Best Bytes for the Week of October 22, 2011

What’s Hot

Although not hot in the classic sense, this has been making big news in the genealogy community: beloved web site Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) has gone down – and will stay down – indefinitely. I first heard about it from Vermont Genealogy, RAOGK is Down Indefinitely. Dick Eastman has also posted about this news at Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness (RAOGK) will be Offline for Some Time. Be sure to read the comments for suggestions on how to help in other areas. Also, check out the RAOGK Facebook Page where folks have also been offering assistance.

Serious Threat to VA Vital Records Access — Your HELP is Needed NOW!

You still have time to go RootsTech on the cheap: RootsTech Conference Discount Oct 27-29 ONLY from SCGSGenealogical Society Blog. Hurry, deadline is October 29, 2011.

National Archives Joins iTunes U Community.

National Genealogical Society Seeks Nominations for the 2012 Genealogy Hall of Fame. Deadline for nominations is January 31, 2012.

Cool Stuff

Video: 10 Years of Fires on Earth Seen From Space from Wired Science.

Looking for creative gift ideas? Check out Christmas is Coming! from From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard by Helen V Smith.

Another possible gift idea? Write an Ancestor’s Story For an Original Piece of Artwork from Remember by Betsy Cross. No deadline is given, but the winner will be announced on October 31, 2011, so get your story in before then!

I don’t, but I might: DO YOU TATTOO? WEARING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY from Irish Genealogy: Help! The Faery Folk Hid My Ancestors! by Deborah Large Fox.

In case you missed it: Jennifer Shoer at The Scrappy Genealogist invited several geneamommybloggers to share their secrets in her series: How She Does It – Secrets from a Geneamommyblogger. Six moms – and a dad! – bared their souls, telling how they juggle family, work, genealogy, blogging, personal hygiene, and life in general.

In the News

Safer Down Syndrome Test Hits Market Monday

Gone but not forgotten: Latter-day Saints clean up neglected black cemetery

New Irish DNA atlas will uncover makeup of Irish

Help Wanted

Who is she: Another Baby Doll is Looking for a Name from The Turning of Generations by Michelle Goodrum.

He’s a cutie, but who is this Mystery Little Boy (from Nutfield Genealogy by Heather Rojo)?

Here’s another: Unidentified Photograph – Can You Help? from Are You My Cousin? by Lisa.

Calling all people who can read old handwriting: 1789 document from Bridgwater concerning John Chubb needs transcribing (from Bridgwater Gene Pool by Ursula Martin).

“The Rideau Township Historical Society, located just south of Ottawa, has announced that they are still collecting information and photos of barns in the former township of Rideau before they all disappear.” See Barns Appreciation Project from Genealogy Canada by Elizabeth Lapointe for details.

Decisions, decisions: D Lee from A Patient Genealogist needs help selecting the most useful class at an upcoming genealogy conference. See Thankful Thursday to offer your advice.

If you like working at home in your PJs, here are a couple of volunteer projects that you might enjoy: The San Joaquin County Obituary Indexing Project Is A Go! from The Educated Genealogist by Sheri, and Volunteer Opportunity: Civil Cases Project from the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society.

From the Blogs

What set you on your genealogy journey? The Moment You Knew from The Armchair Genealogist by Lynn Palermo.

A Window into Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Car from Nebraska History Blog by lmooney.

Public Libraries Are Free; So, Does That Mean They Don’t Cost Anybody Anything? from Mnemosyne’s Magic Mirror by Mel Wolfgang.

Do those Captcha codes make you nuts when you try to comment on a blog? Yeah, me, too, and we’re not alone: Easy & Fast is the Name of the Comment Game from For Your Family Story by Caroline Pointer.

Genealogy and the Brand New You – Part Deux from Family Cherished by Valerie.

Good Source for World War I Overseas Research from a3Genealogy by Kathleen Brandt.

Mine was “Lamb Chop,” and I did it in my bedroom and my car: Reminiscing – Before Twitter from Ancestors Live Here by Leslie Ann.

Fave photo of the week: Wordless Wednesday – the Lamb family from Blundering Blindly Backwards by RAH. I’ve seen some scared-looking new dads before, but this guy takes the cake!

