Saturday, May 24, 2008

A "gigantic" Drouin success story!

I have only one French-Canadian ancestor (to my knowledge - if I find her parentage, I'll probably have lots more!) - Sarah (or Sephrona) Fletcher who married Abraham James Kemp. I'm always on the lookout for information or databases that can help me.

The latest email issue of The Global Gazette newsletter, published by Rick Roberts, came today and one of the feature articles "Little Victoria and Gigantic Drouin Finally Spell Success" by Xenia Stanford caught my eye. What a great story about finally finding her distant relative in the Drouin collection of French-Canadian records, which are now available on

She found the records in a church in Quebec that she didn't expect to find them, but because Ancestry has an index for the Drouin collection, she was now able to find the records she couldn't find before. The key is the Index!

If you don't have, you can access it using Ancestry Library Edition at many public libraries and Ancestry Institution at the LDS Family History Library and 13 Family History Centers, plus some of the Borders Bookstores with access.

Xenia and I go way back to the early-90's days of Prodigy and Delphi and other online services with genealogy boards. It was fun to read what else she has written over the years - each author on Global Gazette has their own page with a list of articles - Xenia's is here. She told me once how to pronounce her name - I always wanted to say "zeh-nee-ah" but I don't think that's it. "She-nee-ah?" "eks-een-ah?" [This is a test to see if Xenia Googles herself often ...).

Why does she call it the "gigantic" Drouin collection? Because:

"I do want you to know though that this is not the Rouge or Petite Drouin or even the Bleu Drouin. Those are indexes only. This is why I am calling this collection the gigantic Drouin! It is not just the number of names indexed. It is more than an index. The index links to the actual microfilmed parish register page. There you can see what was actually recorded on the day it happened. In other words it is a primary source. It is not just 37 million indexed records. It is hundreds of thousands of parish registers right there at your fingertips and computer screen."

Please read all of Xenia's article, and consider subscribing to the free Global Gazette newsletter.

Pretty cool - thanks to Xenia for a great success story! It's good to see her writing an article again.

ProGenealogist site has many links

One of my favorite "genealogy portal" sites is ProGenealogists at Their site description says:

"A professional genealogist with experience, knowledge and access to billions of records is ready to assist you in United States, Canadian and European research! We conduct family history and genealogy research in archives across the world, including the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our specialists are well-versed in the record collections of archives across the world. We know which records are readily available and which will best meet your research goals. ProGenealogists specializes in researching and documenting family histories; including all aspects of United States research, immigration, European, Canadian, lineage societies, colonial research, and Medieval British research. We can also help with detailed and thorough genealogy record searches, too. "

The company performs genealogy research for clients (you can see their list of services at

The real genealogy treasures on their web site are the organized links to databases on other sites, including:

* United States Genealogy Sleuth - research by state, record type, etc. - see

* International Genealogy Sleuth - see

* Specialty Sites for Genealogy Research (Belgium, Danish, German, Great Britain, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian, Swedish, Swiss and West Indies) - see

* Citation Guide - see (includes templates for some specific databases)

* Genealogy Articles - see

* Research Tools, Calculators and Dictionaries - see

* Genealogy Tools - see

* Search for Surnames - see

* Religious and Ethnic Groups - see

* More Sources and Resources - see

Of course, many of the links to specific databases go to commercial web sites such as, and they denote them using a $ sign. Resources that ProGenealogists will research from microfilms at the Family History Library are denoted by a red X.

The value of this site to researchers is that all of these links are in one place. You can determine from their lists if there is a web site that you have not visited. for instance, I wasn't aware of the Family Tree Searcher site ( until I saw it on their list and tried it for several of my brick wall ancestors (it didn't find them, however...).

Genealogy quote #1 - solve it!

John D. Reid posted a genealogy cyber-quote one week ago on his Anglo-Celtic Connections blog that was an intellectual challenge. I'm completely out of blog posting ideas today, and with little time to do a lot of research, so I'm poaching his idea.

Here is a famous quote about genealogy:


This is a letter replacement code puzzle - you have to figure out the right letter that replaces the letter above. For instance,

GENEALOGY might be

KYRYQCPKE in a certain code (not the one above!).

