Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Interests?

It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

* Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.

* Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or add a comment on the Facebook version of this post.

Here's mine:

Do I really have a life outside of Genealogy and family history research, blogging and speaking? Of course I do - I only do that 8 to 10 hours a day when the grandkids aren't here or we're not traveling.

My other interests include:

* Being with my two daughters and their families, including the four grandchildren (boys aged 6.4 and 3.9, girls aged 4.9 and 1.7). I'm not averse to making family history with all of them!

* Traveling - although we usually combine genealogy with sightseeing and visiting friends.

* Reading mystery novels - authors like James Patterson, John Sandford, John Grisham, Dean Koontz, J.A. Jance, Michael Connelly, Ridley Pearson, John Lescroart, Tom Clancy, etc. I usually read in the evening while watching baseball games or news shows.

* Keeping up with current events (including politics, science, religion, aerospace) via online forums and websites, cable news shows, print newspapers, etc.

* Being a devoted fan of the San Diego Padres (MLB baseball - we go to about 25 games a year) and San Diego Chargers (NFL football - we don't go).

* Eating and sleeping - Linda is an excellent cook and I really appreciate her culinary talents. I try to get 7 hours a night to stay sane, and often take a 20-30 minute power nap in the afternoon in my recliner with the TV on.

Pretty tame, isn't it? But, but, but - see, I have a life!

Surname Saturday - VAUX

On Surname Saturdays, I am posting family lines from my own ancestry. I am doing this in Ahnentafel order, and am up to number #27, who is Abigail A. Vaux (1844-1931). My ancestral line back to six generations of Vaux families:

:1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty V. Carringer (1919-2002)

6. Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976)
7. Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

12. Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946)
13. Abbie Ardell Smith (1862-1944)

26. Devier James Lamphear Smith (1839-1894)

27 Abigail A. Vaux, born 28 October 1844 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died 11 September 1931 in San Diego, San Diego County, CA. She married 04 April 1861 in Rolling Prairie, Dodge County, WI.

54. Samuel Vaux, born Bef. 11 February 1816 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Aft. 1880 in prob. Marshall County, KS. He married Bef. 1839 in Aurora, Erie County, NY.
55. Mary Ann Underhill, born About 1815 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died Aft. 1880 in prob. Marshall County, KS. She was the daughter of 110. Amos Underhill and 111. Mary "Polly" Metcalf. Children of Samuel Vaux and Mary Underhill are:
.......... i. Mary A. Vaux, born About 1839 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; married James Woodward Bef. 1863 in WI; born About 1837 in Vermont; died Bef. 1880.
.......... ii. Celia Ann Vaux, born May 1842 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; married (1) Milo Redfield 08 January 1861 in Burnett, Dodge County, WI; born About 1836 in prob. Jefferson County, NY; married (2) Francis N. Munger About 1872 in prob. Andrew County, MO; born July 1845 in WI.
... 27....iii. Abigail A. Vaux, born 28 October 1844 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died 11 September 1931 in San Diego, San Diego County, CA; married Devier James Lamphear Smith 04 April 1861 in Rolling Prairie, Dodge County, WI.
.......... iv. James P. Vaux, born 08 January 1847 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died 29 December 1902 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; married Mary Alice Patrick Bef. 1879 in KS; born About 1856 in Ohio; died 19 April 1904 in DeKalb, IL.
.......... v. Elizabeth B. Vaux, born August 1850 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died 10 May 1931 in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA; married Samuel Crouch 19 October 1871 in Andrew County, MO; born September 1840 in ENGLAND; died 18 May 1931 in Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA.
.......... vi. Amos S. Vaux, born About 1854 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; died 23 August 1876 in Nodaway, Andrew, Missouri.

