Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wheel of Genealogy Fortune - Post 6

You all know how to play Wheel of Fortune -I've given you R S T L N and E just like in the Final Round on the TV game!

Take a crack at this quote:

_ _ .... _ _ _ .... _ _ N N _ T .... _ E T

.... R _ _ .... _ _ .... T _ E .... _ _ _ _ L _

.... S _ E L E T _ N, .... _ _ _ .... _ _ _ .... _ S

.... _ E L L .... _ _ _ E .... _ T .... _ _ N _ E.

Can you figure this out, determine who was the speaker, and find it on a web page?

Please put your answer in Comments.

The MoSGA Messenger

What is an MoSGA? The Missouri State Genealogical Association, of course!

The MoSGA Messenger is the name of the MoSGA blog, and they have written over 1,000 posts since the blog started in November 2007. Congratulations to MoSGA on this accomplishment of averaging about 4 posts per day.

The MoSGA Messenger blog is different from most blogs, in that it often provides just a snippet of information and then a link to the web page with the original content- it's pithy and terse at times. Go there and see what I mean. This is an effective means of communication - I wish I was more pithy and not as prolix!

The MoSGA Messenger blog is one of my favorite blogs because they post often about interesting genealogy web sites and activities. It is an excellent model of a genealogy society blog that keeps its members up-to-date on the genealogy news of the day, plus interesting web sites to peruse.

Check out the MoSGA web site also to see their programs, their newsletter, their surname list, and much more. If I had any Missouri ancestry, I would join this great society.

It's funny how blogging works sometimes - I started this post after reading about the 1,000th post on their blog on Bloglines, and when I clicked on the link to the blog there was a post about Bloglines linking to my post about Bloglines! Cool.

Thanks for the links, MoSGA, and I wish you many more years of blogging and serving your members, and the entire online genealogy community.

I'm embarrassed to say this, but I don't know the name(s) of the prolific bloggers on the MoSGA Messenger. Martha Henderson is the President of MoSGA. You can read their latest newsletter using the Newsletter web site link.

Ancestrally Challenged - a Texas Death Date/Place

One of my CVGS colleagues is trying to find one of her "Walking Dead" (as she calls them) ancestors - she knows that he's dead, but she doesn't know when or where, or where he is buried.

The man is James Matthew Peace (sometimes Pease), who was born 1n Texas in about 1843, the son of Henry and Rachel (Cole) Peace. James married Susan Cerilla Hendricks on 23 April 1863 probably in Texas, and they had children Osborn (born 27 Dec 1864), Ella Nannie (born 31 Jan 1867) and Carrie (born 31 Jul 1869).

In the 1870 census, James M Peace is living with his uncle (?) B[lackburn] Peace in Shelby County, Texas, while Susan and the children are not found in any census record (so far). Susan was born in 1844 and died in early 1880 in Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, where her Hendricks and Stapp families lived. In the 1880 census, the three children are living with Ella Stapp in Madison, Jefferson County, IN.

The Henry Peace family is in Goliad County TX in 1850 and Dewitt County, TX in 1860, but I didn't find Henry or Rachel in the 1870 census.

Most of the BMD information above is probably from a family Bible or other paper, which my colleague does not have a copy of, nor does she know where to find it..

My colleague wants to know when James Matthew Peace died and where he is buried.

We've checked:

* (tough with a name like "Peace")
* US GenWeb Archives
* Ancestry databases
* Ancestry and Rootsweb user-contributed databases
* Google search

Do any readers have ideas for where else to search? All suggestions appreciated!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

51st Carnival of Genealogy is Posted - Independent Spirits!

Thomas MacEntee has posted the 51st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy on his Destination: Austin Family blog. The topic for this edition was Independent Spirits, and there are articles highlighting really special people in the ancestry or lives of 22 genealogy bloggers. Great job, Thomas, and all of the bloggers!

My own submission was Martin Carringer (1758-1835), an Independent Spirit.

The topic for the next Carnival of Genealogy will be:

AGE: As family historians, we take time to carefully mark the birthdates of our forebearers. We print out family tree charts including this all-important data. We make it a point to note at what age family members have married, had children and passed away.

