Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Transcription Tuesday: Murder Trial of William Carroll Brinlee

I’ve been working through Brinlees and am now researching the George Robert Brinlee family, specifically, George Robert's son William Carroll Brinlee.  William Carroll Brinlee is one of the list - not a short one - of Brinlees who have been brought up on murder charges.  W. C. Brinlee was Marshal of the City of Westminster in Collin County, Texas in the early part of the last century.  Somewhere I believe I have an earlier article mentioning a “Will Brinlee” shooting off a firearm in town; it may be the same person.  
In this case, while (spoiler alert) Brinlee was found guilty, he received a two-year suspended sentence.  Perhaps the principle of “He [the victim] had it comin’” applied.
Below are transcriptions of two articles from the Dallas Morning News, the first dated 29 November 1917 and the second dated 30 November 1917.
“The murder case against W. C. Brinlee, charged with killing Jesse Hughes on Sept. 22, was submitted to the jury in Criminal District Court No. 3 at 3:45 o’clock yesterday afternoon.  Most of the day was consumed in arguments.  At the close of the case Judge C. A. Pippen complimented the attorneys on their uniform courtesy toward the court and each other and on their expedition in trying the case.
“Brinlee relied upon a plea of self-defense, his witnesses testifying that he was attacked by Hughes before he shot and that a companion of Hughes, who was present at the time of the killing, had threatened his life.  Brinlee is City Marshal of Westminster, Collin County, and a number of witnesses from that county testified that his reputation there is good.
“The jury was still out at 12 o’clock last night.”
“A verdict finding the defendant guilty of manslaughter and fixing the penalty at a suspended sentence of two years was returned in the Criminal District Court yesterday morning in the case against W. C. Brinlee, City Marshal of Westminster, charged with the murder of Jesse Hughes of Oklahoma.  Hughes was shot and killed at Central avenue and Main street on the night of Sept. 22.  Brinlee pleaded self-defense.  The jury had been out since Wednesday afternoon.”

Thanks to John Newmark at TransylvanianDutch for Amanuensis Monday, the inspiration for Transcription Tuesday.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Live from Falls Church, Virginia: It’s the iGene Awards!

As I get into the limousine to go to the iGene Awards on this cold day in January, I reflect on my oeuvre for the previous year and the award-winning posts.
It was a quiet year for me.  I did not write as much as usual and focused my efforts more on getting my house, research, and life organized and on reporting the results of my research, as shown in Great Cleaning Frenzy and “What I Learned Wednesday” posts.
So the iGene Award-winning posts from 2011 are a little on the light side.  To indulge in some compensatory egoboo, I am therefore planning on attending, right after the iGene Awards, the 2011 GeneaBlogJournalism Awards, which were invented by me to avoid viewing a screening of that godawaful reality show, “Greta’s Pity Party.”
So, here I am, in the audience, watching the acceptance speeches.  There’s someone railing about the divide between professionals and amateurs.  Now another is thundering something about bad punctuation in citations.  The next one .... zzzzzzz ..... (snort) - huh? Oh, is it my turn?
This years iGene Awards for Greta’s Genealogy Bog go to:
The iGene Award for Best Picture goes to:
“This Is the Face of Genealogy.”  It was one of those moments when the entire Genealogy Blogging Community pulled together to protest an insulting portrayal of genealogy and of an entire segment of the population.  The careworn face of the subject of this picture - my great-grandmother Angeline Elizabeth Matlock Floyd - epitomizes what I and so many of my fellow genealogists are searching for:  not rich/famous/eminent ancestors to brag about, but plain, ordinary people who in their perseverance and endurance made our lives, our way of life, and our many opportunities possible.
[A few raised fists, peace signs, and thumbs up are seen from sympathetic genealogy researchers in the audience.]
The iGene Award for Best Screenplay goes to:
“Memory Monday: We Were the Brady Bunch of Cat Families.”  This fluffy little musical comedy, and in particular its feline cast, has captured hearts near and far.  Nothing profound here, but the story is universal:  the challenges of blended families - and families are what genealogy is all about, aren’t they?  Cast:  Michael Cera and Ellen Page as the clueless parents, and a talented but anonymous bunch of cats as, well, the cats.
[A critic in the eighth row writes:  “Once again, the award goes to an inconsequential crowd-pleaser.”]
The iGene Award for Best Documentary goes to:
“Julius Koehl Address Study,” which demonstrated lessons learned about locating and mapping your families’ places of residence by showing rather than simply telling.  “Special Effects” of this post included Google Maps and photographs and an eye-popping chart that follows the documentary trail.
[Momentary disruption by a protestor in the back carrying a sign:  “We Want Citations, Not Flashy Effects!”  “Hey, jerk!” I yell out.  “The citations are IN the effects!”]
The iGene Award for Best Biography goes to:
“The Civil War and My Ancestors,” a somber and very loooong overview of my Southern ancestors’ involvement in the Civil War, including Civil War service records and other relevant records I have found, whether or not they were slaveholders, and their views (if known) on slavery and the Union.  A controversial choice since it consists merely of snippets of the individual lives of many different ancestors.
[A critic in the second row writes: “Why, oh why, must they always give this award to the longest and most snooze-worthy entry?”]
The iGene for Best Comedy goes to:
“Things I Don’t Care About in Genealogy,” a facetious rant by a genea-comedienne, riffing on all of the things she finds partially or totally irrelevant to the pursuit of genealogy.  (After considering a whole roster of irritating comedic actresses, I’m gonna flatter myself with a glam and witty casting choice: Ellen de Generes.)
[Some raucous hoots and whoops from the crowd, which is now a little squiffed after imbibing.]
And the most important awards of all - the GeneaBloggers Act of Genealogical Kindness Award - goes to three of my favorite genealogy bloggers:
Becky Jamison of Grace and Glory - for taking and sending me pictures of the graves of some of my relatives through the Brinlee line.