108. James Vaux, born Bef. 20 December 1787 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 23 July 1839 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. He married 13 December 1808 in Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND.
109. Mary Palmer, born About 1788 in prob. Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Aft. 1840 in Aurora, Erie County, NY, USA. Children of James Vaux and Mary Palmer are:
.......... i. John Palmer Vaux, born Bef. 15 July 1810 in Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 06 June 1874 in Aurora, Erie, NY; married (1) Angeline King About 23 April 1833 in Aurora, Erie, NY; born 1813 in New York, USA; died 07 August 1852 in Aurora, Erie, NY (age 38y, 10m); married (2) Alfreda A. Conklin (widow of Clement King) Aft. 1852 in Prob. Aurora, Erie, PA; born About 1812 in NY; died 27 December 1887 in Aurora, Erie, NY.
.......... ii. James Edward Vaux, born Bef. 28 February 1812 in Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 30 November 1871 in Bedford, Taylor County, IA; married Harriet Taylor 31 March 1834 in East Coker, Somerset, ENGLAND; born Bef. 23 April 1814 in West Coker, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 21 January 1870 in Bedford, Taylor County, IA.
.......... iii. Anne Vaux, born Bef. 07 July 1814 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married John Taylor 12 August 1835 in Aurora, Erie, NY; born in NY; died Aft. 1870 in prob. Waupun, Fond du Lac, WI.
.... 54... iv. Samuel Vaux, born Bef. 11 February 1816 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Aft. 1880 in prob. Marshall County, KS; married Mary Ann Underhill Bef. 1839 in Aurora, Erie County, NY.
.......... v. William Vaux, born Bef. 25 May 1819 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vi. George Vaux, born Bef. 07 July 1820 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 1880 in probably Pepin County, Wisconsin; married Elizabeth Jarrett 11 February 1841 in Buffalo, Erie County, NY; born About 1824 in ENGLAND.
.......... vii. Josiah Vaux, born Bef. 01 October 1822 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died in WI; married Mary Ann Fiske 28 August 1852 in Aurora, Erie County, NY; born About 1832 in NY; died 1857 in Waupun, Dodge County, WI.
.......... viii. Joseph Vaux, born Bef. 01 October 1823 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... ix. Cyrus Vaux, born 1825 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... x. Mary Vaux, born Bef. 22 February 1826 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1828 in Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... xi. Ernest Vaux, born 30 January 1831 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 25 March 1916 in Faribault, Rice County, MN; married (1) Jane Nash Bef. 07 December 1858 in Prob. Faribault, Rice, MN; born About 1840; died 07 December 1858 in Faribault, Rice, MN; married (2) Caroline Anderson Johnson 14 January 1862 in Sargeant, MN; born 26 October 1844 in Marion, IN; died 25 April 1907 in Faribault, Rice County, MN.

216. John Vaux, born 1747 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 31 December 1811 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. He married 02 August 1785 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
217. Joan Laver, born 1762 in Somerset, ENGLAND; died 04 November 1836 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. Children of John Vaux and Joan Laver are:
.......... i. Amy Vaux, born Bef. 07 July 1786 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 10 May 1850 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Samuel Godden 08 August 1805 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born 1785 in Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1850.
....108.. ii. James Vaux, born Bef. 20 December 1787 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 23 July 1839 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Mary Palmer 13 December 1808 in Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... iii. John Vaux, born About 1789 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 06 January 1790 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... iv. William Vaux, born Bef. 15 March 1791 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 01 August 1794 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... v. Ann Vaux, born Bef. 20 May 1792 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 16 February 1809 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vi. John Vaux, born Bef. 25 July 1794 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 16 October 1837 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Susannah Ostler 02 August 1821 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born Bef. 10 April 1799 in West Lambrook, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 18 January 1880 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vii. Joseph Vaux, born Bef. 14 July 1796 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1872 in South Petherton, Somerset, England; married (1) Sarah Oten 08 April 1817 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born About 1788 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 29 April 1852 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married (2) Mary Ann G Chamberlaine 29 July 1858 in S Petherton, Somerset, England; born About 1820 in Stogumber.
.......... viii. William Vaux, born Bef. 14 July 1796 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 1860 in prob. Aurora, Erie, NY; married Susan Vile About 1819 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born About 1798 in Somerset, ENGLAND; died in prob. Waupun, Fond du Lac, WI.
.......... ix. Samuel Vaux, born Bef. 03 March 1799 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 09 July 1836 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Mary Ann Stower 07 March 1830 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born 1803 in S. Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 05 March 1877 in Manchester, Lancashire, ENGLAND.