Please put your solutions in Comments! Don't look before you try to solve it! Who is the genealogy super-sleuth?

Have fun!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lisa does Enumerate Me!

Blogger and podcaster (and TV star) Lisa Louise Cooke has succumbed to the temptation to find certain names in the census records - see her post "Enumerate Me! ... and him ... and her ... and her" on her Genealogy Gem News blog.

Well done, Lisa. Good fun!

Check out Lisa Louise Cooke's podcasts at and sign up for her free Genealogy Germs newsletter at

Have you found people with your name in the census records? Try it!

If you offer it, they will come!

Gary Gibb on the blog has a post today titled "Why such little interest in Central and South American records?" He describes the surveys they have taken and the results show that, even though there are many people from these countries in the USA, and in the countries themselves, the interest in genealogy research seems low.

I commented to his post by saying:

An interesting question, but I can think of several responses.

1) How many databases do you have for Central and South America?

2) It’s a pretty big place - with a total population exceeding North America. Only Belize and Guyana speak English as a first language, right? Brazil speaks Portuguese, Surinam Dutch, and the rest speak Spanish. Does Ancestry have a Spanish or Portuguese language capability?

3) The population of much of Latin America is poor, and does not have universal Internet access. If poor, buying basic necessities would trump paying
for an Ancestry subscription - but a subscription to what?

4) If you offer services in their language that meet their needs, they will come. The horse has to come before the cart.

I really believe that any subscription web site has to offer significant and indispensable content to any new market, in the market's dominant language, before there will be an influx of paying customers. That just makes sense, doesn't it?

I believe that the vast majority of immigrants from Central and South America in the USA are working hard, trying to assimilate into the culture, and staying in touch with their families in their home country. Genealogy and family history is not a priority to them in their lives at this time.

Those that may be interested in genealogy in Latin America probably have developed their own set of research sources - both online and offline.

Here in the San Diego area, we are close to the border with Mexico, and there is some interest in genealogy research among citizens of Latin American heritage. There are major research databases online at the LDS IGI and Ancestral File, and offline with church/parish baptism/marriage/burial registers available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Library. LDS FamilySearch Record Search has also made the images of the 1930 Mexico census available - but there is no index for this census yet.

What say you? Do you agree with me that "if you offer it, they will come?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New databases on FamilySearch Record Search

I posted earlier this month about the databases then available, and the completion status, to search or browse for FREE on the LDS FamilySearch Record Search site.

They have added several new databases since then, including:

* 1860 United States Census - indexing 5% complete

* Germany Baptisms, 1700-1900 - no completion status given.

* Germany Marriages, 1700-1900 - no completion status given.

* Mexico Baptisms, 1700-1900 - no completion status given

* Mexico Marriages, 1700-1900 - no completion status given

* Michigan Births, 1867-1902 - no completion status given

* Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897 - no completion status given

* Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 - no completion status given

* West Virginia Births, 1853-1930 - index 36% complete

* West Virginia Marriages, 1853-1970 - index 36% complete

The Germany and Mexico birth and marriage records are those submitted by volunteers over the past 30 years or so from whatever records may be found by researchers. They are not from specific record sets.

It appears that they are adding or updating databases on Record Search every two weeks or so.

The Indexing project is doing extremely well, isn't it? Thank you to all the Indexers beavering away.

I Collect Dead Relatives. Why?

Larry Lehmer on the Passing It On blog has an interesting post today titled "You are what you collect, to a point." He describes his own collections and some characteristics of collectors.

My own life collections are similar to Larry's - I've collected stamps, coins, baseball cards, bottle caps, maps, popular song surveys, distant radio station audio tapes, radio station verification cards and letters, and now "dead relatives." Well, not really the relatives themselves - but information about them.

I started collecting information on dead relatives in 1988, and haven't stopped since. Since I've found most of the ones that I can find (I have lots of brick wall dead relatives - the ones I can't find), I've taken to helping others collect information on their dead relatives.

I started out just collecting names, dates and places of my dead relatives, but now I collect family stories, obituaries, papers, census records, military records, cemetery records, and lots more - whatever I can find out about a person. In addition to my own ancestral line, I've taken to collecting information on dead relatives who are descended from some of my ancestors - in the Seaver, Carringer, Dill, Vaux, Smith, Auble, Richmond and other family lines.

