Can the Find A Grave website be “Cousin Bait” ?

April 16, 2018

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Was talking with a cousin about the Find A Grave website and how we use this repository / resource. The discussion had nothing to do with the “old” vs the “new” look.

Until this conversation, I viewed it as a repository for photographs of headstones, names, dates, that might be on the headstone itself (if readable).

Other information may be on the memorial page, like an obituary, but I do not capture that, but put a ToDo item to find that newspaper article. There may be other hints on the memorial that may also be helpful.

For example:

There is no marker, but he is recorded in a partial listing of graves at Friends Cemetery, Tuckerton, in Leah Blackman’s ‘History of Little Egg Harbor,’ from 1880, pages 206-208.

I hope to get this book in the not so distant future, because I have a number of people in my file that are buried in this Quaker Cemetery.

The other valuable aspect of the website it the relationships that may be included. For example, I can go back from my Dad two more generations using the links that I created or asked to be created. I try to make those links between family members on all of the Memorials of MY family.

I get requests to “add” other information on the memorial, where I just took the photograph. I don’t do that, but ask what the relationship is between that memorial and the requesting person. If they are family, I just transfer the memorial over to them.

I just don’t use that website to “build my tree”.

But, the conversation took an interesting turn. WHAT IF I have a private tree, online, somewhere, but it’s private because I’m not happy with my research or it’s not documented the way I want it, how to I make those, most important, cousin connections.

What about a Virtual Cemetery ?

They can be Public or Private and can be created by a member of the Find A Grave website.

There is a cemetery in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey with 89,133 (as of 16 April 2018) of which 14% is photographed. But, within that cemetery is, what I think, is very unique. A Virtual Cemetery.

OP–Dominican Nuns of former Blue Chapel Monastery: a Virtual Cemetery – Find A Grave

The Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary (OP) made their first foundation in the United States at Union City, New Jersey in 1891. The monastery became known as Blue Chapel. The Sisters were re-interred in Holy Name Cemetery in 2018.

Of the 90,000 burials, this Virtual Cemetery has 42 memorials.

Why am I re-thinking my use of the Find A Grave website ?

COUSIN BAIT.

I could create a Virtual Cemetery of all of the members of my family and when someone searches for a person in my family should be able to find My Family.

Thanks cousin, never thought about that before.

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Re-Reading what you have

April 11, 2018

With a couple of days away from the computer and internet, I had a chance to “read a book”. Better stated, listen to a book as it was read to me while flying from Atlantic City to Florida and back.

The book: Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing Paperback – February 1, 2012 – by Megan Smolenyak

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I have been to a number of presentations around my home state, where Megan was speaking, as her stories are awesome, and how she discovered the stories. I am also honored to be able to call her a friend. A couple of times I was able to call her up or email her and see if she “wanted a cup of coffee”.

I have had the book for a while, bought a couple for friends, and had it on my phone in Audiobook format, so I listened.

Not changing subject, but what really caught my attention, early in the book, what her references to relationships to some famous people and how they related to each other.

When I listened to the list of characters I was reminded of the We’re Related APP that I have blogged about before. Many, of the names there were mentioned have appeared in the We’re Related APP for me.

Now, I have seen a number of very negative comments about the usefulness of the APP, but I have experienced some ideas and hints for where I might look for my own research.

What was in the book, that I hadn’t realized earlier, is why these famous persons might be related, but that also lead to why I may be related to some of these folk. Colonial Ancestry. Well, I knew that I have that in my tree, but more specifically, many of the folks mentioned was Irish Ancestry. I have very few Irish Ancestors in my current database, that I have more or less proven, but not to the amount that my DNA Results show. When I say my DNA Ethnicity Estimate of 27% Ireland / Scotland / Wales really had to listen.

Just the fact that she may have been involved with some, if not all, of the research on these famous folk allows me to thing more positively about the “famous persons” “line” that was presented in the APP.

As I may have mentioned before, I am using the We’re Related APP Data as an “undocumented” source of information, BUT, I have documented using my DNA Results for my side of the data from the APP. While entered the APP Data, I looked at my exiting working database to see how many profiles from the APP were already in my existing database. Using my existing database and the Shared Matches from the DNA results, I have identified a number of people who do not have an online tree, or a private online tree, based on those shared DNA Matches.

A project that I have been wanted to do, was to merge the We’re Related APP Database with my Master (working) File. By re-reading this book, I am in the process of preparing for that merging of this 2,500 person database, into my 9,000 person database.

That includes bringing my Master Database up to my “new standards” of how I do research and more specifically, how I document my research. Features that were not in much earlier versions of my program and using some of the new features and are in the same program now AND skills, tips, and tricks that I have learned along the way.

Other books, written by Megan Smolenyak include: Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History Paperback – December 28, 2010

Maybe a visit to Megan’s Website, http://www.megansmolenyak.com/ will inspire you, as it does me. Her blog, video’s, Newsletter are must reading for me.