432. James Vaux, born Bef. 30 October 1704 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 23 January 1776 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. He married 18 November 1729 in Crewkerne, Somerset, ENGLAND.
433. Amy Terrell, born in Stoke und Hamden, Somerset, ENGLAND; died in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. Children of James Vaux and Amy Terrell are:
.......... i. Ann Vaux, born 1732 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1835.
.......... ii. Mary Vaux, born 1734 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1823; married John Hebditch 04 December 1754 in South Petherton, Somerset, England; born 1730.
.......... iii. William Vaux, born Bef. 1737 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 05 November 1737 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... iv. Rebecka Vaux, born 1738 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 15 January 1746/47 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... v. James Vaux, born Bef. 1740 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 10 September 1740 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vi. Jem Vaux, born 1742 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1808 in ENGLAND.
.......... vii. William Vaux, born 1745 in South Petherton, Somerset, England; died 07 April 1829.
.......... viii. James Vaux, born Bef. 1747 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 11 January 1746/47 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
... 216... ix. John Vaux, born 1747 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 31 December 1811 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Joan Laver 02 August 1785 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... x. Hanner Vaux, born 1748 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1749 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... xi. Hannah Vaux, born Bef. 17 April 1749 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Jacob Griffen 11 July 1781 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born in of Martock, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... xii. Rebecka Vaux, born Bef. 31 October 1750 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.

864. William Vaux, born 1653 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 20 May 1706 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. He was the son of 1728. John Vaux and 1729. Margerie. He married 12 September 1691 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
865. Mary Hare, born 1668 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 16 January 1732/33 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND. Children of William Vaux and Mary Hare are:
.......... i. Mary Vaux, born Bef. 24 December 1692 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... ii. Elizabeth Vaux, born Bef. 23 February 1693/94 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... iii. William Vaux, born Bef. 23 February 1693/94 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... iv. Josiah Vaux, born Bef. 19 September 1696 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1769 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Dina; born in ENGLAND; died Bef. 07 June 1739 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... v. Samuel Vaux, born Bef. December 1698 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died 1725 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Anna Baker 23 October 1720 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vi. Amora Vaux, born Bef. 06 February 1701/02 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married John Axe 21 February 1719/20 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; born 1686 in Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... vii. Patience Vaux, born Bef. 30 August 1701 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Hugo Parker November 1721.
...432... viii. James Vaux, born Bef. 30 October 1704 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; died Bef. 23 January 1776 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Amy Terrell 18 November 1729 in Crewkerne, Somerset, ENGLAND.
.......... ix. Jacob Vaux, born Bef. 30 October 1707 in South Petherton, Somerset, ENGLAND; married Anna.

There are several more generations in the Vaux line, but most descendants of the South Petherton Vaux families will be descended from one of these fmailes.

Note that many of the English records listed say "before" a date - the dates given are baptism dates for the birth and burial dates for the death.

Sara Anson Vaux of Evanston, Illinois and Hanna Nicholas of London, England have put together most of this family line. They collected a significant volume of data from English church parish registers, English Civil Registry after 1837, and American resources. My contribution has been researching some of the American Vaux families using online census, military and other resources and tying them into the English emigrants that came in the 1830s to Aurora, Erie county, New York.

If there are any researchers that tie into these ancestral fmailies of mine, or have information about the spouses of my Vaux males, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Friday, January 22, 2010 Financial and Subscriber Information

I took some time to explore the Investor Relations page today, and found some interesting material.

First, released information on 6 January 2010 about their 2009 operations, saying (in part):

" Inc. Reports 17% Subscriber Growth in 2009 Fourth Quarter

"PROVO, Utah, Jan 06, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) today reported that it added approximately 165,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, finishing the year with 1,066,000 million paid subscribers. The end of year subscriber number is 17% higher than the 914,000 paid subscribers reported at the end of 2008. Fourth quarter additions were up 15% from the 144,000 added in the 2008 fourth quarter. Monthly subscriber churn(1) for the 2009 fourth quarter was 3.6%, compared to 4.0% in the prior year fourth quarter."