Jasia of Creative Gene - For thinking up and hosting the Carnival of Genealogy and the iGene Awards, events which inspire and unite the genealogy blogging community as well as showcasing their talents.

Anonymous - Yes, that’s right - this kind blogger did me a great big favor - unsolicited, I might add - but prefers to remain anonymous.  You know who you are and you rock.
Spoiler Alert:  Here are the results of the GeneaBlogJournalism [GBJ] Awards, which are given for exposes, editorials, and other random rants opinion pieces:

I gotta say, the GBJ Awards will never give the iGene Awards a run for their money - GBJ folks take themselves much too seriously and turn the whole thing into a snoozefest.  And since it is on Public TV, there isn’t even a decent potty commercial break during which you have time to make Tongue-Burnin' Supernachos or Uncle Jed’s Rip-Roarin' Party Mix to snack on.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

SNGF: My Maternal Grandfather's Paternal Line

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has a habit (not deliberate, of course, but oddly on the mark with some regularity) of pinging on my “obsessions” and “NEED TO DOs” in his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.
This week is no exception, and it reminds me once again that I blew my chance this year to take advantage of the sale at Family Tree DNA.
The challenge is:
Find a living male person in your database from your maternal grandfather's patrilineal line who could take a Y-DNA test. Answer these questions:
1) What was your mother's father's name?
2) What is your mother's father's patrilineal line? That is, his father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?
3) Can you identify male sibling(s) of your mother's father, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.
The answers:
1 - Kirby Runion Moore.
2 - Kirby Runion Moore’s father was Harlston Perrin Moore (born 4 December 1845 in Anderson County, South Carolina, died 12 December 1921 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas).  Harlston Perrin Moore’s father was William Spencer Moore (born ca 1813 in South Carolina, died 31 October 1871 in Anderson County, South Carolina).  William Spencer Moore’s father was Samuel Moore (probably born between 1856 and 1865, died between 29 January 1828 and 2 June 1828 in Greenville County, South Carolina).
3 - I don’t need to identify one of my grandfather’s brothers; I have several Moore-surnamed male first cousins who could take this test.
And that’s the rub.  I was mulling over taking advantage of the Family Tree DNA sale last year (both to get myself tested and to have one of my Moore cousins tested), but I blew it.  
So now I’m feeling bad about it all over again.  Thanks, Randy.