The Last Byte

Last Tuesday, I made an out-of-the-blue decision to schedule a mammogram. This was a big deal for me because two medical procedures that I never, ever wanted to have again were a mammogram and a colonoscopy. Eewww.

I’ll try to write more about my experience next week, but for now, suffice it to say that the mammogram wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered it being 13 years ago (yes, I put it off for a while).

So ladies, in the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage you to schedule a screening for yourself. Your family needs you to be alive and healthy so you can take care of them… and carry on the family history research.

And if you still think you need a reason to do this, I invite you to read this post by Jim’s Girl: Wisdom Wednesday: Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Why I am Taking a Blogging Break.

I dare you not to have the phone in your hand as soon as you finish reading it.

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If I missed a good story, please share in the comments.

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items, please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan PetersenLynn Palermo, Deb RuthJen, John Newmark, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Best Bytes for the Week of October 7, 2011

What’s Hot

FamilySearch adds new records for Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain and the U.S.

Which type of tree best represents your family history? Find out what 13 bloggers said at the Carnival of Genealogy 110th Edition at Creative Gene.

Wanna Win an iPad 2? Yeah, so do I (probably the only way I’ll ever get one!).

If you need a little help, Fold3 is offering The New Training Center to get you started.

New National Archives at St. Louis Holds “Star Quality” Records

Chronicling America Now Has More Than 4.1 Million Pages Available

Marisa Tomei, Martin Sheen & Blair Underwood to Guest Next on NBC’s WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Something Cool

Time to get your spooky on: It Is Time For My Annual Halloween Video! from The Educated Genealogist by Sheri.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with genealogy, but I thought it was hilarious: Men Photographed in Stereotypical Pin-Up Poses from PetaPixel. Believe me, they’re not bringing sexy back.

In the News

Tombstone identify [sic] case cracked

Revolutionary War battlefield of Saratoga to be excavated

Jacksonville woman finds family again through genealogy website

Finally, someone’s not trying to make our jobs more difficult: GENEALOGY TODAY: States considering easing access to vital records.

Help Wanted

Was “Hon.” used in the same way as “Esq.?” Denise Spurlock of Denise’s Life in the Past Lane asks, Is This Man My Grandfather?

Attendance was good, but not that good. Who hasn’t thought that at a genealogical society meeting/conference? Debbie Roberge of the Maine Genealogical Society asks your input in Why or Why Don’t You Attend A Conference?

Michelle Goodrum of The Turning of Generations asks how you use your smartphone for genealogy in Stepping into the Next Generation MIchelle also asks, Can You Identify this Baby Doll?

Kim von Aspern-Parker of Le Maison Duchamp needs a name. No, not for her, silly – for her business. See Naming Contest for details.

Have Indiana Ancestors? If so, consider contributing to the “Once a Hoosier” and “Always a Hoosier” projects. Details at Blog of a Genealogist in Training by N. LaRue.

Do you read “Luxembourgish?” If so, Julie Cahill Tarr could use your help – Can Anyone Translate? from GenBlog.

From the Blogs

Who doesn’t love a good blogger meet-up? Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots share her recent experience of Meeting Bloggers I’ve Not Met Before (One of these days, Barbara!).

Is this an awesome photo, or what? See Wordless Wednesday ~ Grandfathers by Elizabeth of From Maine to Kentucky.

If you’re in Canada – or even if you’re not – check out Twelve Months of Genealogy – October for some cemetery fun (from The Passionate Genealogist by Ruth Blair).

But… is there a vaccine? Scientists Discover Virus Responsible for Genea-Skankery from Clue Wagon by Kerry Scott.

How do you evaluate the evidence? Take a look at how Bill West does it in A “T CHART” FOR CALEB COBURN at West in New England.

Why you should read the whole census form: 1910 Census Enumerator, Which John Brenner? from Stardust ‘n’ Roots by GeneaPopPop.

In Which I Stop the Madness, and Start the Research Logging from Rainy Day Genealogy Readings by Jennifer.

“Redactio Ad Absurdum”? Can’t Tell You: It’s Classified from Mnemosyne’s Magic Mirror by Mel Wolfgang.