Why do I do this? Is it just something to do to impress other people, or as a conversation starter? You know -

HE: "What do you do?"

ME: "Oh - I collect dead relatives - you know, genealogy."

HE: "Hmmm. Do you have them all in your house on the mantel over the fireplace, or do you keep them in a mausoleum in the backyard?"

ME: "No - I just leave them where they were buried, and collect their names, dates, places, stories, etc."

HE: "How boring is that - you probably hang around libraries, cemeteries and musty old museums, right?

ME: "Sure - where else do you find records of dead relatives?"

HE: "Well, it was nice talking to you."

ME: "Wait, you didn't tell me about your ancestors. Where were they from? Where did they live? Where are they buried? Got any interesting stories?"

HE: "Ummm, I really don't want to talk about this ... I really don't know. Gotta go"

ME; "OK, bye."

Look, here comes a lady with a smile on her face.

ME: "Hi - do you collect dead relatives too?"

SHE: "Mind your own business. I don't talk to people like you. You're just trying to find out my credit card number, aren't you?"

Oh well. I tried.

But I didn't answer the question, did I?

I collect information on my dead relatives so that I can tell their stories, honor their memories, and provide an answer to the age-old questions "Where did we come from?" and "How did we get here?" for my brothers, my children, my cousins and their progeny. They're all too busy doing other things in life - like raising families, working hard, and making their own family history.

Why do you collect information on dead relatives?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Census Templates in Microsoft Word format

Have you ever wanted to be able to fill in a census template in Microsoft Word or some other format? Now you can!

Check out the Genealogy Genius web site Census Templates at . They have templates for every census from 1810 to 1930.

This download web page says:

"Click on the link and it will download the form for use on your computer. We have found that it is much easier to review your transcribed census records if they have been entered on the computer instead of being written in longhand. Also it makes it easy to share your transcriptions with others researching the same family. Simply include the saved form as an attachment in your emails to others.

"It has come to our attention that many of you are filling in our forms by hand and not using your computer. The reason these forms were designed was to make reading a transcribed form easy and to be able to share it with others. We always provide transcribed census forms for our research clients, which makes a much better presentation than an often very difficult to read copy of the actual report or a handwritten transcription. We advise that you fill in the form using Word on your computer.

"Make sure that you save the original blank form on your computer for future use. Once you have it saved you can open it up in Word and enter your new data.

"We welcome your comments regarding your use of these forms. If you have any suggestions for improvements please do not hesitate to contact us. Please be specific as to which year and the column you are commenting about. You will not be put on a mailing list and your email address will not be given to any third party. Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us.

"We suggest using two monitors, one for the Ancestry page and the other for our census form. It is quite easy to set up a 2nd monitor if you are using Windows XP. It can also be done if you use a lap top along with a desk top unit."

As an alternative, you can either split your screen into two windows (one with the census image on it, the other with the MSWord form on it) and transcribe into the MSWord form. This works really well for me, although you do have to scroll the screen occasionally.

After entering data into the blank form, be sure to save it with an appropriate file name and put it in a file folder that you can find on your computer.

If you want to share it with another researcher or family member, you could make it a PDF file using an MSWord to PDF translator like CutePDF or others.

Family Photographs - Post 6: Thomas Richmond Family

I'm posting old family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be wordless posts like others do - I simply cannot have a wordless post.

Here is one of the oldest images from my Richmond family collection:

The people in this photograph are (left to right):
* Charles Percival Richmond (standing, 1880-1910)
* Everett Glens Richmond (seated, 1875-1917)
* Alma Bess Richmond (seated on Edwin's lap, 1882-1962)
* Julia (White) Richmond (seated, 1848-1912)
* James Henry Richmond (seated on Julia's lap, 1885-1913)
* Thomas Richmond (seated, 1848-1917)
* Edwin Thomas Richmond (seated on Thomas' lap, 1883-1935)
* Emily White Richmond (seated, 1879-1966)
* Grace L. Richmond (seated, 1876-1963)
The oldest daughter, Anne Frances Richmond (1869-1939) was not in the picture.
This Richmond family photograph was probably taken on the Richmond farm in Putnam, Windham County, Connecticut. It was probably taken in 1886 or 1887 (since James, the youngest, was still in a "dress"). The photographer is unknown.
Alma Bess (Richmond) Seaver is my grandmother, and Thomas and Julia (White) Richmond are my great-grandparents.
This photograph is in the possession of Randy Seaver, and was obtained from the Seaver family photograph collection handed down by his parents.