(JK - next time there is a sale, I REALLY mean to do this.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Finds and Fun: 27 January 2012

Thanks to Kathleen at Moore-Mays.org for this one: The Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn. I have been using the Green-Wood Cemetery website for researching my husband’s families, but it didn’t occur to me that The Evergreens would also have a searchable database. I am really beginning to get into Brooklyn research the way I am into Southern research.

This week Marian Pierre-Louis asks “Where Do You Turn for Research Guidance?” and starts the list, which is filled out with lots of good resources suggested in the comments.  From another angle, however, I have been musing this week about how we can learn research techniques from published family narratives. I happen to have three: John Philip Colletta’a Only a Few Bones, which I am currently reading; Steve Luxenberg’s Annie’s Ghosts, which I read recently; and Leslie Albrecht Huber’s The Journey Takers, which I read a while back (and which is currently loaned out, so I do not have it in the picture and have to recall the details - probably imperfectly - from memory).

It is interesting to compare the different approaches the books take in presenting their research and what can be learned from them. All three have end notes and all devote separate sections to distinguish the “dramatis personae.”

The narrative part of Colletta’s book is almost exclusively occupied by the story he uncovered in his research, with both posited and documented details, and only occasional mentions or hints of the sources and evidence behind the story. It is an interesting story, but for anyone researching in the locations where the story is set the goldmine is in the extensive endnotes. The endnotes paint an equally fascinating picture of how wide a researcher actually has to cast his or her net to get the whole story.

Luxenberg incorporates his sources and techniques into his story, though the endnotes elaborate on the sources and provide additional historical background. We genealogists and family historians often think of ourselves as detectives, and Luxenburg’s tale is a variation on this - in this case, we have a researcher who has the skills of/thinks like an investigative reporter. In addition to listing a few rather surprising sources, Luxenburg drives home the other essential quality genealogists/researches must have in addition to analytical skill: persistence - persistence in the face of obstacles, persistence in spite of discouragement, persistence when confronted by evidence that gives the lie to everything you thought you knew, and persistence to the point of chutzpah when necessary.

Leslie Albrecht Huber’s The Journey Takers picks up the themes of persistence and casting our nets wide and moves them into the realm of space and time, i.e., taking the initiative to go as far afield as you need to - to your ancestor’s homeland - and, as the years pass, to stick to following your ancestors’ paths, despite the interruptions of “real life.” She studies the language (German) of some of her ancestors, visits as many ancestral locations as possible, and immerses herself in their lives of long ago, even when the present persists in trying to pull her away.

So in addition to techniques, all three books point to a kind of ultra-commitment to the pursuit of our ancestors, something like the extreme effort put forth by the best athletes: do as much as you can and then do more, find everything you can find and then search some more, immerse yourself completely.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Started an Online Tree Error, or (Mis)Using Blogs as Sources


I never meant any harm. We were all having such a good time, back in February of 2010. It was the Geneabloggers Games: sources were being cited, data was being backed up - there was activity all over the geneablogging community.

 I was in the middle of work on the Norman family - the ginormongous family of J.M.C. Norman, to be exact. I started on the Newton Leonard Norman family. The oldest child was daughter Dissie.

My trusty guide in this endeavor was Inez Cline. Her Norman Family History, based on extensive interviews with numerous Norman family members, contained this one throwaway line on Dissie Norman: “b. Aug. 5, 1891 d. Oct. 9, 1908 m. Jack Norman, son of Jane. Her other son named Moore. No issue.” No one else had ever listed a husband for Dissie - because her last name never changed.

This led me to try to untangle an intriguing mystery - was Jack Norman related to “my” Normans? - and at every step of the way, another mystery would pop up, making the whole story almost Southern Gothic in its twists, turns, and possible scandals. Central to these mysteries was the identity of Sarah Jane “Aunt Jane” Norman: mother of Dissie’s husband Jackson Norman (apparently illegitimate), mother of Tom Peat Norman (most likely the illegitimate son of a member of a neighboring Moore family for whom Jane had worked as a servant), and finally, last wife of the colorful and oft-married Civil War veteran Zara Cotton.

