export button is pushed.


Shortly after that, the complete collection of books are on the iPad.


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