I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Is It Important to Recall Memories Accurately? from ArchivesInfo by MELISSA MANNON.

The Last Byte

I don’t know about you, but I was particularly saddened by the news of Steve Jobs’ death this week. It just seems so tragic that such a creative genius was taken so early in life. I can’t help but wonder what else he might have invented if he’d lived a bit longer.

His Macintosh computers especially impacted my life. If it hadn’t been for Mac, I don’t think I would have overcome my fear of computers, or learned programming and web design web. Oh, I suppose I eventually would have sat down to learn the rudimentaries, but to truly conquer a computer, you cannot be afraid. And before Mac, I was afraid.

While I no longer have an Apple computer on my desk, we do have two iPhones and 2 iPods in our house. And I’m still trying to talk Santa into bringing me an iPad for Christmas.

As President Obama pointed out in his statement on Jobs’ passing, “…there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

I first learned of his passing in a tweet from KFI640.

On my iPhone.

*   *   *

If I missed a good story, please share in the comments.

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items, please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, Deb RuthJen, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Best Bytes for the Week of September 9, 2011

What’s Hot

If you’re not one of the lucky folks at the FGS Conference this week, you can follow along with the action at Twitter or by visiting any of the sites of the many bloggers in attendance.

Elvis is in the Building! And if you happen to get a photo of yourself with him at FGS, you could win a free registration to the 2012 SCGS Genealogy Jamboree! Deadline is September 12, 2011.

Pssst! RootsTech is offering a deal to FGS attendees, as well as wannabes at home. Get the skinny from Amy Coffin at RootsTech 2012 Registration Discount at FGS2011.

FamilySearch Adds Millions of U.S. Civil War Records

Blogger Denise Spurlock is offering a 1-year subscription to if you participate in the Workday Wednesday Challenge: Occupations in Census Records at Reflecting on Genealogy. Deadline is September 15, 2011.


California Governor Signs Law to Protect Against Genetic Discrimination

Blogger Buzz is Announcing the Blogger app for iOS. “With the Blogger app, you can write a new blog post and publish it immediately or save it as a draft right from your iOS device. You can also open a blog post you’ve been working on from your computer and continue editing it while you’re on-the-go. Your blog posts are automatically synced across devices, so you’ll always have access to the latest version.” Awesome!

“Starting this weekend, the closest supernova found in at least 25 years will be visible from your backyard with just binoculars or a small telescope.” Details at How to See a Supernova This Weekend From Your Backyard from Wired Science.

Sacred sites: From Ground Zero to Pearl Harbor, how America deals with heartbreak and healing

Gold Rush history told in biographical novel (Calaveras County, CA)

Dead-end genealogy search leads to historical novel

Help Wanted

Join the conversation: September 11 – Bearing Witness to History.

Judy Webster of Genealogy Leftovers wants to know why people feel compelled to “tweet” live during conferences? Why don’t they just wait until afterwards? Your thoughts on Genealogy Conferences and Social Media Policy?

Jo from Wibbling Jo’s Genealogy Blog needs Canadian tips in A bit of a riddle

“Seeking birth records pertaining to births that occurred at ‘Fairhaven Home for Unwed Mothers (Circa 1929) – Sacramento CA.’ If you know where these records might be held please let us know.” See Mystery Monday – Sharpen those Sleuthing skills – Your help is needed NOW from Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Advice Needed-Why Do You Like Your Smart Phone? from The Turning of Generations by Michelle Goodrum

FamilySearch Research Wiki Needs Writers! Details from Genealogy Canada by Elizabeth Lapointe.

Help Given – Do you have an orphan heirloom in need of rescue? Send your orphan heirlooms home! from UpFront with NGS

From the Blogs

Meta… what? Technophoo. Have no fear… from They Came Before by GeneJ

If you’re looking to organize your busy family (so you have more time for genealogy), check out An Organizational Tool for Busy Genealogy Moms… and Dads! from The Armchair Genealogist by Lynn Palermo

Societies and Book Publishers: A New Partnership? from Roots and Rambles by Marian Pierre-Louis

You mean, we can’t even trust MOM? “If Your Mother Says She Loves You…”: On the Importance of Questioning Sources from Mnemosyne’s Magic Mirror by Mel Wolfgang.