I ended up writing an 8-post series on this for the Geneabloggers Games:

Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 1
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 2
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 3
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 4
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 5
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 6
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 7
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 8

Part 5, dealing with my efforts to find Sarah Jane Norman’s family, is the misleading post: “I was starting to suspect that Norman was [Sarah] Jane’s maiden name. I went back to look at the entry for her in Findagrave, and was stunned to see a name there that I had somehow failed to see the first time: ‘Daughter of Louisiana Norman.’” “Not to jump to conclusions, but … Joseph Madison Carroll Norman had a sister named Louisiana.”

And this must be the origin of the error for which I am now responsible.

I found this error last night in someone’s Public Member Tree on Ancestry: Husband of Dissie Norman > Jack Norman. Mother of Jack Norman > Sarah Jane Norman. Mother of Sarah Jane Norman > Louisiana Norman. Parents of Louisiana Norman > Thomas S. Norman and Nancy Larue. Those are J.M.C. Norman’s parents. That makes this Louisiana Norman J.M.C.’s sister.


This is the only other public tree I have seen with a husband for Dissie Norman. And it is definitely the only tree listing J.M.C. Norman’s sister Louisiana as Sarah Jane Norman’s mother. And my blog is the only place where this relationship has ever been posited.

Note to person with this family tree. Honey, you need to read the entire series. Because in the last post I kind of busted this theory by finding a husband - John Norman - for this Louisiana/Lousa/whatever her name was: “And this John Norman was born in Alabama. That doesn’t mean that he was one of “my” Normans, but it doesn’t rule it out, either.”

So, for what it’s worth: Louisiana Norman, daughter of Thomas Norman and Nancy Larue, was not the mother of Sarah Jane Norman, mother of Jackson Norman who married Dissie Norman, daughter of Newton Leonard Norman.

That and a note to the owner of the Ancestry tree should fix it, right?

Who am I kidding. My half-baked (and busted) theory is going to be perpetuated for eternity.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Photo Tagging Follies

My daughters like Pez. And they LOVE Lord of the Rings. So this seemed the ideal present.

iPhoto seems to recognize these guys as human. Except for Legolas and Gimli. But they do have faces.

It's the pictures like this one in iPhoto that make me scratch my head:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Finds and Fun: 13 January 2012

This week’s theme is from resolutions into reality - where the rubber meets the road (i.e., some good tools to help us out):

Using Maps

Here is an interesting new site (which I found thanks to the Genealogy Insider): HistoryGeo.com (www.historygeo.com/) by Arphax - tools for using maps in your research: marker tools, search tools, etc. I haven’t given it a try, yet, but I am thinking of it since I have three of their books and find them to be excellent research aids.

Arphax books I have: Family Maps of Jersey County, Illinois; Family Maps of Greene County, Illinois; and Texas Land Survey Maps for Collin County, Texas

Here is the blurb:

“HistoryGeo.com is a subscription service available to PC and Mac users who need only a good internet connection and a common web-browser to access it. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome have all been approved for use.

HistoryGeo.com opens its doors with the immediate inclusion of all the maps in both the Family Maps and Texas Land Survey Maps series of books. These represent nearly 40,000 maps among twenty-three states, all of which display original land-ownership in the context of modern roads, waterways, and other features.

In addition to Arphax's proprietary map library, over 2,000 historical land-ownership maps from Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and Kansas, have also been added. Plans are to increase the breadth of the HistoryGeo.com library to include all of the U.S. and eventually, the world.”

Subscription prices are $44 quarterly, $66 semiannually, $99 yearly. Hmmm....

A Great Organizational List

Michelle Goodrum at The Turning of Generations has written one of those blog posts that I felt I need to copy in its entirety into a new document: “21 COFH - 21 Resources for Organizing the Family Archive.”

Contacts from My Website!

This week I got my first two contact reports from my website, Greta’s Genealogy! There has already been a big “data exchange” between me and the author of one of the e-mails.