Take some time to look over the data that you have collected on members of your family tree, and share a story of age with us for the upcoming edition of the carnival. Do you have a member of the family who went to work to support the family while still of a tender age? Someone who accomplished something that was typically done by others beyond his or her years? A couple who married young? A couple with disparate ages? A family member who accomplished something of note at an advanced age? How about family members that lived many years, outlasting many of their relatives and friends?

With the understanding that "age is often a state of mind," share your family story about someone whose story stands out because of their age, either young or old.

Submit your blog article for the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Lisa at 100 Years in America will be the hostess for the 52nd Carnival -- the deadline for submissions is July 15th.

Happy 4th of July

Citizens of the United States celebrate the writing and signing of The Declaration of Independence today.

At least one signer had the foresight about what it would mean to his countrymen --

"The day will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

"It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward and forever more."

-- John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail, following the reading of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

For many of us in San Diego, this is a day to go to the beach early, frolic in the waves with your kids, build sandcastles, bury the kids up to their neck in the sand, get snow-cones at the concession stand, walk up and down the beach looking for neat shells, roast hog dogs in the fire rings, have S'mores as the sun goes down, watch fireworks from across the bay, and arrive home exhausted and sunburned. That's the typical San Diego experience. Half a million people here will do it today - and the high temp at the beach will be 75F.

Our celebration of the holiday will be much more subdued, since our kids are gone and I'm very sensitive to the sun. I put up the flag. I'm going to blog a bit, play with Lolo, then I might work on my probate record transcriptions, and reflect a bit on the stories about the Revolution, my ancestral soldiers, the Signers and the Framers. I'll take a nap this afternoon to get ready for our big night out.

We're going down to church in the afternoon for a picnic (hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, dip, veggies, and ice cream), sit in the shade and talk/share with friends, and watch Lolo have fun with the other kids. About 8 PM, after the sun goes down, we'll look up and west - the country club next door has a decent fireworks show that is almost overhead! Then we'll drive one mile home - not sunburned, not tired, and watch the end of the Padres game. Life is a little more relaxed these days!

Whatever you do, I hope that you have a great time with family, friends or just yourselves! Do something fun and relaxing, and I urge you to reflect on the gifts of liberty and independence that we were given by the sacrifices of our forefathers and foremothers.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Genea-Musings Stats for January through June, 2008

I signed up for Google Analytics on January 3, 2008 in hopes of being able to gather more information about the site traffic. I just recently figured out how to get more than the last month's information (I'm not the sharpest iPod in the Technology drawer, I fear) from Analytics, so here is a summary of the first six months of 2008:

* 22, 812 Absolute Unique Visitors (average 127 per day)
* 39,138 Visits (average 217 per day)
* 62,439 Page Views (average 347 per day)
* 1.59 PageViews per Visit
* 00:01:48 Average Time on Site
* 58.13% New visits

Where did these visitors come from? 121 Countries in all - the top 10 are:

* United States - 32,041
* Canada - 2,311
* United Kingdom - 1,754
* Australia - 487
* Netherlands - 377
* Ireland - 366
* Israel - 173
* Germany - 141
* Finland - 129
* New Zealand - 96

Genea-musings "biggest hits" so far this year have been:

* World Records for Number of Children (posted 21 July 2006) - 2,234 views
* 5 Year statistics for Traffic (posted 25 March 2008) - 711 views
* Family Tree Tattoos (posted 11 January 2007) - 607 views
* John Tyler's Grandson is Still Alive (posted 20 February 2007) - 450 views
* Sam Champion's Roots on ABCs Good Morning America (posted 2 November 2006) - 394 views
* Genealogy Software Reviews (posted 2 January 2008) - 360 views
* Make Your Own Gravestone (posted 29 July 2007) - 346 views
* How Rare is Your Personality Type? (posted 20 June 2007) - 344 views
* "I Am My Own Grandpa" (posted 30 June 2006) - 324 views
* VP Dick Cheney is My Cousin Too! (posted 19 October 2007) - 251 views

My observation based on the hit list is that no one is really interested in my opinions on genealogy articles or web sites or my own family history posts. Quite a bit of the traffic in this period comes from Google (or other) search engine queries. Oh well...

There are more people reading Genea-Musings than just the ones noted above, which come via a link or an URL - the statistics above do not count RSS feeds (e.g., Feedburner, Google Reader, Yahoo Reader, etc.). I am not sure if the stats count Bloglines or not (I think so?). These readers are probably 100% genealogy devotees, unlike a majority of my visitors to the URL that come via a search engine.