Family Tree Builder software (from released an upgrade to the Family Tree Builder software last August (I just found out about it) that they offer FREE to download. The current download is Version 2.0.0 Build 657. The Genealogy page for is at

The Family Tree Builder software is described as:

"Download Family Tree Builder, our free genealogy software for putting together your family tree. It's not only completely free, and free of ads and spyware, but it's also one of the best genealogy software programs you'll find. It has original, easy-to-use pages that let you grow your family tree visually. It runs in 23 languages and lets you create and print your family tree in several languages. Bring your family tree to life with photos and documents and use our ground-breaking face recognition technology to annotate your photos and discover the identity of people you don't recognize in your old family photos. In a few mouse clicks, you can publish your family tree to the Internet on your own family Website and share it with family and friends!"

You can see some screen shots from the Family Tree Builder software at

There is really only one way to evaluate genealogy software, and that is to test it for yourself. I downloaded the updated software (I had downloaded Version 1 last summer, but had not done much with it since) and loaded my 20,000 person genealogy database as a GEDCOM file. It loaded very quickly - I'm thinking it took less than 30 seconds (I should time these, I guess, if I'm going to make comparisons. Memo to self - do it!).

I will show some screen shots and provide my review of this software in future posts.

If you are looking for genealogy software, you might consider Family Tree Builder.

The web site has many more features - including a powerful Genealogy Database Research engine, a collection of over 3 million searchable Family Trees, a Face Recognition opportunity, and more.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FTM with Ancestry Deals

Nothing But Software ( has several good deals for FamilyTreeMaker 16 or 2008 bundled with an Ancestry subscription. These deals vary over time, so what I list today may not be available later this month or next.

The current deals include:

* FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Platinum with 6-months of Ancestry (US Deluxe) - $79.95 - link.

* FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Deluxe with 3-months of Ancestry (US Deluxe) - $59.95 - link.

* FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Essentials with 1-month of Ancestry (US Deluxe) - $26.95 - link.

* FamilyTreeMaker Version 16 Essentials with 3-months of Ancestry (US Deluxe) - $16.95 - link.

* FamilyTreeMaker Version 16 Standard with 6-months of Ancestry (US Deluxe) - $29.95 - link.

Each package comes with a number of other items. for instance, the FTM 16 Standard includes:

* 6 Month Subscription to The world's largest collection of family history information, is the ultimate resource for genealogy research. Features access to over 5 billion names, current and historical world images, records and much more. (Up to $180.00 Value!)

* New! Official Family Tree Newsletter. This monthly newsletter contains tips and tricks to create one-of-a-kind family tree projects.

* Concise Genealogy Dictionary. This specialized dictionary is a time-saving, essential quick-reference source geared to the needs of he genealogist who frequently encounters unfamiliar and obsolete terms while reading historical documents. ($14 Value!)

* Official Family Tree Training DVD. Master the basics as the experts take you on a video guided tour through Family Tree Maker's key features. When you are done you will be able to share your information with other researchers through beautiful charts, heirloom quality books and a free homepage on the Internet. ($15 Value!)

* Family Tree Workbook. An all-in-one teaching and recording tool for novice genealogists who need clear, easy-to-follow instructions and quick results. ($20 Value!)

* 30 Minute Genealogy Consultation. Still have questions? Get quick and easy answers in minutes. A life expert genealogist is just a phone call away. ($60 Value!)

There are other genealogy software deals - you can check them with this link.

I'm still 6 months away from having to renew my Ancestry subscription, but I try to keep an eye on these offers. Attentive readers will recall that I got a 12-month Ancestry subscription, and FTM 16, last year for $16.95! I publish them here in hopes that my readers who want to obtain an Ancestry subscription at a reduced price can do so!