The Inevitable Off-Topic

Here is another language blog that I have subscribed to (the first is Lingua Franca, which is where I found the link to this one; the subject was “word rage” - oops, that hits a little too close to home....):

Language Log

The original article in Lingua Franca where I found the reference was “The Year of Occupy” - an article which in itself deserves reading, since it invites you to consider newly minted words such as “humblebrag” and “Kardash” (hint - it’s a unit of measurement).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Help Me Out Wednesday: 11 January 2012

This week's question is:

Why would three guys sign a man's World War I Draft Registration card under the certification part? Could it have been because the man claimed "Eyes deficient" as grounds for exemption? The man in question is Marcus Lawson Kinsey (who married into my Norman family) and here are the signatures:

The signatures occur under the statement “I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that i have witnessed his signatgure, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, [except?] as follows:"

Input appreciated!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Distractions - This Explains It All

My husband posted this on my Facebook page. Not that he's trying to give me a hint or anything.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Genealogy: A Trivial Pursuit?

There is a stimulating and important conversation going on over at The Geneabrarian Reference Desk in “Eliminating the Hobby from Genealogy.” Not since a large number of posts appeared in the wake of RootsTech roughly a year ago and I wrote about my reaction to them in “Toward a Genealogical Democracy” have I been so compelled to “add my two cents.”

However, as I have tried to write down my take on this issue and the numerous associated issues it brings to mind, I see a chaotic whirl of thoughts that could turn into the monster post that became “Toward a Genealogical Democracy.”

So, instead, I propose to break this loaded and complex subject into two smaller posts: “Genealogy: A Trivial Pursuit?” dealing with the statement of the problem by Genebrarian; and “Genealogy: Vocation and Avocation,” dealing with issues raised by the commenters and possible ways professionals and dedicated amateurs can team up to overcome the problem.

In “Eliminating the Hobby from Genealogy,” Geneabrarian proposes the rebranding of genealogy from a “hobby” (something “nonessential, [...] an extra, a nice thing to have”) into a research method. I believe that Geneabrarian has correctly identified the potentially disastrous fallout from genealogy’s image as a “trivial pursuit”: “... lingering and catastrophic effects such as lower funding for local libraries and organizations that support genealogy collections, limited access to records on a all levels, and other fields looking down their nose at those "name collectors".”

There have been many issues igniting vigorous and heated discussion in the genea-blogosphere lately - the role of genealogical societies in the changing genealogy community, the importance of genealogy bloggers representing the field of genealogy in a worthy manner (and this one is directly related to the issue at hand), and the professional/amateur divide in genealogy, among others - but what concerns and alarms me more than anything is the continually eroding support for libraries and archives and the increase in misguided restrictions on access to records. It may irritate me that genealogical research does not get much respect, but the prospect of records being shut off from the public or even disappearing puts fear into my heart.

The ignorant stereotype of the genealogist/family researcher pops up in the printed media with a discouraging but predictable regularity. In the post “Book Review: The Genetic Strand” the Minnesota Family Historian gives a thumbs down to Edward Ball’s book, The Genetic Strand: Exploring A Family History Through DNA, and quotes the following passage from the book: “Genealogy, a search for family history, is practiced by millions of middle-aged and middle-class Americans, for whom it has traditionally been a way to snatch a bit of glory or a helping of fantasy from the past. It is, after all, the little activities, visiting libraries and surfing Web sites, that allow anyone to acquire "good genes." Most people who do family research are white, and most of them look for ancestors with the goal to unearth the whitest, most moneyed forebears they can. That is one definition of good genes.”

Of course, elsewhere we can find more positive portrayals of the pursuit of genealogy. The Geneabrarian points to the TV show Who Do You Think You Are as a venue wherein genealogy can “show itself to the public.” This is one of the reasons I would like for the show to place a bit more emphasis on the challenges of genealogical research and how much work goes into finding “small details” that lead the researcher to the answers he seeks. I am aware that not too much of this can be included in a show that has to be marketed to a broad audience, but even a few minor tweaks could paint a more realistic picture of what is actually involved in good research.