To all of my readers - Thank You for visiting and reading. I hope you learn something about genealogy and have a chuckle once in awhile.

Fourth of July Quick Quiz

My Family Tree Magazine weekly newsletter came in email today, with several interesting and useful items, including:

* A Quick 5-question Quiz to test your knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and Paul Revere's ride. You can take the Family Tree Magazine quiz here.

* Quick Look: Resources for Revolutionary War Ancestors. Learn about ancestors who witnessed our country’s struggle into existence.

* A Match Made in History. Read about the wedding of "Benjamin Franklin" and "Betsy Ross." A great love story.

* Family Tree Magazine Podcast Episode 2. Sounds good - go listen to it!

You can sign up for the free email newsletter at

Another View of the Blogger Summit

Gilles Cayouette is a genealogy blogger who writes Le chercheur nomade - The Nomadic Researcher blog "about genealogy in Quebec with examples pertaining to the direct descendants of Gilles Caillouet (the Caillouet, Caillouette and Cayouette...)."

Gilles read the posts about the SCGS Genealogy Blogger Summit and posted his observations in French and English, raising some interesting issues and questions. Read his blog post for his observations.

His questions include (my paraphrases):

* Are genealogy bloggers journalists?

* Does the quest for instantaneity affect post quality?

* What about ethics in blogging?

* How can bloggers improve blog post quality?

* What are the opportunities to create both a society web site and blog?

Read the whole post - definitely a different point of view and one that needs to be included in the genealogy blogger "social network."

My thanks to Gilles for emailing me with the link to his blog. I wish I spoke French, but I don't.

UPDATED 11:15 a.m. Gilles wrote me to correct the spelling of his surname and to tell me that he was not at the Jamboree, that he read the comments about the Jamboree online. My apologies for not double-checking those facts!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Current Everton's Genealogical Helper FREE to download until 12 July

Leland Meitzler just posted "Everton’s Genealogical Helper “Online Edition” FREE for the Next Week" that announced that for the next week, the Jul-Aug, 2008 issue will be “in the clear,” and available to anyone that wants to check it out.

If you want to subscribe to the Online Edition of Everton's Genealogical Helper, the cost is only $12 per year for the full six issues of the magazine. Traditional Magazine subscribers get FREE access.

You can read the download information and download the July-August 2008 issue at It does require Adobe Acrobat 6 or higher. This issue is 26.6 mb, so you might not want to do it on a dial-up connection. My cable connection took about 30 seconds.

I subscribed to the online edition of Everton's Genealogical Helper at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree for $10. That seems like a very good deal for me, and I hope that other genealogy magazines will follow suit.

Well done, Leland - a great marketing move, I think.

The New Ancestry Home Page

A post this morning on the blog alerted many of us to the fact that has changed the Home Page content and format for subscribers. Read the comments on the blog post for "fan reactions."

The screen shots below illustrate the new start page:

1) The top half of the Home page shows the following for my subscription:

* Top left - the last three screens I looked at in my own search in family tree databases.
* Bottom left - the Basic Search box for searching Ancestry databases. I used the old Search box so this shot shows the tabs for Historical Records, Family Trees, Stories and Publications, and Places and Maps. If the user is using the New Search box, then the tabs don't appear. You can select Advanced Search and enter more information.
* Top right - Add a Quick Link: plus 3 pre-designed quick links that take you right to the BMD, Census and Immigration database collections. You can add any number of other web links, including non-Ancestry sites.
* Bottom right - an advertisement.

2) The bottom half of the Home page shows the following for my subscription (using the old Search box:

* Top left - What's Happening at Ancestry: an advertisement for an Ancestry service, plus a list of the latest databases, and a link to the list of the most recently added new or updated databases.
* Bottom left - My Shoebox, which is where a user can put images of records for later use.
* Top right - My To-Do List, where a user can write out tasks to be done, presumably on Ancestry.
* bottom right - Recent Activity - in historical records, recent searches, and Ancestry Press Projects.

There is also a link to a summary of the changes to the new Ancestry Home page, as shown below:

I like the addition of the Add a Quick Link, the To-Do List, the Shoebox, and the link to the recently added databases. Users can add links to the mailing lists, message boards, FamilySearch, or any other web site that they desire so that they have one click access. I'm not enthusiastic about the top left links to recent Family Tree activity - since I don't really use Family Trees that often. I would rather have the Search Box right at the top of my screen.