Re-reading what I already have, or listening to the book, has encouraged me to get back to my own research, reminding myself that this We’re Related APP work was NOT a waste of time, and maybe, I will get a better understanding about the 27% DNA Estimate is all about.

Thank you Megan


April Fools Day – 2018

April 1, 2018

As the sun rises this morning, I will be on my way to Florida, with my family for a 5 night Disney Cruise. It’s our 2nd Disney Cruise, as a family, but today will be very different for me.

Back tracking 51 years, or the Winter of 1967, I had returned from a different type of cruise, that is on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Halfmoon (WAVP-378). That cruise was to GITMO, to play war games with the U.S. Navy. This was my 2nd cruise to GITMO, but this return was very different.

When we return, late February, something very different happened. A swarm of Engineers swarmed our rusty bucket of bolts, and started to talk about air conditioning. March, Air Conditioning, Snow, hmm, something weird is going on. Oh, our communications gear had issues with the Navy while we were in GITMO, where the equipment broke down. Not unusual for us. But Air Conditioning.

Would find out later, that through out the Halfmoon other folks were measuring, writing, suggesting changes that would happen quickly. But what ?

By this time, the  CGC Halfmoon had been my home for 2 years. Much of that time was “as sea” on our various missions. Just not at home, or where there was much “news”.

About the 15th of March, 1967, we had a All Hands On Deck meeting on the “mess deck”. Very rare gathering at best. We were told that we would be leaving on an “extended” cruise and thus all of the folks boarding the ship and new equipment, noise, that had been going on and would continue for a couple of more weeks.

On April 1st, 1967, the CGC Halfmoon would leave Staten Island for the last time, and head somewhere, to warmer weather. There had been a prediction that a Coast Guard Cutter would leave New York and not return,  or so the story goes. Well, in fact, we did NOT turn to Base St George for 1967.

We would return 22 January 1968, from a cruise to Vietnam. Through the Panama Canal (both ways). 2 other, east coast Cutters would make that trip, meeting up with 2 others in Hawaii. To the Philippines, then to our various missions off of the Vietnam Coast.

April 1st, 2018, another cruise, but from Florida for 5 days on a cruise ship Disney Magic

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami

Experience the many exciting amenities of Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and one more Caribbean port of call, where white-sand beaches, brilliant blue waters, balmy breezes and aquatic adventures await. Spend 2 relaxing days at sea enjoying your cruise ship’s onboard delights—from nightclubs and lounges to family-friendly entertainment venues.

According to the fine print, the Disney Magic is 3 times the length of the Coast Guard Cutter Halfmoon. The crew of the Magic is 7 times that of the crew of the Halfmoon (war time crew level). And, I’ll bet there won’t be the rust on the Magic that the Halfmoon had until she ended her career in 1969.

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The only time the 5 cutters with tied up together, after our journey across the Pacific.

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And our welcome home, with the traditional Navel Welcome Home. My folks were on the pier when we arrived.

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Will be so glad to have Jennie, Patrick, Carrie and Patti, on this April 1st cruise. Oh, and I won’t have to work this cruise.


A Rabbit Hole, In the Can

February 6, 2018

Must be too early in the morning, for a blog post subject, but …

Was doing some research and found an Occupation of this individual, and the Industry on a 1920 Census Record. A Timer in a Canning Company. What is that ?

This was in Carroll County, Maryland so what is going on there that might be of interest. Not finished my 2nd cup of coffee, I decided to see what this was all about, and I did.

The names of the people I am researching is not important here, but what is, seeing something that might seem weird (ok, unusual) but finding some documents that have some incredible amount of historical information.

I did s search for “canning company, westminster, maryland” (copied and pasted my search criterial.

Some great hits were returned, including a “Maryland Historical Trust Determination of Eligibility Form” A 24 page form for a preserving a property and buildings. At the top of the document, nothing was of interest, but I had to read down this document to put the house into historical context. On page 5, was mention of the Cannery that (remember the house of the subject) and the Family I was researching mentioned that in 1868 this cannery was established. The name is probably one or two generations further back from the information that I have, not sure if I will try to get back there, but it put that family into historical context.

UNION_MILLS_HOMESTEAD_HISTORIC_DISTRICT

There were several other articles, putting that Cannery into context.By JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23006480

The real kicker is, by follow that “what is this cannery” question, the Google Search found a web site on the history of the Union Mills Homestead (built in 1797) but a calendar of events that will take place this year.

One rabbit hole that I am glad that I followed.


Scanning Project–a Clue or a B.S.O.

December 1, 2017

Oh no, a Bright Shiny Object (B.S.O.)

I have been working on a project for one of my students. Finally am taking the time to work on it. Got my scanner hooked up to my computer, and it worked. (whew)

Did about 100 scans today, taking the papers our of the sheet protectors, very carefully and there were many pages in each sleeve.

As I am going through on sleeve, was a letter, Signed by “Mom” but don’t know much about this letter, nor dates. But the last item in the sleeve was an envelope.

The post mark was one clue, the “Miss” was to it was for, but what caught my attention was “Keep Genealogy

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The content of the letter is sending me on a search for a Revolutionary War Soldier now. It appears that the writer of the letter was trying to get into the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution), with the soldier’s name and where they connected. Wouldn’t you know the name was “Smith”.

