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 14, 2011

What’s Hot

The National Genealogical Society Announces New Director: Teresa Koch-Bostic

FGS 2011 Election Results

Want to go to SLIG? Like to blog? SLIG is Having a Blogging Contest. Details from Adventures in Genealogy Education by Angela. Hurry because the deadline is midnight, October 15, 2011!

Finally, Bill West of WEST IN NEW ENGLAND is hosting THE THIRD ANNUAL GREAT GENEALOGY POETRY CHALLENGE. Get your poems to Bill by November 20, 2011 for publication on Thanksgiving day!

In the News

Unearthed Ontario tombstone has connection to Gen. Robert E. Lee

Anne Frank’s Relative Recalls Family History

Sons of American Revolution honor black woman for heroics during War for Independence

Flooded Vt. town struggles to ID cemetery remains

DNA sequenced of woman who lived to 115

Black Death’s DNA Decoded Using Teeth From London’s ‘Plague Pits’ Also, Scientists Solve Puzzle of Black Death’s DNA.

Help Wanted

It must be the time of year for family reunion planning. Rosanna Ward of Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts is Planning a Family Reunion from afar. She’s got some great ideas, but is she missing anything? Also, Lisa asks for your input in A Reunion – Is It Time? from Are You My Cousin?

Post your genealogical links to the Wiki from Genealogy’s Star by James Tanner

Can you help figure out What Year Was This? (from Valerie Craft at Begin with ‘Craft.’)

Will the real Franz please stand up? David from Family History Tracing says, I need help comparing two pictures.

“When choosing a genealogy education program, what factors are most important to you?” Sarah B. wants to know in her Reader Poll – Genealogy Education.

From the Blogs

Someday, my daughter’s descendants will thank me. Or hate me. What’s in a Name? Avoiding a Future Brick Wall from FamilyHistory4u by Sharn White.

Don’t Wait Until You Are Dead from by Michael John Neill.

Mining with Family Tree Maker from Genealogy’s Star by James Tanner.

Caution: put your coffee down before reading this. Top Scariest Things in Genealogy from Family Cherished by Valerie.

Favorite photo of the week: Friday Funny…Very Ladylike from They Came To Montana by Jennie.

Caroline Gurney of Caro’s Family Chronicles has been doing an interesting series on research in London. Start with Lost in London – 1: Why is London such a problem?

Another series worth checking out is Cheryl Cayemberg’s Peshtigo fire series. Start with Peshtigo – The Worst Fire in American History from Have You Seen My Roots?

Awesome Maps from The Ancestry Insider.

Objects in the Mirror Are Not Authoritative: The “Indirect Citation” from Barbara J. Mathews, CG, The Demanding Genealogist.

My Dears, Don’t Miss These 20 Fabulous Articles on Interviewing! from Dan Curtis ~ Professional Personal Historian.

The Last Byte

Who says kids aren’t interested in history and genealogy?

“Katelyn, a junior at Hemet West Valley High School who is in the Navy Junior ROTC program, was presented a small piece of wood that came from one of the most famous ships in Naval history that just so happened to be captained by one of her ancestors.”

Read more at HEMET: Fragment links teen’s family history to Navy.

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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 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?

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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

Best Bytes for the Week of November 19, 2010

Congratulations to Lisa Louise Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcast fame for publishing her 100th episode earlier this month (I’m a little behind, sorry). I was thrilled to be one of the folks offering kudos to her at the California Family History Expo last month. Looking forward to 100 more, Lisa!

If you missed the recent Atlanta Family History Expo, you can catch up with the action by checking out Atlanta Family History Expo Bloggers’ Recap.

In the News:

Interesting story of genealogy in a small, rural community – Destination: ‘A Little County Seat.’

Canadian Researchers, can you help find this family’s final resting place? Langley RCMP searching for family of after stolen cemetery plaque turned in.

Case closed, and we’ll probably never know what really happened – Mysteries of Tiny Bodies From 1930s Will Linger.