I was intrigued by the term "monthly churn" and checked the explanation:

"(1) Monthly churn is a measure representing the number of subscribers that cancel in the quarter divided by the sum of beginning subscribers and subscriber additions during the quarter. To arrive at monthly churn, we divide the results by three. "

So in the fourth quarter of 2009, added 165,000 subscribers, but with a 3.6% churn rate over three months, they lost about 115,000 subscribers, for a net gain of about 50,000 subscribers (about 16,700 per month on average, my numbers are not exact because I don't have all of their figures - but they're close enough I think).

And over the year, they gained 152,000 net subscribers - over 12,000 per month. If none of their "lost" customers renewed, that means that they lost about 400,000 customers during 2009, and signed up over 550,000 new customers. The "right number" is somewhere in between those numbers, since some customers must have renewed after their subscription was dropped. The churn rate is sobering, isn't it? I can understand the emphasis on improving customer relations and receiving favorable publicity from genealogy media.

There is another set of subscriber data in the presentation that gave on 6 January 2010 to the Citi 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications (EMT) Conference. The page with links to the Webcast and to the presentation is here, and the actual presentation PDF is here:

The interesting facts in the presentation included:

* The Investment Highlights say that is large ($200 million revenue), profitable (30% EBITDA margins), growing, a category leader, has several barriers to competition, and significant growth potential.

* Paid subscribers (12% average growth), Adjusted EBITDA (30% average increase) and revenue (13% average increase) have increased over the past five years.

* Monthly churn is highest for "Newbies" (first timers, about 11%) and lowest for "Experts" (subscribed more than 2 years, about 2%).

* Ancestry has spent 12 years and $80M acquiring, digitizing,and indexing content —4 billion records.

* User-generated content has increased substantially - now 12.2 million user trees, with 1.254 billion persons in the trees, 23.4 million user photos added and 2.8 million user stories added, all as of September 2009.

* One of the growth strategies is to provide quicker success for the beginner, continue to improve search, more powerful collaboration, easier sharing with family, and more content from around the world

* The chart for "Subscriber Economics" shows that gains an average of $300 in revenue per subscriber, it costs them about $70 to acquire that subscriber (marketing plus advertising), they spend about $9 on merchant fees, for a lifetime value of $221. Not mentioned are the ongoing operating costs (data acquisition, imaging, indexing, storing, etc.).

I urge you to review the presentation PDF or watch the webcast so that you can get an idea of the status of One of the benefits of companies going on the public market like did in November is that they produce information like this for their investors and customers.

The message I get from all of this is that they need to continue to market and advertise in order to overcome the 3.6% monthly churn rate and enable continued growth of the company. They've been successful in 2009, which is impressive to me considering the general economic conditions.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of I am a fully paid US subscriber and a happy customer of Ancestry. The summaries and views expressed in this post are solely my own based on public domain information.

UPDATED: 2 p.m. Added some text about the effects of the churn rate.

Follow Friday - Elyse's Genealogy Blog

On Follow Friday, I am highlighting genealogy blogs that post regularly and that I read because they have excellent content.

Today, my choice is Elyse's Genealogy Blog written by Elyse Doerflinger who lives in the Los Angeles area:

Elyse's blog description says:

"This blog is all about genealogy. I am a college student who has been bitten by the genealogy bug. This is my place to share my family tree, my tips and suggestions, along with my genealogy related opinions."

And her "About me" says:

"I'm a college student that has is very addicted to genealogy. I've been researching for the last 6 years, but over the last year, I have been redoing my genealogy to be sure that everything is properly sourced. I write two blogs, have a video blog, and you'll often find me on Facebook."

Elyse also makes genealogy "how-to" videos for YouTube, and writes regular posts to help other researchers pursue their genealogy interests. For instance, the current post is titled Organizing The Paper Mountain (Part 1).

I met Elyse at the 2009 SCGS Genealogy Jamboree and look forward to seeing her again at the 2010 Jamboree, and hearing her talk about making genealogy videos at the Jamboree.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Exploring Trees - Big FAIL

In my post Exploring yesterday, I noted that had the look and feel of a social networking and family tree web site.

In this post I want to discuss the "Tree" tab on the web site. If you don't want to read the step-by-step of adding data, please skip to the bottom of the post for a summary.

