Our Ancestors Can Be Mighty Proud

My new keyboard

My new keyboard

Today has been a fun day for me. Filled with lots of well wishes, celebration and a few gifts. Cake was a part of the day too and you just can’t go wrong when gifts and cake are involved. Then per my techy gadget requests I received a bluetooth keyboard for my IPad and some ITunes gift cards. I don’t download music much. No I head straight for the App Store. Today I purchased a word processing program just as soon as my gift card could get it for me. This post is my inaugural voyage into what I hope becomes real mobility in writing electronically.

So why am I telling you all this? Only because I’m amazed at the incongruous world of the 21st century family historian. We seek any tidbit or mention of a 19th or early 20th century ancestor and then use the best modern day technology available to record the events of people who barely had running water. The contrast makes me smile.

Through my IPad, IPhone and online research I find my e-ancestors knowing their hard physical labor laid the groundwork for my conveniences today. As I use my Flip Pal to scan their photos and Google books to read county histories from my recliner I am mindful that my ancestors and their peers have provided me extraordinary ways to research and relax today.

Most parents measure success by giving their children a better life than they had. If that is the barometer used to measure by, our ancestors can be mighty proud. They have provided us with an exceptional way of life and I thank them as I brush cake crumbs from my new bluetooth keyboard.

Thursday’s Thoughts on Genealogy and Everything Else

Genealogy research, genealogy resources, free genealogy, family tree

Photo In Possession of Author

Hi genealogy friends! This post – Thursday’s Thoughts is an assortment of ideas that have crossed my mind this week! Nothing profound, just observations and who knows, maybe you’re thinking the same thing!


#Genchat is tomorrow night (Feb 8th) and is sponsored by the staff at The In Depth Genealogist. (For further info click here.) The first #Genchat was fast and furious. I was happy to observe and gain some really helpful tips. Tomorrow night’s subject is Weekend Warriors: best tips for 60 minutes of research but let me tell you, many other genealogy questions are asked and answered. So don’t skip #Genchat lots of subjects are covered.


Me and my genea-buddy sister did some courthouse research this past week. She has a new wand scanner. Boy was it nice. She gave me copies of what she scanned and I was very impressed with the quality. (I’m lucky I can borrow it if she isn’t with me on a research trip!)


I am fascinated with the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. Using DNA to accomplish the identity of a man who lived in the 1400s is remarkable.


Genea-buddy sister and I also went to our local museum’s library to do some research. Actually she does a good work and volunteers there, I was doing research. One of the items I was looking through was the Roster of Ohio Soldiers 1861-1866. I have gone through it many times online but Continue reading

Exciting Things are Happening at The In-Depth Genealogist!

The In-Depth Genealogist

The In-Depth Genealogist

Hi my genealogy researching, with a hint of Civil War, blogging friends! In a recent post I shared info on The In-Depth Genealogist (IDG)!

If you’re not aware, The In-Depth Genealogist is a monthly digi-magazine with a single goal: Bring all genealogists together to learn and share from each other.

They have a lively updated website packed full of info. From their blog, to forums and of course the monthly magazine you will be sure to find valuable info for your research. Make sure you subscribe to the monthly magazine! You won’t want to miss one word! Just click on the website and look in the right column for the subscription information!

In addition to the snappy new website and new monthly magazine format there are many new writers who will be contributing to IDG. Folks like Julie Goucher, with her column, “Across the Pond” discussing Research in the United Kingdom. Also Shannon Combs Bennett with Society Pages and Tech Reviews and Gena Philibert Ortega’s, “Remembering the Ladies: Researching Your Female Ancestors,” just to name a few.

My column Tracing Blue and Gray . . . . . bringing life to Civil War research will still be found monthly too. You can read about it here.

I’m very excited about the new IDG! I hope you’ll join me at the In-Depth Genealogist and continue to meet me back here for Civil War Saturday each week! We’ve got lots to learn and share together!

Have a social media presence while you’re busy being social this holiday season!

Crowded Christmas Mall -  Photo courtesy of Morrhigan at stock.xchng.com

Crowded Christmas Mall – Photo courtesy of Morrhigan at stock.xchng.com

Oh the holidays! The fun of family get-togethers, food, parties, decorating, shopping and the list goes on and on and on! Now juggle that with your job, your blog, writing, researching, let alone keeping up with your social media accounts. It’s enough to make you throw your hands in the air and run screaming from the room until January 1st. Don’t laugh. I did just that last year!

Not that I have the answer to creating more hours in the day during December but I have come across a handy-dandy little item that you might use to help with your social media presence.

If you use a WordPress theme on your blog, I’ve got a plug-in for you!! Tweetily.

Tweetily downloaded to your WordPress site will randomly tweet past blog posts. You have the option to decide how many times a day Tweetily sends out a post, you can include hash tags, exclude certain posts, add links, etc. You can even dictate the time frame of posts to be tweeted.

You have a lot of valuable information in past blog posts that gets buried as new posts are written. Tweetily puts those forgotten posts back in circulation allowing your readers a chance at some well written tips or techniques. It refreshes our memory on research help you wrote about or a brick wall that finally came tumbling down. It’s a given we’re not all on Twitter at the same time so a random tweet reminds us to visit your website.

Also if your Twitter account is already linked to your Facebook page, that randomly tweeted blog post will be posted on Facebook as well. Your followers will get your message on either of these social media platforms.

Try Tweetily. It will help in giving you a social media presence while you’re busy being social this holiday season.

P.S. I’m aware of Tweetily because I use WordPress. If you’re using a similar app let us know in the comments. I’m sure it will be helpful to someone else. Thanks!

Are You Mobile? Better Yet is your Genealogy Website Mobile Ready?

Genealogy Circle on a smart phone

Genealogy Circle on a smart phone

Recently I wrote a blog post about my occasional help with The In-Depth Genealogist Facebook page. A couple months ago I asked the question: “How often would you like to see the blogs you read updated? Are you disappointed when it’s only once or twice a week?”

The topic generated several answers, some offline discussion and although not scientific, I thought the outcome interesting enough to share it with you. You can read that post here.

I put a similar topic out for discussion a couple weeks ago. “Many articles I’ve read lately point out that increasingly people now use their smart phones w/internet more than laptops or tablets. Do you check blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc. more on your smart phone than on your laptop or tablet?”

The answer to my question was nearly unanimous. No!

Those who do use smart phones check their email and their Facebook page on their phones but they leave blog reading until they’re at home with their laptop. Only one responder said they had even looked at a blog on their phone.

Wow! Although my survey isn’t scientific in the least, I was curious as to why the response to my question was opposite of the articles I’ve been reading. It could be that my audience, all genealogists, were a generation older that those tabbed in the articles. Yet was that the entire explanation?

Personally I Continue reading