Ancestry’s current advertising campaign is singled out as another promotion of genealogy as an easy pursuit that can be practiced by anybody - no particular analytical skills or long hours of research required. As opposed to Ball’s broad-brush slander of the motivations of genealogists and family historians, these commercials pander to the “genealogy as a pursuit of the non-intellectual” stereotype. It seems that both those who despise us and those who court us are intent on pushing our beloved pursuit into the realm of triviality.

So what can we do? The Genebrarian and those who commented on her post have pointed out some of the difficulties we confront in dealing with this problem and have also touched on the areas where efforts need to be applied to find solutions. I hope to make some constructive (and realistic) suggestions in my next post.

I would like to thank Genebrarian for her eloquent post and for inspiring such a lively discussion!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How NOT to Jump-Start Your Genealogy

1. Get an iPad. No, really. And I don’t even have Angry Birds. There are so many wonderful apps for the iPad: Pandora Radio, Snapseed photo app, Flipboard, the Weather Channel, iTunes, and many more.

But wait, you say - how about the Ancestry and Reunion apps, Google Earth, the neat genealogy books you can load onto the readers, and a whole host of apps with genealogy relevance?

Oh, yeah. But first I have to check out the App Store, put a good station on Pandora Radio or crank up the iTunes, read my blogs ... you know.

And then it gets late.

2. Have cats. They play on their new condo, fight over Prime Real Estate (= my lap), knock my charts and papers off the table, and constantly demand to be fed and loved. Am I going to enter that ancestor into my database or kiss R.B.’s nose?

And then it gets late.

Distraction, Thy Name Is Cat

3. Work by an open window. The sun is shining, there is a bit of a breeze making the wind chimes go bing-bong-bing, a nuthatch is hanging upside down on the bird feeder, and the squirrels are playing tag.

And then it gets late.

4. Work to music. I really work best to music. So I put on iTunes or Pandora, and some of my favorite music cycles on. I think: “I should see if I can find this group on YouTube.” So I look it up, find a clip, and play it. And then YouTube suggests more interesting music in the same vein. And I click on it. And I keep on clicking.

And then it gets late.

And then I see “Popular Clips.” And I see “Kitten in a Hamster Ball.”

And then it gets really late.

5. Have Facebook, Google+, or Twitter accounts. I don’t have to detail this one for you. You know what happens. It gets late.

But it’s a new year now, time for a new start. So I am going to crawl upstairs to my office, pull down the shades on the window, keep the music off, put away the iPad and ...

Oh, look! The cats have all run to the window! There’s a squirrel on the bench, looking inside, and ....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday's Finds and Fun: 6 January 2012

So, in the spirit of Amy Coffin’s (We Tree Genealogy Blog) “Abundant Genealogy” theme for 2012, here are some things, mostly genealogy-related, that I’m happy to have found this week:

The picture above was taken by me and altered using the iPad app called Snapseed. I found this app featured on the blog iPad Insight, which mentioned that it could be downloaded free for one day (it usually costs $4.99). (I now know why the phrase “free apps” makes some people’s hearts beat faster....) With Snapseed you can manipulate an image in various ways as well as apply various “effects” such as Drama, Vintage, and Grunge. I can’t remember, but I think I used one of the Drama settings on the picture above (you can see the unaltered image in “Greenville 1 - Swamp Rabbit Trail”).

What does this have to do with genealogy? Well, um, it’s a neat tool to use in digital scrapbooking!

BTW, iPad Insight is a useful blog for learning how to get the most out of your iPad. I learned about this blog on Midge Frazel’s technology blog, Beyond the Horizon (“Got a New iPad?”).

The next recommendation is for Cemetery Census, a website which has an impressive compilation of cemetery surveys for the counties of North Carolina and Virginia. Thanks to Ginger Smith of Genealogy by Ginger's Blog for highlighting this site in a comment on the post “When Even Vital Records Can’t Be Trusted” on Missy Corley’s Bayside Blog. Findagrave and Interment.net are great sites, but they don’t have everything, and for those who research in North Carolina and Virginia, this is an excellent addition.

