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.

*   *   *

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.

*   *   *

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 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 23, 2011

The vampires are coming out early this year!

What’s Hot

FamilySearch Adds 16 Million New Records – New Collections for Brazil, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ecuador, and U.S.

Virginia researchers should consider offering input about Access to Virginia Vital records. Details from by Michael John Neill.

NGS adjusting the pricing for its American Genealogy Studies courses effective 1 October 2011 from UpFront with NGS

Amazon’s Kindle Gets a Library Card from Wired Top Stories.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is releasing the seventh and final volume of The Great Migration Series: Immigrants to New England 1634—1635 which is now available online at This latest volume includes all immigrants whose surnames are “T” through “Y.”

Something Cool

The City: A Beautiful Time-Lapse Portrait of San Francisco from PetaPixel.

Christmas is Coming! from Moultrie Creek Gazette by Denise Barrett Olson.

21st Century business card designs from Planting the Seeds by Michael Hait, CG(sm).

Google has a cute doodle today celebrating Jim Henson’s (of Muppets fame) 75th birthday. You simply must play with it.

In the News

At least he should get a lot of Father’s Day cards: Who’s your daddy? As kids conceived with donated sperm grow up, life may get complicated for donors.

2 teens accused of stealing Revolutionary War weapons from NJ museum during Irene power outage

Still searching for owner of suitcase – Memory Lane – Peterlee Mail

Help Wanted

How to donate to help archives affected by flooding from ArchivesNext by Kate T.

S. Lincecum asks how you handle your precious documents in Protecting Precious Documents & a New Birth Record Found at Lincecum Lineage.

Do you use RootsMagic? Jennifer Holik-Urban would like to know your thoughts on this program at Tech Tuesday – RootsMagic Part I
from Generations.

Food Memories Contest. Be part of the Life in Context Project!

Margel would like your advice about a School Genealogy Club Possibility at 2338 W. Washington Blvd.

Genealogists living outside of Canada are being asked to take a Canadian Genealogy Survey (hat tip to Chris Paton at Scottish GENES).

From the Blogs

Genea-Investors: Is Wall Street Telling Us Anything About “Big Picture” Genealogy? from Mnemosyne’s Magic Mirror by Mel Wolfgang.

Of Wagons, Indians and Gold from Nolichucky Roots by Susan Clark.

Genealogy in 2111 from ProGenealogists. Think about it.

Tombstone Tuesday – Genealogy Serendipity Strikes Again! from The Faces Of My Family by Lisa Swanson Ellam.

Jean Hibben has been writing an interesting series of posts about Postmasters. Check out U.S. Postmasters – last of a series: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Circlemending and work your way backwards.

Antietam, the General & Serendipity from Adventures in Genealogy by Deb Ruth.

The Last Byte

First there was Is Nicolas Cage a Vampire from the Civil War Era? A dealer on eBay offers very compelling (IMHO) photographic evidence for sale for $1 million.

But as of yesterday, Nicolas Cage ‘Vampire’ Photo Vanishes From eBay.

Coincidence? Maybe. But I’m getting my garlic necklace ready, just in case.

And somebody better check on that dude selling the photo.

(Hat tip to Roma Miller for sharing this story!)

*   *   *

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 16, 2011

Hi Grandpa, what’s new?

Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it!

What’s Hot Releases the 1930 Mexico National Census to Open Gateway for Hispanic Family History Research

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies Offers Discount to Celebrate Anniversary – details on Angela’s Adventures in Genealogy Education.

In the latest FamilySearch news, China, Hungary, Mexico and U.S. Collections Each Add Over a Million Records.

There will be No Scanfest This Month at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.

Tipper at Blind Pig And The Acorn says, “I’ve Got Tickets To The JCCFS Fall Festival – Want To Win Them?” You have until September 20, 2011 to enter.

If you can’t spring for $12.95/month, you might be interested in’s new $4.95/month mid-level subscription category, Geni Plus. More information on the Geni blog, Introducing Geni Plus.

If you’re going, apply for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) – Scholarship before the October 1, 2011 deadline (hat tip to Julie at GenBlog).

Sweepstakes two-fer: While you’re researching your Mexican roots, be sure to enter’s “Journey to Your Roots Sweepstakes” to win a “personal discovery trip” to Mexico. You can also enter the “Tweet to Win a free World Explorer Membership” while you’re there, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter.

Enter Family Tree Magazine’s publishing contest: What Makes Your Family Special? Tell Us & You Could Win a Family History Publishing Package!

In the News

A Palo Alto-Based Startup Launches the World Virtual Cemetery to Change Forever the way People Deal with Death

Historical society fills gaps in story of veteran’s death: Tombstone will be placed in Yankton cemetery Saturday

Founder to be honored at grave site: Guiding spirit recounts effort behind Friday’s rededication

Help Wanted

Got Memories of the M/S Pilsudski? An Author Wants YOU! See Heritage Zen by Cynthia Shenette for details.

Need help from Military Buffs please, probable Queensland Regiment from From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard.

Are you reading Are You My Cousin? by Lisa? If so, How Did You…. find her blog?

Deb Ruth is working on a Herbert Hoover Letter Mystery at Adventures in Genealogy. Have you any insight?

Here’s one that always puzzles me: Geniaus asks, Christmas Newsletters – Trash or Treasure?

My kid just started Kindergarten, and I can already relate: Milfireguy’s wilfe asks for advice on What to Keep and What to Toss… at Diggin’ for Family. (I recommend checking out Greta Koehl’s post A Proper Place for Sentiment at Greta’s Genealogy Bog, as well as the post from The Family Curator, below.)

Do you love genealogy? Tell NGS why.

From the Blogs

Can a genealogist ever have too much stuff? Umm… (cough, cough) I plead the Fifth. However, The Family Curator offers a Short List: What to watch for in a family archive which might help you know what to keep and what to toss.

How important are those credentials and certificates? Hopefully not as important as manners. Marian Pierre-Louis from Roots and Rambles got the 3rd degree at a society meeting, And So She Risks Everything by Being Completely Honest. What do you think?

Is your Facebook stuff important to you? Avoid Losing it ALL on Facebook by Joan Miller, Luxegen Genealogy and Family History.

Agreed: Genealogical & Historical Societies Need To Provide Benefits For Distance Members from Generations by Jennifer Holik-Urban.

The Insider Uncovers Secret Program from The Ancestry Insider.

Also along those lines, check out Randy Seaver’s thoughts, Genealogical Societies Should Consider Ancestry Content Publisher, at Genea-Musings. What do you think of this service?

The Last Byte

My favorite story of this week is a local one from San Luis Obispo: Nostalgia in a modern world: Brothers chat from afar. For those of you who think you’re too old to learn something new, these two brothers will show you why it’s never too late. Thanks to video conferencing – and their local VAs – two centenarian brothers get to catch up after a decade of not seeing each other.

Perhaps more of us should take a moment to catch up with family members we haven’t seen in a while. Do you use video conferencing? If so, how do you use it, and what do you use? Have you tried it for oral interviews?

*   *   *

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
Translate »

Get the Latest News!

Sign up today for free to be the first to get notified about Genealogy Blog Party themes, cool deals, and other newsletter-only content!

Thank you for subscribing!

Pin It on Pinterest