What was eliminated from the Ancestry Home screen? The complete list of the US Federal census years and the major collections were below the Search Box on the Home page (at least on my home page). The BMD, Census and Immigration database collections are listed at the top right of the Home Page, but not all of them. They should add Military, Newspapers, Family Trees, etc. More clicks...

I'm sure that I'll find more to like and probably some things to not like also ... change is hard for many people, and Ancestry has been changing their look and feel and search a lot in the past few months. I'm living with it, but I still feel like I am clicking more and having a harder time finding results.

One of my favorite sayings is "Progress requires Change, but not all Change is Progress."

The only way to convince Ancestry to improve their Home page is to comment constructively about it. Just complaining about it doesn't help much - tell them what you want to see. They have a link at the top of their Home Page that allows you to do just that.

UPDATED: 4 p.m. - deleted a paragraph that I found was wrong about Exact Searches. Funny, it wasn't there when I looked an hour ago!

Specific Family Name Blogs

One of the questions asked at the Blogger Summit at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree was along the lines of "can you actually make contact with cousins using a blog?" The answer for many of the panel bloggers was essentially "yes, but not often."

There are, of course, more blogs than you can shake a long stick at - Chris Dunham's Genealogue's Blogfinder lists over 900 genealogy blogs now, and some of them are devoted to information about a specific surname or group of surnames. Chris lists 77 in the current "Single Surname" blog list.

Interestingly, Bob and Reb's Genealogy Blog about the Orrell Family is not on the single surname list (I found it on the Personal Research list of 459). I've been reading Bob and Reb's work for about two years now, and am real impressed by the depth of their research posted online, not only on the blog but on their web site.

Bob and Reb Orrell decided a month ago to shut down their blog and web site due to lack of time and some health problems. Then fate intervened and Reb retired, so now he has more time to devote to their site. They will keep it active, but perhaps not blog as much as they have in the past. Of course, we all know that every time a new database comes online, that these guys won't be able to resist using it, and blogging about it.

I'm ecstatic that Bob and Reb will keep their web site and blog active for now. I was dreading seeing it go into digital limbo, even though they have saved the blog and web site content to more permanent storage like CDs.

For me, this site is an excellent example of what a Single Surname blog site should look like and how it should work. I've thought about a single surname blog myself (let's see - Seaver, Carringer, Vaux, Auble, ...), but haven't pursued it intensively due to my other time commitments.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wheel of Genealogy Fortune - Post 5: An epitaph?

You all know how to play Wheel of Fortune -I've given you R S T L N and E just like in the Final Round on the TV game!

Take a crack at this quote:

_ E ' S .... _ _ _ S E _ .... _ _ S .... _ N _ E S T _ R S ....

_ L L .... _ _ S .... L _ _ E --- _ E ' S .... _ _ N E ....

T _ .... _ E T .... T _ E .... _ N S _ E R S.

Can you figure this out, determine who was the speaker, and find it on a web page?

Please put your answer in Comments.

Using to read many blogs

During the Genealogy Blogger Summit at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree on Saturday, several attendees wondered how readers can read many genealogy blogs without spending a lot of time. Dick Eastman answered the question by suggesting signing up for an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed and receiving blog posts via email or via an aggregator web site like Google or Yahoo (and several others).

Many blogs, but not all, permit using an RSS feed to capture blog posts. On Genea-Musings, you can sign up to receive blog posts using Feedburner by entering your email in the box down on the lower right column of this blog. Many readers have chosen this option, as you can see!

If you want to minimize email in your Inbox, but still want to read blog posts in a reader of some sort, you can use Google, Yahoo, or another aggregator.

I use because it is free, it is easy to use, and it is reliable. I am not a really ept "techie" - I like simple things that I can understand and control.

Let me walk you through signing up for and using Bloglines to read blogs (and it can be any type of blog - genealogy, history, politics, religion, whatever you find!).

First, go to You can create an account by putting in a real email address and a password of your choice, choose your time zone and language. The registration box is shown below.

When you click on the Register button, you get the screen below that tells you that you are registered and that you have an email that will complete your registration.