NGS NewsMagazine Table of Contents - April-June 2008

The April-June 2008 issue of the NGS NewsMagazine (Volume 34, Number 2), published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS), arrived recently, and, as always, I read it cover-to-cover. The Table of Contents include:


* Research in the States Series expands, by Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL and Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL - page 10

* 2007 NGS volunteers - page 12

* NGS Statement of Financial Position - page 14

* 2007 NGS donations - page 16

* Reconstructing family history from museum visits, by Arlene V. Jennings, CG - page 16

* Courage on the seas: Records of the United States Life-Saving Service, by Debbie Mieszala, CG - page 23

* Reaching genealogists through words, by Gary M. and Diana Crisman Smith - page 28

* Care and repair of photographs, by Janet Hovorka - page 33

* What is APG?, by Gordon Gray - page 38

* Case Study: Not so plain Jane, by Andrea Brower Swanson - page 52


* National Archives: Adding 'final pension payment voucher' records to the researcher's toolbox, by Alycon Trubey Pierce, CG - page 42

* Beginning Genealogy: Research dilemmas of broken homes, by Gary M. and Diana Crisman Smith - page 49

* Software review: Review of Family Tree Maker 2008, by Barbara Schenck - page 55

* Technology: Papa's got a brand new genealogy bag, by Drew Smith, MLS - page 59

* Writing family history: A paradigm shift? Biology vs. lineage, by Harold E. Hinds Jr., PhD - page 62

As always, this was an issue with several interesting and useful articles.

La Jolla DAR Genealogy Workshop on May 24

I received this notice via email last week:

Do you have a Revolutionary War Ancestor?

The La Jolla Chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution will hold a Genealogy Workshop on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 11:00 A.M. at the La Jolla/Riford Branch Library at 7555 Draper Avenue, La Jolla.The workshop is open to the public. All Daughters of the American Revolution and prospective members would greatly benefit from this information.

This workshop is designed to assist in the following:

* Organizing your Family Records
* Gathering Information from Family Members
* Securing Certificates: Birth, Death, Marriage
* Searching Federal Censuses
* Searching State and County Records
* Using Libraries and Web sites designed to search for Family Records

Linda Phillips, La Jolla NSDAR Chapter Registrar

I'm unsure if this is only for females, or if male researchers can also attend.

The Ancestry Database Card Catalog

Did you know that has a Database Card Catalog? They hide it well - it's at The only place I found it was on the Search tab sub-page at

Why don't they put a link to it on their main entry Home page so that it's easy to find and use? I often want to look through the card catalog for a specific county, state or country - just to see what is offered in their 25,000 plus databases.

For instance, I was looking for Mississippi databases - just browsing so I can help a colleague. On the Card Catalog page, I input "Mississippi" in the "What location are you interested in?" box.

I received a list of 8,562 databases - including all of the census records, military records, etc. Checking this out, 8,231 of them are the Family and Local Histories. It's not clear if they all mention Mississippi, but I sincerely doubt it.

So I selected "Birth, Marriage and Death Records" in the "Record Type" box, and there were 24 matches. Including four that are specifically related to Mississippi only - all marriage indexes. Others that obviously have MS records are the Social Security Death Index, the Obituary Collection, the Freedmen's Marriage Records, the New Orleans French, etc. But there are some listed - e.g., Boston BBMDs 1630-1699, Mayflower Marriages - that surely don't have a single mention of Mississippi in them.

With "Mississippi" in the "Keyword" box, I got essentially the same numbers for the different record types.

This Card Catalog could be very useful if it had sufficient keyword applications applied accurately.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Most Important Announcement from NGS

There was a flurry of announcements from the National Genealogical Society Conference in Kansas City last week - I tried to summarize them here.

In my opinion, the most important announcement - with far reaching consequences and a real advance to all genealogists, was the FamilySearch and announcement "... a partnership between FamilySearch and to publish the Family History Library Catalog -- the largest single database of genealogy sources in the world -- in Web 2.0 fashion."

