Open Thread Thursday: RootsTech 2012 Strategy

January 26, 2012

Genea-Blogger, Thomas MacEntee, today asked What our RootsTech Strategy will be for 2012. Please see his blog: Open Thread Thursday: What’s Is Your RootsTech Strategy?

Actually, I have thought about this in preparation for this awesome experience. Having attended several “regional” events, including the New England Regional Genealogy Society event last spring, I know that I don’t want to get overwhelmed with this event.

Trying to be involved with the Conference, as a participant, spending time in the Exhibit Hall, and networking with the 80+ Genea-Bloggers, I am sure that it can be too much to handle.

My plan, follow as much of the planned schedule that I have already planned on, BUT be flexible enough to make changes “on the spot”. There is a lot of opportunities to learn. I want to take advantage of that.

I like Thomas’ term micro blogging. I will have my iPad with me and will try that. I am going to use that to take notes, as I did at the NERGS last spring, but do the note taking in Evernote, which I have been using for Webinar Notes. Now to learn how to Copy and Paste, quickly, between Evernote and Twitter on the RootsTech 2012 AP on the iPad. But, I have a couple of days to learn that.

I hope you will bear with me on this Great Genealogy Adventure.


The Bucket List GeneaMeme

January 25, 2012

Genea-Blogger Jill Ball of Geniaus has started a Genealogy Bucket List GeneaMeme.

Since I am going to RootsTech 2012, I guess I should “get with the program”. So, here it goes:

The Bucket List GeneaMeme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you would like to do or find: Bold Type
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments after each item 


  1. The genealogy conference I would most like to attend is… RootsTech 2012. After sitting home, participating in what was being streamed, there was no way that I would miss this year. Lots to learn, but want to catch up with some Genea-Bloggers that I already have met, but want to meet those whose blogs I follow.
  2. The genealogy speaker I would most like to hear and see is… That’s not an easy question to answer. Through PodCasts, Blogs, Webinars, I have heard some of the speakers already. Having been to the FGS conference in Philadelphia a couple of years ago, and the NERGS conference in Springfield, MA this past spring, the Genealogy Society of Pennsylvania Ancestry Day, and a couple of other conferences all add to the list of speakers that I had wanted to hear. But, I am looking forward to hearing the speakers talk about upcoming technical capabilities that are coming our way. A couple of online resources that I don’t quit understand (yet) but want to. I have been through the schedule a couple of times and have picked the ones I want to see / hear, but also think that a couple of them will change.
  3. The geneablogger I would most like to meet in person is… Wow, this is a tough one. As of this time, there are 88 Genea-Bloggers going to be there. The number keeps going up. The short answer, all of the Genea-Bloggers that I haven’t met before. But two Genea-Bloggers who I will catch up with, because I have met them, but Thomas MacEntee, to thank him for ALL that he does for the Genea-Blogging community; Randy Seaver, to have a chat about his Brick Wall; and I can’t forget my Cousin Dear MYRTLE. (just to name a few)
  4. The genealogy writer I would most like to have dinner with is…Most like to …. Too many to mention, too little time.
  5. The genealogy lecture I would most like to present is…. Me, present? I don’t think so.
  6. I would like to go on a genealogy cruise that visits….Missed the Legacy Family Tree cruise this fall, mostly because the port visits would have only made me (us) go back to spend more time. But, keeping an eye on England, Ireland, and Scotland.
  7. The photo I would most like to find is… A photo that was published in a Philadelphia (and area) newspaper, that was reported to have been about my Grandfather, and two of his siblings, on their train ride from Kansas to Pennsylvania, when no one picked them up. The police were trying to locate the family.
  8. The repository in a foreign land I would most like to visit is…When I am able to confirm where my Ancestor came from in England, the repository where I might find more details about his ancestors
  9. The place of worship I would most like to visit is…England, near Worthington Hall.
  10. The cemetery I would most like to visit is …… The family burial ground in Kansas, where my great grandparents are buried.
  11. The ancestral town or village I would most like to visit is…… Capt John’s “home town”, where ever that might be.
  12. The brick wall I most want to smash is… Actually, this one maybe on it’s way down. Capt John’s parents. Close, really close.
  13. The piece of software I most want to buy is….I’m Good.
  14. The tech toy I want to purchase next is …..I’m Good, unless it’s a handheld Cemetery GPS unit.
  15. The expensive book I would most like to buy is…I’m good, or I haven’t found it yet.
  16. The library I would most like to visit is…..Godfrey and the Allen County Library.
  17. The genealogy related book I would most like to write is….Not a writer, so I’ll pass.
  18. The genealogy blog I would most like to start would be about….I’m good. Never thought that I would have one, let alone three.
  19. The journal article I would most like to write would be about… I think I ramble enough
  20. The ancestor I most want to meet in the afterlife is…. My parents, and their parents. Too many stories that I missed while growing up.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Free Online Genealogy Tools