At this point, go to your email address, find the email from Bloglines, and click on the link to activate your account. Another window with your registered account will open, and you can now choose any pre-selected type of blog that interests you. Genealogy is not on the list, as shown below:

The key step in this whole process is to now select the Feeds tab on the far left top of the left-hand frame, just under the Bloglines logo. The screen will look like this:

You automatically get the Bloglines news feed.

Do you want to add genealogy blogs to your Bloglines? Click on the Add link just below the Playlist tab.

You will see the box in the center of the right-hand panel that says Blog or Feed URL. Type or copy the blog URL into this box (please start with Then click on the Subscribe button below the box.

Now, you have to select some items for each blog you want to subscribe to. Some blogs have more than one feed, and you need to select one. I always select the one that has the most subscribers. Then you have to choose options in the Updated Items (I always select Display as New) and Display Preferences (I always select Complete Entries). Then you can click on the Subscribe button below the comment box. See below:

Bloglines revises the list of blogs that you have subscribed to, and usually chooses the last 10 blog posts for the added feed. The screen with Genea-Musings added looks like this:

Finally, you can click on the blog name in the left-hand panel and see the blog content in the right-hand pane. In the screen below, I clicked on Genea-Musings in the left-hand panel and received 10 posts in the right-hand panel, as shown below (you have to scroll down to see the others).

If you want to comment on a specific blog post, you can click on the post tile on the right-hand panel and it will take you to the specific blog post where you can read it, see the previous comments, and comment yourself if you care to (we genea-bloggers love comments!).

If you want to add another blog to your Bloglines list, you can do it any time by finding the blog URL (the Internet address) somehow (you can use my list of blogs on the right-hand side of my blog page), copying the URL (use Ctrl-C for Windows computers), then click on the Add button and enter the new blog URL (use Ctrl-V on Window computers) into the box, and now you have two of them. You can add as many as you like!

That wasn't so hard, was it? I was able to create a Bloglines account, get my registration email, and start my blog list using the Add button in less than 3 minutes.

When there are new blog posts in each blog on your list, the blog name will be in bold print with the number of new posts since you last clicked on that specific blog.

As you find new blogs that you want to read, you can add them to your list using the Add button process above. Each one takes about 15 seconds to add, but then you have it available for your use. In Windows XP, I leave Bloglines on one tab and open other tabs for other web pages. Bloglines updates the list every 30 minutes or so. I presently have 279 blogs I read whenever there is new content. My blog reading takes no more than 30 minutes each day, and often less.

If you want to edit your subscription to a blog, you can do that easily by clicking on the Edit Subscription link above the right-hand pane. If you want to delete a blog, you can do that by clicking on the blog name in the left-hand panel and then clicking on the Unsubscribe link above the right-hand panel.

Don't forget to put your Bloglines account into your browser Favorites or Bookmarks - then you can click on it and see what blogs have added content since you last used it.

Bloglines saves me a lot time online, is easy to use and permits me to read the latest information from my fellow genea-bloggers.

More on Ancestry "Ownership" of User Databases

At the SCGS genealogy Jamboree, I attended Cath Madden Trindle's presentation on Sunday morning titled "But It's My Family; Copyright Issues for the 21st Century Genealogist," and learned (perhaps re-learned what I had forgotten) a lot.

One of the attendees near me stated emphatically that "Ancestry owns the copyright on anything that you put there. They can publish any information they have and you can't stop it" (not an exact quote, but that was my understanding of what he said). I mildly disagreed, since I thought that user-contributed content (such as a family tree) was still owned and copyrighted by the user and that Ancestry was licensed to distribute the information.

So I checked The Generations Network Terms and Conditions of Use page (revised 10 January 2008) again today. The two most applicable paragraphs seem to be:

" License and Terms and Conditions of Use

" is an Internet service (the “Service”) owned and operated by The Generations Network, Inc. ("we", "our" or "us"). "You" or "your" means an adult user of the Service for itself and you as parent or guardian for any minor who you allow to access the Service, for whom you will be held strictly responsible. Your use of the Service indicates that you are bound by this Agreement with us. If you don't agree with any of these terms and conditions, don't use the Service. We may alter this Agreement at our discretion and your continued use after any change indicates your acceptance of that change. If you don't want to be bound by a change, discontinue use of the Service.