The student did way that there was a story about a Revolutionary War soldier, so perhaps I can find who that was.


The New Find A Grave Website

November 21, 2017

Many of us are aware of the new Find A Grave website

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Pretty nice, up to date website. Here is the old one.

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Lot of clicking around to get some where.

The New website you can search from from the landing page. That’s great news.

Here is a view of a Memorial.

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Word of caution: be careful if you copy and paste that Cemetery Name. It may not come out as you might expect. At least that is my experience.

But what I am going to miss the most is this.

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That is the same memorial. What I am going to miss are 1) the ability to quickly see the family members and relationships. More compact. and 2) the ability to Hi-Lite, Copy and Paste from the Name of the memorial down to the Contributor information. I paste that into my genealogy database. And that Cemetery Name, and Location, Copy and Paste very easily. I think I will miss that THE MOST.

…. but the good news is ….

The new Source Citation.

For me, that is the Full Reference Note.

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I know, you can’t read it, but let me Copy and Paste that here

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 November 2017), memorial page for Henry Russell Worthington, Jr (1916–2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 49480185, citing Grace Episcopal Memorial Gardens, Haddonfield, Camden County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Russ Worthington (contributor 47099064) .

In a discussion about that citation, one observer claimed that the Reference note, was Citing the Cemetery. As I read this Citation, it is Citing the Find A Grave Memorial on the Website, with details ABOUT the Cemetery.

If I were to find this citation, I know that it came from the Find A Grave website, when it was accessed. What I expect to see when I get there, is a Database that has Images. The person of interest with the YYYY – YYYY in case there were two people with the same name.

Knowing a little about this website, I KNOW I can search for that Memorial Number (sorry it is whited out here). OR, there is a “bread crumb” that would also get me there. The County, State, County, Town, and Cemetery Name. And, of course, who is maintaining that memorial with contact Information.

Again, my understanding of the “citing” piece of the Reference Note is the Memorial, not the Cemetery. The Cemetery does not provide any information, the Memorial does.


Remember the past but Move toward a better Community

August 18, 2017

Some of you may have seen this graphic

ethnicity

It’s a graphic created by DearMYRTLE and we try to remind folks that attend our Hangouts On Air with this graphic, that we all are on a research journey. We post this statement, which does a far better job than I can’

DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ recognize the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. We reach out to _all_ regardless of race, color, creed or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.

http://www.un.org/en/events/africandescentdecade/

I am posting this today after spending a lot of time reflecting on the events of this past weekend. I can’t get my mind around those events.

After Vietnam, I got out of the service and moved to Washington DC. Went to work and could see the events taking place in that town. .Several times going to the roof of the building (at night) and could see the fires going on “down the street”. I worked 3 blocks from the White House, and the Capital Building in the other direction. Horrible times.

In 1982, we moved from that wonderful town to New Jersey. My kids, middle school and high school came on that first day in their new school and were concerned that there were no African American children in their schools. When the younger daughter graduated from High School, she wanted to go camping, with 2 of her friends, in the DC area, with one of the goals to seeing if one of her African American friends was at home.

My own research, into my family, there were slave owners. My colonial ancestors are buried with their slaves, as it has been reported. Another person in my tree also owned slaves, but released them, one of them became a leader in an Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. One of my grandparents, apparently, had an issue with those of color, but I have no idea what that was all about. In the history of that town, there was something going on, but haven’t found what that was all about.

Within my circle of Genealogy friends, I have learned much about other cultures. Thoughts that would never have occurred to me. Struggles with finding records, how their research is different. But, learning how they do their research has opened my eyes. An I try to thank them for sharing their stories.

Earlier this year, I began to do some research using the Ancestry We’re Related APP. Some very interesting Facebook Friends have appeared. I have met in person, had conversations with a number of them and am honored to have them appear as “cousins”.

One of the more recent cousins, I had met in Salt Lake City at a dinner meeting, and remember him because, at the time, he was in a Wheelchair, and I helped him get to his room.

I bring the APP up, because it gives me an opportunity to learn more from these new cousins. One specifically, I am working from our Common Ancestor down to the APP Cousin, and she it working up to her “brick wall”. I have see that brick wall but between the two of us, that brick wall will come down.

I was inspired to make this blog post, based on this video

https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/video/where-do-we-go-here-chaos-or-community

where the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, presented it view on what has happened. If you have a few minutes, please listen to what he has to day.

I am, however, not sure where I am on all of the “historical” items that are being removed. I don’t know what living in the South really means, nor having ancestors from the South. I do have a confederate soldier who was wounded in Gettysburg. Will that monument be on “the list” of being removed?

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What about the statue of his Grandfather, that is in a town square in Baltimore?

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Is this about Remembering History or reacting to events that happened in the past ?

My hope is that conversations will happen that will lead us to a better sense of Community. Building on the Communities that we each have around us each day, and expanding our cultural inheritance.

Peace


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