The FamilySearch announcement is here, and the FamilyLink announcement is here. Paul Allen (CEO of blogged more about the background and the details of this announcement here. Please read ALL of Paul's blog post!

The most enlightening parts of the announcement are in Paul's blog post, including:

* "Whenever a source listed in the catalog has been digitized, and exists somewhere online, there will be links created to the digital version by users or through automation technology that will utilize. "

* "Since only a tiny fraction of the known genealogical content in the world is in digital format today, the catalog serves an incredibly valuable purpose, directing researchers to offline sources including microfilms that contain the answers they are looking for. (And those microfilms can be accessed from over 4,500 family history centers around the world, for a very small fee.) "

* "As more and more sources become transcribed or digitized, the catalog will directly link to the online version, whether they exist on,,,,, or on Google Books, Microsoft Live Books, USGenWeb, WorldGenWeb, or other web sites, saving researchers countless time."

* "The new catalog, which will be available via both and in the future, may become the single best starting point for family history searches, the way Yahoo used to be the best place to find any web site, and may help any researcher quickly see which sources will help the most, and which other researchers have used those sources previously."

* "This means that individual genealogists, librarians, archivists, and others from around the world will be able, when the Catalog 2.0 comes online in the coming months, to enhance and extend the value of the catalog. Users will be able to add new sources that are currently in the library catalog, and thus extend its scope of coverage. They will be able to improve the source descriptions, and even rate and review sources as to their usefulness."

The way I read this last paragraph is that users can suggest new sources NOT currently in the Catalog - otherwise how would it extend scope of coverage?

It took me awhile to understand the importance of this announcement. Just making the FHLC available on FamilyLink is one thing - doing everything that Paul says they are going to do is breathtaking. This FHLC 2.0, when it comes to fruition (and I don't doubt that it will, do you?), will be the "GO TO" starting point for every genealogy researcher. It will include:

* Links to online digitized information for surnames, localities, events, indexes, and record collections - wherever they are online. Note that some records may require a fee for access.

* Links to the sources of non-digitized information, such as books, manuscripts, databases, etc. currently in the FHL Catalog but hidden there because researchers have to know where to find them - they aren't searchable.

* The ability for users to annotate and rate sources, and to suggest new items for the Catalog, is fantastic!

How is this going to be achieved? The scope of the LDS Family History Library is amazing - over 2 million microfilms, over 1 million microfiches, hundreds of thousands of books and manuscripts and other documents. Some of these resources are already online at government, commercial or free web sites - these links need to be found and added to the library catalog item. This will be a tremendous undertaking to create the links and then to manage changes.

Will this be a wiki-type environment? How else can "users" add content or enhance Catalog items - perhaps through an editor-type control? A wiki makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Did you know that FamilySearch is already developing a wiki?

Lastly, I started wondering just where a genealogy researcher like myself could find access to nearly all of the resources that will be in this Catalog. Why, the LDS Family History Library and Family History Centers, of course! There is access to with their digitized records, World,,, NARA,, Godfrey Library, and other online commercial sites at the FHL and selected FHCs. Isn't that wonderful? Visionary, even!

Military Collection FREE on Ancestry for May 20-31, 2008

To celebrate Memorial Day and the agreement between the National Archives (NARA) and to provide NARA documents on the Ancestry commercial web site, Ancestry will make all parts of their Military Records collection FREE from May 20 to May 31.

The Ancestry Military Collections home page is at The Ancestry page concerning the National Archives is at

The list of Military databases currently available on Ancestry is here.

This is good news for researchers who don't have easy access to the Ancestry database collection.

It will be interesting to see how much of a spike occurs in the Ancestry traffic as a result of the free access.

Hat tip to Kimberly Powell on the About:Genealogy blog.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Best of the Genea-Blogs - May 11-17, 2008

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week.

My criteria are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

* "Genealogy conferences" by Ruby Coleman on the Genealogy Lines blog. Ruby tells us about her road trip with her sister-in-law around the Midwest. They had fun - that's good! They brought back lots of stuff too.

* "Steve Morse at the California Genealogical Society" by Steve Danko on Steve's Genealogy Blog. Steve describes Steve's two talks at CGS - the Jewish Calendar and Steve's own search forms. I really appreciate people who summarize talks they've heard!