" contains graphics, information, data, editorial and other content accessible by any registered Internet user and similar content which is accessible only to our subscribing members “(the Content)”. Whether in the free section or in the subscription section of the Service, all Content is owned and/or copyrighted by The Generations Network, Inc., or third party providers and may be used only in accordance with this limited use license. is protected by copyright as a collective work and/or compilation, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws, international conventions, and other copyright laws."


"User provided content

"Portions of the Service will contain user provided content, to which you may contribute appropriate content. For this content, Ancestry is a distributor only. By submitting content to Ancestry, you grant The Generations Network, Inc., the corporate host of the Service, a license to the content to use, host, distribute that Content and allow hosting and distribution of that Content, to the extent and in that form or context we deem appropriate. Should you contribute content to the site, you understand that it will be seen and used by others under the license described herein. You should submit only content which belongs to you and will not violate the property or other rights of other people or organizations. The Generations Network, Inc. is sensitive to the copyright of others. For more concerning copyright issues, view our corporate policy. We will not edit or monitor user provided content, with the exception that, to promote privacy, an automated filtering tool will be used to suppress, and omit from display, information submitted to the tree areas of the site which appears to pertain to a living person. We also reserves the right to remove any user provided content that comes to our attention and that we believe, in our sole discretion, is illegal, obscene, indecent, defamatory, incites racial or ethnic hatred or violates the rights of others, or is in any other way objectionable."

I am not an attorney, so the following is my interpretation as an interested person only - don't quote me, please!

The second paragraph above clearly states that "Whether in the free section or in the subscription section of the Service, all Content is owned and/or copyrighted by The Generations Network, Inc...." Apparently, that applies to all of the content on the web site, including the databases obtained from other providers. Does it include user-contributor databases, as the fellow at the Jamboree stated?

The User provided content paragraph above clearly states that "Portions of the Service will contain user provided content, to which you may contribute appropriate content. For this content, Ancestry is a distributor only..."

That seems clear to me - Ancestry is a distributor, not an owner or copyright holder of information submitted by users to family trees or other databases (such as Rootsweb hosted web pages, mailing lists, message boards, USGenWeb archive pages, etc.). I interpret this to mean that I still own and have copyright protection for the content that I submit to Ancestry/TGN web sites, including Ancestry. I can publish my own work whenever or wherever I want, and I still hold the copyright for the material I have created.

However, this same paragraph also states that "By submitting content to Ancestry, you grant The Generations Network, Inc., the corporate host of the Service, a license to the content to use, host, distribute that Content and allow hosting and distribution of that Content, to the extent and in that form or context we deem appropriate..."

Hmm, this is one of the things that the fellow mentioned - it clearly states that Ancestry/TGN could publish user-contributed information in a book, on a CD or DVD, or on a web page.

One very useful example of how Ancestry/TGN could "use" and "distribute" my submitted content would be to search for terms in the content, find other researchers with the same person(s), create a genealogy report from it (such as the WorldConnect or Ancestry World Tree database reports), etc.

In summary, I believe that I own and have copyright protection for any creative work in my genealogy database that I intentionally submitted to Ancestry/TGN could publish the information if they chose to. Am I interpreting these paragraphs correctly?

What about my copyrighted creative work -- my analysis, my original text, my abstracts of documents, etc.? Can they put that in a book or on a CD and sell it? Can someone else - another researcher, who finds it in an Ancestry/TGN database, do that also?

There are other portions to the Ancestry/TGN Terms and Conditions that need to be considered, but I am only addressing the specific user-contributed content issue here.

If a user does not want Ancestry/TGN to be able to use or publish their data for whatever purpose, the T&Cs also notes that "If you don't agree with any of these terms and conditions, don't use the Service."

Our genea-blogging colleague, Craig Manson published has a Geneablogie blog archive for Copyright here - he has discussed many aspects of Copyright Law over the years. Check it out for more information.

Cyndi Howells also has a lot of links on general copyright issue at

Monday, June 30, 2008

Martin Carringer (1758-1835), an Independent Spirit

I am drawn to the stories of the pioneers - the first settlers, they ones who migrated from Europe to America, or across America in the 19th century.