Before you visit, read Are You Visiting NEHGS? #1 from Life From The Roots by Barbara Poole

And Never the Twain Shall Meet – Using Divorce Records in Your Research from Carolyn L. Barkley

Saving Private Ryan… and Parker and Johnson and… from Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy by Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist

Should Genealogists Care About Voter Registers? from a3Genealogy by Kathleen Brandt

Genealogical Societies Should Consider Ancestry Content Publisher from Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver

How Your Ancestors’ Occupation Can Help Your Genealogy Research from Begin with ‘Craft’ by Valerie Craft

Excellent analysis: Which sibling is it? The importance of a detailed date from Photo-Sleuth by Brett Payne.

Making A Great Digital Genealogy Publication at Family History with the LINEAGEKEEPER

What’s that again? Of Boilerplate and Black’s Law Dictionary from Staats Place by Chris Staats.

The Last Byte… Just for Fun

Here’s one you have to see to believe: TALK ABOUT A MEAN DRUNK from Family Trees May Contain Nuts. Hopefully this problem can be contained.

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If I missed a good story, please share in the comments.

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items, please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, Deb RuthJen, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Best Bytes for the Week of June 3, 2011

Evil, they name is “Carbohydrate.”

I started a new diet this week, so I hope you will forgive my grumpiness. I seriously think I’m having carbohydrate withdrawals, and it’s starting to affect my mood.

That being said… I will be taking the next 2 weeks off from writing “Best Bytes.” Next Friday, I’ll be busily enjoying the SCGS Jamboree, along with about 70 other geneabloggers and thousands of genealogy enthusiasts from all over the country (dare I say WORLD?). The following Friday, I’ll be in San Mateo at the N.S.C.A.R. Western Regional Meeting, enjoying the sights and sounds of the lovely California Bay Area.

Hopefully by the time I return, I will have experienced an attitude adjustment.

Note to my husband: Please do NOT remind me ONE MORE TIME that today is National Donut Day. It’s a bad idea to mess with a woman having carb withdrawals.

In the News

5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet

Want to go back to get those ancestor answers? Desktop Big Bang Shows Time Travel May Be Possible After All.

Students Curate ‘Inventing Brooklyn’ Exhibit at Brooklyn Historical Society

R.I.P. Paul B. Ferrara, pioneering Virginia DNA scientist, dies at age 68; remembered as visionary.

Help Wanted

The FGS Outreach Committee is accepting nominations for the FGS 2011 Youth Award, which honors volunteers under the age of 18 who have made a significant contribution to an FGS member society. Submit your nominations by July 15, 2011.

Sheri from The Educated Genealogist is looking for interested genealogist to participate in a research group. See NGSQ Articles Online Study Group for details.

Jen from Climbing My Family Tree wonders if she did the right thing in Tombstone Tuesday: Gravestone-Tipping. Really?

D Lee from A Patient Genealogist wonders about the safety of sharing family information online in Tech Tuesday: How do I protect my family?

Jim’s Girl of Jim’s Girl Family History Blog is Looking for Julia Moynihan, Grandad’s Sister the Sister. Can you help?

From the Blogs

This one will give you a big case of ancestor envy: John Laymon – a photograph helps locate 100 family members from Long Lost by Susan Petersen

Had enough of Blogger down-time? Check out Is it time to move to WordPress? from Moultrie Creek Gazette by Denise Barrett Olson.

Smartphone users: don’t let this happen to you – Scrappy Gen Gets Organized – Backup Smackdown Meets Lookout from The Scrappy Genealogist.

Chris Staats from Staats Place wrote a thoughtful post about the ol’ “pros vs. hobbyists” discussion in Beep, beep! Researcher Coming Through!!

It appears that source citations passions are “blooming” like spring flowers again. Randy Seaver from Genea-Musings does his best to fan the flames round up various bloggers’ posts on the topic in Inflaming Source Citation Passions.

Another hot topic this week has been self-publishing your genealogy. By Kimberly Powell of the Guide provides some resources in Self-Publishing for Genealogists.

And… not really genealogy-related, but still a great story: How Twitter made a believer out of me by Shelley from A Sense of Family. I’ll be keeping an eye on TweetDeck the next time I fly!