I entered three generations of my ancestors into the We're Related application on Facebook about one year ago. The information included birth and death dates and places, and a head-shot photo of these people. Here is what the Tree on We're Related looked like:

As I mentioned yesterday, my expectation was that the information in the We're Related application on Facebook would be brought across into the Tree application (which can be accessed from Facebook and other social networking sites). That is, I believe, a logical expectation - that when a web site changes from one form to another that it retains the user-contributed information to the new web site.

When I checked several months ago, only my own name and photo had been migrated into - the other persons had disappeared from the site. My "Relatives" had been migrated also, but that was it! I added my mother and father in order to see how easy it was to use the new interface. Here is what the Tree looked like yesterday:

As you can see, the data I had in the We're Related application on Facebook did not migrate to It's like I wasted several hours adding information to We're Related. My expectations were certainly not met!

I wanted to see how long it took to add a person to the Tree, so I decided to add some parents to my parents. I clicked on the "+" sign to the right of my mother's name, and a larger box with her birth and death information opened:

I could have edited her information if I had wanted to. There is an "Edit Info / Add Family" button in the middle of the dropdown box, so I clicked that and saw:

Now the information for my mother and my father is displayed. Above each name is a button to "Add / Edit Parents." I clicked on that in my father's box, and was able to add the name, birth date, birth place, death date, and death place for his parents - Frederick Walton Seaver and Alma Bessie Richmond, as shown below:

I could also choose the marital status for them, but could not add a marriage date or a marriage place. This operation to add two more people to my Tree took just over four minutes. That seems, to me, to be really slow. At this rate, I could have my 2,000 ancestors and their children entered by, oh, say Christmas 2018! does not offer a GEDCOM upload yet. When I asked why they did not offer it, their representative said they wanted to connect close relatives rather than use up precious bandwidth having hundreds or thousands of persons in their database.

I also asked several months ago why the persons that were in the We're Related application on Facebook were not migrated into, and was told that they were working on it. It hasn't happened yet! I sincerely doubt that it will happen.

What does my Tree look like now? Here's a screen shot with the parents of my father added:

I am not going to waste any more time to enter ancestors and family members one at a time into this Family Tree application. Without the ability to upload a GEDCOM file, it is worthless to me as a researcher. There are many Family Tree applications that are free that permit invitation of relatives to join publicly or privately. My impression is that doesn't want the GEDCOM uploads. If they did, it would already be added, since it can't be that difficult to do (and I note that there are many other web sites with the capability).

I also noted that there is no way to see the Trees of my "Relatives" unless I add the "Relative" to my Tree. Three of my four "Relatives" are distant cousins - some out eight or ten generations.

There appears to be no way to search for other persons with my ancestors. So nobody else can find me or my nearly barren Tree.

I've asked myself several times "why has gone to all of this trouble to create this web site and then prevent researchers from using it effectively?" Then I remember that the statistic we saw several months ago was that there were 50 million users of the We're Related application on Facebook who had created 300 million person profiles. Do the math - that's six per Tree on average. I had entered 16 persons - more than the average.

But apparently doesn't have those 300 million persons (that were in We're Related application) in their database, do they? Did all of the pictures and other information that was entered by those 50 million persons migrate from We're Related to FamilyLink? Mine certainly didn't. It's a pain to add content of that nature again - why should I? After all of this hassle, why would anybody even try to use

I believe that the answer is that just wants the "hits" from the fact that 50 million people have the application on their Facebook page. If each registered person checked it out every three months, that would average out to be almost 6 million hits a month (see the traffic post). Or does get a hit each time a person with the application logs into Facebook (or other social networking site)? I don't know. sends out emails telling users to add more relatives to their tree - does that cause the users to check the application? I don't know. What I do understand is that advertising revenue is based on the traffic to a web site, and can show very high traffic - equivalent or higher than But the web site seems "hollow" - there is not much content, certainly not for genealogy researchers. You can draw your own conclusions.

My opinion is that the web site and tree application is useless to me as a genealogist and family historian. I can find free (and paid) family tree sites that allow me to share my tree with relatives, accept a GEDCOM upload, and allow me to search for persons.

The Trees on are a Big FAIL, in my humble opinion.