One of my favorite "pioneers" was truly an independent spirit, if you can believe the article in the book "History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania", published in Chicago by Brown, Runk & Co in 1888:

"Mention will be made of one early pioneer, whose life was a succession of eccentric thoughts and equally as eccentric actions. Reference is made to Martin Carringer. He was an old Revolutionary War veteran, whose entrance into (Perry) township dates back, according to the best authenticated accounts, to the year 1796. Some assert that Carringer arrived as early as 1795, and built a cabin. If this could be verified it would unquestionably establish him as the earliest settler in the county. But however the mere date may be, he is fairly entitled to rank among the very earliest pioneers. He settled on donation lot No. 941, which had been granted to him from the commonwealth on account of his services in the Revolution.

"He was a German, as the name indicates, and was known, in later years, after settlements had been made about him, for his wonderful kindness. He was extremely generous, but his generosity was only extended to the poor and helpless. All worthy public enterprises received his hearty support, and all unworthy ones were as readily met with his vehement opposition. It is seldom in the history of any community that a character is found which deserves higher encomiums than those which even his neighbors and associates bestowed on Martin Carringer" (p. 568).

He was officially listed as a Pennsylvania Revolutionary War pensioner on 19 June 1824, when he was 75 years of age. His widow was allowed her pension in 1839 after his death, a resident of Sandy Creek township and 71 years of age. Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War pension file abstract reads:

"CARRINGER, Martin, Molly, W6905 BLW 1259-100, PA line, soldier enlisted in Westmoreland Cty PA, soldier applied 12 Apr 1824 Mercer Cty PA aged 65, soldier married Mary "Molly" Hoax in May 1785 and soldier died 25 Jan 1835 in Mercer Cty PA and widow applied there 8 Feb 1839 a resident of Sandy Creek Twnshp PA aged 71 and widow died there 31 Aug 1850. Children were Jacob, born 1 Oct 1785, Lizbet born 6 Sept 1789, Katharine born 18 Jan 1792, George born 5 Sept 1795, Calli born 9 Mar 1797, Henrick born 6 June 1800, Soloman born 24 Aug 1802, Joseph born 22 Oct 1805. Also shown was a grandchild Tastet born 13 May 1811 and died 27 Aug 1820; soldier's son George signs affidavit 28 Aug 1851 Mercer Cty PA, surviving children at widow's death were Jacob Carrigan, Elizabeth McCartney deceased in 1851, Catherine Cazbe, George, Henry and Joseph Carrigan. Soldier's daughter Elizabeth McCartney died 14 Nov 1850." ("Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files" by Virgil D. White, pub. 1990)

As you can see, I know quite a bit about Martin Carringer, and I also have several deeds, his will, have visited Mercer County and have stopped by his homestead in Perry township. But I don't know many things about Martin Carringer - including who his parents were (there are clues), where he resided before his marriage to Molly Hoax, etc.

Elusive ancestors are often independent spirits, aren't they?

Best of the Genea-Blogs - June 22-28, 2008

I'm a day late with this due to the SCGS Jamboree and travel afterward...

Several hundred genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, 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.

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

* "Gordon Clarke says Old FamilySearch to be shut down" by the unknown blogger on The Ancestry Insider blog. For those of us out of the LDS loop, information like this is useful. I shuddered when I read this the first time - there is so much great extracted data in the old FamilySearch IGI, especially church records from all over the world. Read the comment by James Anderson - that rings true to me. Hopefully, the IGI will remain intact; hopefully, with a better search engine!

* "Things I Love About New NFS" by the unknown blogger on the Shoebox Genealogy blog. This blogger lists what he likes about the New FamilySearch (and I think he is talking only about the linked family tree - the replacement for Ancestral File). In previous posts, he's listed 18 things he is concerned about in NFS. Gentle readers, New FamilySearch is part of our genealogy future... and we need to know how to work with it efficiently.

* "Dreaming About Genealogy" by the unknown blogger on the Legacy News blog. I am so envious... I've been hoping for dreams like this, and now need to gather the material for the bedside to ensure that I write it down correctly. My sympathies for the memory lapse -happens to me all the time. Good comments, too!

* "Family History and the Slave Trade" by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Thomas TV surfs and finds a PBS documentary that makes him wonder about his own family history connection to the slave trade.

* "How Cemetery Recordss and Inscriptions Expand Your Genealogy" by Arlene Eakle on the Arlene H. Eakle's Genealogy Blog. Arlene provides a wonderful summary about the value of cemetery records in our research.

* "Protecting Family Documents, a Genealogist's Most Precious Treasure" by Kathy Jones-Kristof on the Genealogy Helps and Hints blog. Kathy has excellent advice for organizing, scanning, saving and protecting your genealogy treasures.