The Last Byte

My family takes honoring military veterans and service people very seriously, especially at times like Memorial Day. So this story made me very unhappy: Soldiers’ graves at Old West Farms cemetery tell story of bravest sacrifice.

Sadly, the 40 men who served in four wars buried in this 200 year-old cemetery were forgotten on Memorial Day.

I know, I know… people are busy, and not everyone cares.

But let us never forget that freedom isn’t free.

And it doesn’t cost anything to spend a few minutes saying thank you to a veteran, alive or deceased.

*   *   *

If I missed a good story, please share in the comments!

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items (which are some great stories that I just didn’t have the time or space to post here), please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Best Bytes for the Week of May 6, 2011

Wow, was this a big news week, or what? First we have the Royal Wedding, then America’s Most Wanted is… well, no longer wanted, if you know what I mean. It’s hard to top what’s happened this week with anything new. But despite all the excitement, here are a few items that caught my eye:

Freebies and Goodies

Legacy Family Tree has announced a contest at its new Facebook page where contestants could win one of five special Legacy Family Tree software/webinar bundles and even a new netbook computer. Deadline is TODAY, so don’t dawdle!

You Could Win a Year of Family Tree Magazine and a Geni Pro Account! Contest ends on May 8, 2011.

Help Wanted

Robert Baca of The Baca/Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog is Looking for a Spanish translator to help him with a couple of documents.

Nancy at My Ancestors and Me asks: Do You Search Systematically Or …?

Susan Petersen at Long Lost asks: Could You Walk Away From Genealogy? No, but I’ve known a few people who have.

Michael John Neill is seeking input on the “Daily Genealogy Transcriber” from users and followers of his blog.

DNA: Do you hold the Gift of Life? from Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog by SCHELLY TALALAY DARDASHTI

In Elusive events, Geniaus wants to know: How do other Australian Genealogists find events?

In the News

Hard to believe it’s still there: Activists want N-word gone from Calif. gravestones and follow up Prison Industry Authority offers to replace offensive gravestone markers.

We want to see more: Google to Send Hordes of Photographers into Businesses for Street View Photos.

Ever wanted to travel back in time to your favorite city and imagine how it actually existed hundreds of years ago? Mapping the New Age of Augmented Travel.

In case you missed it: Facebook Group Helps Photographs Scattered by Tornado Find Their Owners

Trove of historic records of Holocaust goes online

Historic Philadelphia Graveyard A Magnet For Genealogy Researchers

Outside looking in at historic cemetery in Exeter Township

From the Blogs

Get your TECH on at the Carnival of Genealogy, 105th Edition at Creative Gene!

Stories such as this were not uncommon in East Tennessee during the Civil War: My House Divided – Civil War Saturday by by Susan at Nolichucky Roots.

Are you getting the most Twitter bang for your tweet? See Publishing with Twitter from Moultrie Creek Gazette by Denise Barrett Olson.

Sad, but interesting: Separate But Equal? WWI Draft Registrations from Into the LIGHT by Renate.

Two from GeneaBlogie by Craig Manson: Research Note: A Bit of Info about SSDI and Research Note: The SSDI (Part II).

Using Autsomal DNA Testing to Identify An Adoptee’s Roots from The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger.

George Washington’s Beer Recipe from Minnesota Family Historian by MNFamilyHistorian

Like trains? Like maps? Then this one’s for you: Railway Maps of the World Now Available from The Map Room by Jonathan Crowe.

I dream of moments like this: A Tale of Two Photos from Family Archaeologist by Linda Gartz.

The Last Byte

Despite all the big news this week, this one stuck with me for some reason: Claude Stanley Choules dies at 110; last known World War I combat veteran. Not only do I find it amazing that he lived to the ripe, old age of 110, but after serving in two major wars, he still considered himself a pacifist. “He didn’t believe in war,” his daughter is quoted as having said. Perhaps serving in two wars is the reason.

Did I miss any good stories this week?

*   *   *

To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items (which are some great stories that I just didn’t have time to post here), please visit my Google Profile.

Be sure to check out the weekly picks of Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, Donna Pointkouski, Lynn Palermo, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal
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