January 15, 2012

Week 3 – Free Online Genealogy Tools: Free online genealogy tools are like gifts from above. Which one are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience?

This challenge runs from Sunday, January 15, 2012 through Saturday, January 21, 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.

Free Online Genealogy Tools:

I have to say that my first Online Genealogy Tool if the Find-A-Grave website. In reality, it’s a tool in two ways. 1) gives me a chance to get out and about, to help others (give back to the community) and 2) for my own research.

I was able to put a genealogy together, for a friend of mine by visiting ONE Cemetery, look at ONE Monument and put together a 3 generation genealogy for him. I went to another cemetery and went back two more generations. All of the pictures were on both Find-A-Grave and on my Headstone Blog.

Based on that experience, I have given a number of genealogy talks, in the local area, on how I used the Find-A-Grave website to do my research. Two of the talks were to local Historical Societies. Initially, I thought that wasn’t right, what do I know about a Historical Society. Then it dawned on me that they were trying to document and preserve the history of the Local Area, and I was doing the same for my Family.

The first of those talks, as off shoots, the Historical Society and I went to two cemeteries, to help record and/or update a listing that they had, and I was adding photographs for Find-A-Grave at the same time.

The second cemetery we visited was an old Family Burial Ground, where there was only ONE stone, and it certainly was not in the right place, because the property owner didn’t want the “kids” to get hurt with that stone. A group of 6 of us, and 2 divining rods located what is believed to be the burial ground with, it appeared to be, 15 burials. It was in the “back yard” and neighbor, of where the headstone was. The house was the home for that family who was reported to be buried there.

Two adventures based on the Find-A-Grave website.

For my own research, the Inferential Genealogy series I posted here, also included Find-A-Grave. Both in what I found and didn’t find. But that was also taken care of with a visit to the Cemetery and taking photographs.

But sometimes, Find-A-Grave and visiting Cemeteries lead to other questions about families. Like, why are some members of the family in one cemetery, while others in another cemetery, or even another Plot within the same cemetery.

Another cemetery visit I made, was for a friend, and Genea-Blogger, where I took pictures of the Surname I was looking for, to see if we could put families together to help know down a brick wall. I have to say that this one is still a work in progress.

But between Census Records and Cemetery Plots, without other documentation, families can be put together, or at least that is my experience.

Other Free Online Tools: would be my next tool. I haven’t used that site as much as I should, but I do hope to learn more about that website at RootsTech 2012. There are a couple of other Online Tools that I learn more about at RootsTech 2012. I am expecting that after that trip, I will have more to say.

I should mention that having your genealogy research posted online is very helpful. I am in the process of cleaning up my main Genealogy Management file, and realized just how many Onlilne Tree’s I have Source and Citations from. In turn, I have some of my research online as well.

Don’t forget about Blogs. I have received many tips from this Blog. For example, I posted one post, and within an hour I had two “new” cousins. Blogs, as they say, are Cousin Bait.

Social Media is also in the mix. Having a Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter account have helped as well.

Another Tombstone Tuesday Blogger has posted some photographs on her Blog of a number of my ancestors in Kansas. I’ll never get to Kansas, but I have pictures of where they are buried. After I had thanked her, she went out of her way to go back as see if she could find anyone else.

I am sure that I missed some, but these are a couple of my Free Online Tools.

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.]

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