* "Ancestorizing" by footnoteMaven on the footnoteMaven blog. fM provides the words to "Ode to Family History" - a really good poem! It is, as fM says, "us." Can you hear this in a song?

* "June 27, Friday from the Collectors: Volunteer Genealogical Photography" by Miriam Robbins Midkiff on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Miriam provides sound counsel on how to effectively pursue a volunteer effort (society, personal request, RAOGK, etc.) to photograph something for somebody else.

* "Finding Cousins in the Library" by Kathryn Doyle on the California Genealogical Society and Library blog. Kathryn has a great story about three society members finding out that they are cousins, and what ensued. We should all be so lucky!

* "Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 14 - My Thoughts on Another "Genealogy is Bunk" Article" by Jessica Oswalt on the Jessica's GeneJournal blog. Jessica has some great thoughts about past and current history education and the role of history and geography in our genealogy research.

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.

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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Musings - Post 8

I was out early today in the Exhibit Hall hoping to get photos of some of the exhibitors, and you can see some of my efforts in the previous two posts.

I really enjoyed spending a little time with each blogger and exhibitor I talked to - everybody was friendly and helpful and fun. This was a great experience for me, and for my Linda, as an introduction to genealogy conferences.

I hung around and talked to several readers, and then went to the first talk of the day. Again, several rooms were full, but the one I really wanted to hear, on Copyrights by Cath Madden Trindle, had a few empty seats, and I got to sit right down front. Cath had the best presentation - meaning chart quality, delivery, knowledge about the subject, of any talk I witnessed this weekend. She did a wonderful job, and the last 20 minutes was basically questions and answers.

After this session ended at 10:30, I made another round of the exhibits, and went up to the room to post the two picture blogs. Linda came back from the pool and we packed up and checked out of the hotel. We went up I-5, then took State 14, State 138 and State 18 to Victorville, arriving at about 3 p.m. We stopped in Littlerock (who knew there was a Littlerock in California?) for lunch at John Brown Farms.

I want to thank Paula Hinkel and the other SCGS members who put the Genealogy Jamboree together. This is a monumental effort that was executed smoothly with only some minor problems (that were quickly corrected). It was a real team effort by SCGS members, and I salute them for a job really well done.

What did my T-shirt say today? You can see it at JMK Genealogy gifts here.

I'll try to get to my regular weekend posts on Monday. We'll be home by noon, I think, with Lolo in tow for the week.

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Musings - Post 7

More SCGS Genealogy Jamboree pictures from the Exhibit Hall.

First up is Drew Smith (one of The Genealogy Guys who podcasts with George G. Morgan) and his friend Jean.

Arlene Eakle and Kathryn Bassett have The Genealogical Institute in Tremonton, Utah, and Arlene writes books, gives many presentations and has two blogs - the Arlene H. Eakle Genealogy Blog and the Arlene Eakle Virginia Genealogy blog.

The Legacy Family Tree booth was very popular all weekend - but I caught Ken McGinnis and Geoff Rasmussen in a quiet moment this morning.

The RootsMagic booth was also very busy, but I snuck in early this morning and caught Michael Booth smiling.

I have a few more candid photos, but it's time to depart for Victorville.

What does my t-shirt say today? I'll tell you in the next post.

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Musings - Post 6

Here are more pictures from the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank held this weekend.

First up are Janet and Kim Hovorka who have the Generation Maps charting company. Janet also blogs as The Chart Chick, and posted a nice summary of the Blogger Summit here.

Two of my favorite people are Megan Smolenyak and Marcy Brown (we're "Friends" on Facebook) from Roots Television. Jane Lindsey from CGS was kind enough to take our picture this morning. Megan and Marcy interviewed several people during the Jamboree, but I escaped their inquisition.

One of my favorite people is Colleen Fitzpatrick from the Forensic Genealogy web site and author of several books, including her new one called "Dead Horse Investigation."

Tom Underhill, and his daughter Amanda, posed in front of their display for Creative Continuum. Tom has several books for sale, and creates beautiful family history and photography books. He is coming to CVGS to speak in September.

David Lifferth is President of, which includes We had several good discussions about genealogy research and WVR. He is with his wife Mary in the photo below.

I have a few more photos to show in the next post.