A fascinating life story – Hidden History: The Last Slave of Connecticut. (Side note: No one has applied for DAR or SAR membership referencing this ancestor yet. Will you be the first?)

Don’t go looking for headstones here – Revolutionary War soldiers buried under church parking lot.

And finally, the Community Service Award goes to: 4-year-old spiffing up headstones in honor of veterans, relatives (not my kid, unfortunately).

Science, Technology, and Social Media

A whole new meaning to “high resolution” – 80 Gigapixel 360 Degree Panorama of London is Largest of Its Kind.

It’s the end of an era: Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook.

Google’s Nifty Guide To Web Technology; It’s iBooks-Like But Built With HTML5. Need I say more?

Cool, but I still want a Kindle. You Can Now Gift Anyone With An E-mail Address A Kindle Book.

From the Blogs

With the holidays looming just around the corner (read: next week), you’ll want a plan in place for those family interviews that you secretly intend to spring on unwitting relatives. Take a look at Interviewing while looking at photo albums (Part 1) from Susan Kitchens’ Family Oral History Using Digital Tools. I love the pictures from this one (anxiously awaiting Part 2)!

Also on the topic of family interviews is Thanksgiving interviews by Paula Stuart-Warren at Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica. She’s got some great ideas for ways to share the information gathered.

Know what happens when genealogists work together? Stuff gets done! Read Nancy’s story, A Debt of Gratitude and William O. Henderson, on My Ancestors and Me.

What genealogist wouldn’t want to shop at the mall with its very own cemetery? Check out San Souci Shopping Cemetery by Kathleen at The Misadventures of a Genealogist.

If your Irish ancestors are giving you grief (like mine are), take a look at J. Geraghty-Gorman’s Tuesday’s Tips: Researching Ireland away from her shores at ‘On a flesh and bone foundation’: An Irish History. While you’re there, you won’t want to miss the stunning photos in Fizzy Friday: Autumn comes to Dublin City. Simply gorgeous!

Are you confused about the hubbub surrounding the GEDCOM standard? Read James Tanner’s When is a standard not a standard? When its GEDCOM? at Genealogy’s Star for clarification.

I loved Melissa Mannon’s story about Intangible Heritage, at ArchivesINFO, and not just for the very cute project she did with her daughter. It’s a great outside-the-box story.

New blogger GeneJ asks you to be the judge in Mixing it up: the indirect evidence challenge on They Came Before. Great job, GeneJ!

If this place doesn’t really exist, then Becky Wiseman has some seriously good Photoshopping skills! Don’t miss Greetings from KenTennMissAla at Kinexxions for some unbelievable autumn beauty.

From the PLAN AHEAD Department: The Ancestry Insider shares Can You Say “Surprise Child?” Poor Samuel… at least mom still had some thread left.

Finally, never one to disappoint: footnoteMaven shares The Baffled Photographer on Shades of the Departed. Yet another reason not to work with children or animals.

The Last Byte

Family Tree Magazine has recently announced that it’s time once again to nominate your favorite genealogy blogs for the 2011 Family Tree 40. Nominated blogs must:

  • be primarily about genealogy
  • belong to an individual or individuals, not to a business
  • not primarily exist to market products
  • be active, having at least four posts per month for the past three months (blogs newer than three months must have at least four posts per month since the blog has been in existence)
  • contain information about the blogger(s), such as an “About Me” page
  • not be hosted by a Family Tree 40 panelist (Lisa Louise Cooke, Randy Seaver, Thomas MacEntee and DearMyrtle) or by Family Tree Magazine

For more information about nominations and voting, visit The Genealogy Insider. To nominate a blog, visit Family Tree Magazine.

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I read (what seems like) a ton of blogs and news articles each week, but unfortunately, I can’t possibly share all the good stuff here. To subscribe to my Google Reader shared items, please visit my Google Profile. Be sure to also check out the weekly picks of others, such as Randy Seaver, Diane Haddad, Megan Smolenyak, Susan Petersen, Greta Koehl, and the Follow Friday posts listed on Geneabloggers. Happy reading!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal
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