And finally, this month’s Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter mentions that Linda MacLachlan (the dynamic leader of the Society’s New England SIG) has a new publication: New Copies of Old Records From New Hebron, Connecticut: 1708-1875 (Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2011). According to the Newsletter, “Linda discovered original Connecticut township records that are not available in the Barbour Collection or on LDS microfilms. Working with town clerks, she found previously unpublished birth and marriage records.”

Hope these are helpful!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Help Me Out Wednesday: 4 January 2012

As I mentioned in the previous post on my 2012 genealogy and blogging goals, I would like to devote a number of posts to “giving and receiving” from the genealogy blogging community. “Giving” would be sharing helpful sources, websites, tools, etc. that I have found (Friday’s theme), and “receiving” would be drawing on the expertise of readers and fellow genealogy bloggers (Wednesday’s theme).

(This is somewhat in the spirit of what promises to be a 2012 trend among genealogy bloggers - the “buddy system.” I have been tempted in the past to participate, and in light of my failure to reach my goals from previous years, this would probably be very beneficial to my research. However, I do not wish to make promises that I cannot keep, and I am afraid that a big increase in work responsibilities may be the wrench in the works that that would make me a very poor partner who could not keep up her end of the deal.)

The question I would like to pose for today is:

Does anyone out there have experience in successfully syncing a large Reunion family file to the Reunion App on an iPad?

I received an iPad for Christmas and have installed the Reunion App on it. The instructions for syncing my Reunion files to the iPad are simple (go to Tools and click on “Sync”) and indicate that it is to be done via wi-fi, not through a USB connector. However, while the syncing process did appear to be underway, it never really got anywhere, that is, the little bar thingy never got any farther than about 25% complete.

Could the problem be that one of my family files is too big? If so, should I divide it up before trying to sync?

Advice appreciated!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year - A New Attitude: 2012 Genealogy Goals

2011 in Review

The great clean-up is over. New junk, dirt, and mess creep into the house, but it’s not overwhelming. The genealogy files are in decent shape, though photographs and mementos need some work. In 2011 I found some neat new tools and a lot of new information on my husband’s ancestors, but research on my own families has been very sluggish.

Figuring out how to do my family trees on my Weebly website (Greta’s Genealogy) was a significant move forward for me, even though entering information did take away from research time. I can see that it will be a good way to share information as well as a way to make me organize my information and sources. I also made greater use of Google Maps, especially in combination with address studies for particular ancestors or families.

Transcription was a great failure from last year’s resolutions (which term, note, I am no longer using, having switched to “goals”). I’m hoping that a focus on “getting all the stuff” for a particular person or family will cut things down to size: find document, log document, digitize and organize document, transcribe document, analyze document, record findings, and blog about findings. Make sure new information and conclusions are properly reflected in my genealogy program, Ancestry tree (when possible), and Greta’s Genealogy.

What Needs to Be Done in 2012

I still have to work on the time thing: What are the best ways to carve out time, even small scraps, and what can I do on days when I come home from work exhausted?


I hope that my research and reporting goals are sufficiently modest for this year: Consolidate the information on my Reunion program, Ancestry Public Member trees, and Weebly website up through the great-great grandparent level and complete my Genealogy Toolboxes on Greta’s Genealogy and Greta’s Genealogy Blog. Be ready by next year to start the real research challenges: the Moore, Floyd, and Lewis families, and my Lizzie Smith brick wall.


My blog is no longer the time-sucker it used to be, but I still believe I need to make greater use of it as a research tool, particularly to highlight and organize my research, with somewhat higher posting frequency while keeping the quality and relevance up. A couple of features I would like to run regularly:

1. Question(s) of the Week: In these posts I hope to take advantage of the knowledge of this blog’s readers and my fellow genealogy bloggers by posting my latest problems and conundrums, particularly questions on where to find information and how to use technology.

2. Flip #1 around to (I hope) pay back readers and other genealogy bloggers who have helped me out by reporting on information, tools, events, etc. that have been useful to me me: books, posts on other blogs, websites, lectures and webinars, etc.

That’s it. Keep it simple.

For my readers in 2012: I hope you find joy in your research, inspiration in your blogging, and happiness in your “real” life. You continue to make blogging one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my life.