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Genealogy Tip of the Day

Genealogy Tip of the Day

I’m testing out Blog This! an extension for the Chrome browser. When I see something that I would like to share I can now do it with a click instead of making notes or attempting to remember it.
This is from Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day. I’m a fan of Michael who also does Casefile Clues discussed here earlier.

Genealogy Tip of the Day: Have You Overlooked an Alternate Spelling?: “Have You Overlooked an Alternate Spelling?
Is it possible you’ve overlooked an alternate spelling of a last name? A relative’s mother’s name was listed in all documents as Morris. Her Social Security Application listed the last name as Morse. Just one that for some strange reason had not crossed my mind. It happens to all of us.”

The Quilt

The Quilt

When the weather starts to turn, too cool for just a sheet, not cool enough for a blanket, I drag out my old quilt. As I did so this year I thought it was looking pretty tired. It is fraying, has some holes through one layer, has some spots and is yellowing. But it is still in one piece and still does its job. My friend Betty, who is a quilter, sent me something to soak it in that took out a lot of the spots and the yellow. Smells strange but it did a nice job.

Get a new one? Not a chance. I have been dragging that quilt around all my adult life. I slept under it long ago in college. I wrapped up in it in my chilly apartment in Chicago. I still sleep under it at various times even though it is too small for the bed.

The quilt is a double wedding ring, obviously made for a double bed. I remember my grandmother pulling it from a pile of old and unused quilts in the back of the closet. She said she made it when she married. Back then they still had quilting bees as entertainment in the winter. She had one that was made of scraps, literally, a hodgepodge of fabrics and shapes. Many scraps had someone’s name embroidered on them. It was interesting but some of the scraps were wool and my skin doesn’t like wool. So I ended up with this quilt.

My grandmother married on January 19, 1910, over 100 years ago. I should look as good as the quilt when I am that age.

Presenting Dr. J

Presenting Dr. J

This isn’t about ancestors or ancestors hunting. It’s about this this very cute girl pictured with her grandpa.

Here they are a few years later. She’s a junior at La Lumierie in this picture taken after Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah. [Yes, Sarah got cut out for this blog.]

After spending more than 20 of her 25 years in school she is now Jenny Tristano, M.D. Shortly she begins her residency at a major Chicago hospital.

Congratulations Jenny!!!

The First Settlers

The First Settlers

Your ancestors were the first settlers of the country? They came over on the Mayflower? This will come as a surprise to many but the Pilgrims were not the first European settlers in America. They weren’t even the first English settlers. This fact is often overlooked in the scramble to form history around Thanksgiving.

Just over 100 Pilgrims arrived in 1620 in Massachusetts followed six years later by the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam, now New York.

But in 1607 a group of English colonists – 104 people sailed from England – arrived in Virginia and established the first permanent English settlement in America. How could you forget Captain John Smith and Pocahontas?

In 1565 the Spanish established a colony at St. Augustine in Florida. St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied European settlement in America thanks to about 100 settlers and even more soldiers who came ashore that September.

The oldest [and largest] European settlement in what is the continental U.S. was made on August 15, 1559, when Don Trist├ín de Luna y Arellano and over 1,400 people settled on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico. They called it Pensacola. Just a month later a hurricane struck the colony. Many were killed. Half the ships sank and supplies were ruined. The survivors stayed on but the natives weren’t friendly and famine set it so they left in in 1561. Presumably no settlers stayed behind in Pensacola and left descendants. The Spanish did not return and reestablish the colony until 1696.

Slide and Negative Converter

Slide and Negative Converter

Turns out if you ask enough people one of them will be the right one with the right answer.

Slide and Negative Converter

Take all those old 35mm slides and film negatives out of storage and share them with family and friends. This film scanner makes it easy. Simply load negatives or slides into this compact scanner to transfer to digital files. Once scanned, share them and save them. Scans images at 5.0 mega pixel quality. Auto color balance and exposure. Films color, monochrome film and mounted slides. Built-in back light. 2.0 USB interface. Outputs to JPG or TIF formats. Compatible with Windows Vista and Windows XP. (Converter is not compatible with MacIntosh computers.) Model #FS-C1-VP.