* "Family Bibles: The Genesis of Most Family Research" by Kathy Jones-Kristof on the Genealogy Help and Hints blog. Kathy's article about family Bibles is a good reminder to find them if they are available, but don't sweat it if they aren't.

* "ISFHWE, manuscripts and an offer from Myrt" by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE blog. Pat nicely summarizes the ISFHWE winners, writes about the value of undiscovered manuscripts for researchers, and offers a web page for a scanned image and biography of an ancestor found through searching manuscripts.

* "Family History Library Catalog 2.0" by Paul Allen on the Paul Allen (the lesser) blog. This is probably the most important announcement from the NGS conference, and Paul goes beyond the press release. This is excellent news!

* "How good is census indexing?" by John D. Reid on the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog. John reviews UK census records from Ancestry and FindMyPast and discovers problems with both. Nice job, and no surprise to me!

* "FBI FOIA Electronic Reading Room" by Tim Agazio on the Genealogy Reviews Online blog. Tim tries out the FBI reading room and enjoys it - but is it a genealogy resource? I think it is, especially if you have black sheep in the family.

* "ProGen Study Group #1" by Mark Tucker on the ThinkGenealogy blog. Mark discusses his first interaction with his genealogy study group. This is one way for genealogists to grow professionally. I'm part of this same group, and there are several others.

* "Swappin' Haircuts, Droppin' Knives, Pitchin' the Crack, Pullin' Bottles and Other Useful Skills" by Terry Thornton on the Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi blog. Terry has the best, and most, stories about growing up! It sounds like it was fun to be a kid in rural Mississippi. Frankly, it was fun to be a kid almost anywhere in the 1950's, wasn't it?

* "May 16 - Friday from the Collectors: The Future of Memories" by Denise Olson on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Denise shares her tech-savvy outlook on how we will share memories in the future as a guest "presenter" on fM's blog. I've had this blog on my list every week since it started - and for good reason! Are you reading it?

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blog to your Favorites, Bloglines, reader, feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - we all appreciate feedback on what we write.

I now have 280 genealogy blogs on my Bloglines list and I try hard to read at least the content that show up on Bloglines. I set it for "Complete Entries," but many posts only show me a limited part of the post because of how the poster feeds it to the world. I wish people would provide the full content to their posts so that I can read all of it! If it doesn't "grab me" with what I see, I don't read the rest of it. The purpose of feeds, readers and Bloglines is to provide an easier way to view content without excessive clicks. I understand the desire to have readers visit your site, but it's self-defeating in many cases.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me!

Funny Place Names

I can't resist lists of funny place names, or funny/peculiar/strange surnames for that matter. Bill West started this with his post "WHEN YOU SAY CHARGOGGAGOGGMANCHAUGGAGOGGCHAUBUNAGUNGAMAUGG, YOU'VE SAID IT ALL." Right. Then he went and provided a link to Wikipedia which had more links, and by the time I had read several of them, I was late to church.

Here are some, um, "interesting" lists of absolutely unique place names (links from Wikipedia's "Place names considered unusual" ...

* Funny, Rude and Weird Place Names Around the World. I've actually been to Hell in the Cayman Islands. Now I see that if I want to visit more Hell's I have to go to Norway, Michigan and Texas too!

* Funny Town Names from Around the World. Ever heard of Maggie's Nipples in Wyoming?

* Unusual City Names - by State. Is Ai the shortest town name?

* Odd Name Places. An article by Frank Gallant about odd place names - he's written a book of them.

* Odd and Unusual Place Names. A list of English places, including Nether Wallop near Andover.

You did read all of the lists didn't you? Did you laugh? I did. Thanks, Bill, for a fun, but pretty much wasted, morning!

My dad always told us that there was this lake in Massachusetts whose Indian name meant "You fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and nobody fish in them middle." We were in California, and I looked for this lake but never found it on a map. Now I know that this was Lake CHARGOGGAGOGGMANCHAUGGAGOGGCHAUBUNAGUNGAMAUGG, but the translation was apparently wrong! Or a joke. Another thing my father got wrong ... or was just funning us about.

Got any favorites not on these lists?