The irony here is I saw this item less than a week ago, laughed and said, but who has slides and negatives anymore.

Tomorrow I will be having another look at this product. Stay tuned!

Negatives, Slides – Now What?

Negatives, Slides – Now What?

This morning, in a box I probably haven’t opened in more than 20 years and at least 6 moves, under a collection of my published newsletter articles from long ago, I found envelopes full of negatives and a box full of slides. I thought I was done with pictures except for the two boxes sitting at my feet in preparation for Scanfest October 26.

1. How do I look at these things to determine if I want to mess with them? They could date back to about 1960 so I must look.
2. How do I scan those I want to keep? Would it be easier to scan first and then decide — would they be more viewable, better able to manipulate size, etc. if I scan first and ask questions later?
3. Are there web sites, books, etc. I should be looking at? I have Maureen Taylor’s book as well as a couple others but they are geared to identifying rather than scanning.
4. Who would know about this?

Tag – You’re It!

Tag – You’re It!

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings started a game of tag. I was tagged by Libbi Crowe.

10 Years Ago I

# was involved with ILGenWeb
# was living in Tennessee
# foolish believed they got all of Michael’s cancer
# was plotting a move to the Emerald Coast
# had just gotten my Caravan — which I still have

5 Things on Today’s To-DO List

# get the HBTS newsletter done
# finish several pleadings
# find out about a couple genealogy programs
# think about how I am going to fix my LAN
# answer some genealogy email

5 Snacks I Enjoy

# fruit
# Chex Mix – but I avoid it
# cheese
# most anything that goes crunch
# fresh brewed unsweet iced tea

5 Places I Have Lived

# Mt. Pulaski, Illinois
# Chicago, Illinois
# Oak Park, Illinois
# Birchwood, Tennessee
# Navarre, Florida

5 Jobs I Have Had

# Editor
# Reporter
# Paralegal
# Freelance Writer
# Caseworker

5 Blogs I Tag to Play

# Tina Sansone of BellaOnline
# everyone I know has been tagged!

Where Did I Put That? – Getting Organized

Where Did I Put That? – Getting Organized

Going Digital 5

Just because the paper is now digital does not mean you don’t need a system of organization that you can use to file and retrieve the documents. For most this is the hard part. Fortunately it is easier to search and move digital files than boxes or shelves of books, magazines, saved articles, etc.

Remember the lady with the file cabinets? That’s a pretty common method for filing. Each file cabinet becomes a folder. But, with digital documents, you can easily have a subfolder for each and every surname in that line. You can file great aunt Milly under her maiden name, as you should, and slip a copy under her third husband’s name if you know that’s where you’ll look for it because you cannot recall her maiden name. You can file a copy of Joe and Mary’s marriage certificate under Joe’s surname and another under Mary’s maiden name if that will help you locate it later. You can have many copies of the same file without worrying about taking up space.

I have a folder for forms, another for those digital books, one for each course I have taken, another for articles to read. A copy of the article may be wherever it seemed appropriate too — research in Greene County, Ohio, is probably also filed under a couple surnames and, maybe, in a Greene County folder too. You can get as complex as you want, folders with subfolders in subfolders, or keep it simple. You can have the surname folder, then a subfolder for pictures, one for census, one for vital records, etc. You can just put all the files in the surname folder. You can do some variation. Digital makes it easy. And if you start simple and later decide to go complex it is easy to just move the files to new folders.

I do not mean to suggest I am totally bookless or paperless. I recently had new carpet installed and, weed and scan as I might, I still have a whole bookcase for genealogy. But it is only 100″ of books, a significant reduction. And I am down from eight file drawers to less than three.