Treaaure Chest Thursday - Austin Carringer's Fireman Certificate

It's Thursday morning, and time to open up the Treasure Chest and see what family history goodies are hiding in it.

Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer came to the San Diego area in September 1887 on the train, and settled first in National City, which was a boom town because the railroad ended there and there was plenty of work there. Austin was a carpenter.

At some time, he joined the National city Fire Department as a volunteer fireman, and received this certificate from the department:

Unfortunately, there is no date on it, but I think it was in the 1888 to 1892 time period when they resided in National City, according to the extant San Diego City Directories.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Genealogy Blogging" talk at Escondido on Saturday, 23 January

I will be presenting a talk about "Genealogy Blogging" at the Escondido Genealogical Society meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 23 January, at the Escondido Public Library (239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido). Contact Ray Raser ( for information and directions.

The presentation will cover :

* What is a blog?
* Who is blogging about genealogy?
* How do I find blogs and read them efficiently?
* My blogs, and parts of a blog
* How to easily create a blog
* My favorite genealogy blogs
* Why blog?

If you have a free morning, please take a ride to Escondido and come to my presentation - I'd love to meet you. The Escondido Genealogical Society people are friendly and supportive - I enjoy sharing with them!


After discovering that is a very highly ranked genealogy website, I decided to explore it some more and try to understand WHY it is highly ranked. A high ranking implies that a lot of people go to the site regularly. changed their web site in recent months - now the site looks like a Social Networking and Family Tree web site. Here is the home page, which comes up if you enter the URL (If you access it from Facebook (and presumably other social networks that have the FamilyLink application), the first screen is the second one blow with your name on it - you are already logged in):

If you are not registered for FamilyLink, then you must register - for free - in order to use the site. If you are already a member, then you can sign in to the site. After you sign in, the "Home" page (in the menu bar) looks like this:

There are six tabs on the menu bar - for "Home," "Relatives," "Profile," "Memories," "Events" and "Tree." The right sidebar in the screen above shows "Notifications and Requests," and a "To-Do" list, and "Possible Relatives." The main part of the screen shows recent Facebook status lines from my "Relatives" already in the system. These "Relatives" were in the We're Related" application on Facebook before We're Related morphed into FamilyLink several months ago.

The "Relatives" tab shows the persons included in my "Relatives" list, and the "Profile" tab provides a way to add or edit information about myself in FamilyLink.

The "Memories" tab screen is shown below:

On the "Memories" page, you can answer questions about yourself or your "Relatives" in order to share information with the family members invited to share FamilyLink with you (your "Relatives."

The screen below shows the "Events" tab page:

On this page, you can create a custom page to share an event, make an announcement, upload photos, etc. The "Relatives" will be able to view it and add comments or photos to the page. There are a number of custom page templates already made for you in the middle of the screen - all you have to do is click on one of them and fill in the blanks. I have not done any of these tasks yet in FamilyLink because of a lack of time. If the site works well and quickly, then I will probably add more content to my site, add more relatives, etc.

My expectation when I first saw the "new" FamilyLink three months ago was that the Family Tree data that I had entered over the past year into the We're Related application on Facebook would be included in the "new" FamilyLink" application and web site. My expectations have not been satisfied yet. I will discuss the "Tree" tab in the next post in this series.

So far, FamilyLink looks like some of the other Social Networking sites that have family trees - it is visually attractive, informative, inviting to new contacts, members can invite their relatives to join and participate, etc.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Learning about

One of the more interesting phenomena in the online genealogy world is the existence of clearing houses for lookup providers, expert genealogists, and similar offerings. has their ExpertConnect service, and there are several independent websites where researchers can hire other genealogists to do lookups, pursue genealogy research tasks, answer research questions or provide guidance to a frustrated researcher.

One of the "lookup providers" is Genlighten (, headed by Dean Richardson of Chicago. Dean started this website and service two years ago and it looks like it has matured into a workable system - where researchers can be connected with a local researcher who performs a record lookup in a distant place, and receive it for a nominal fee. Genlgihten takes a small commission fee from the lookup provider.

Here is the home page - on the "Genealogy Researcher" tab:

The home page defines how the Genlighten process works for the researcher -

* You come to Genlighten looking for source documents from remote repositories

* You select a Genlighten lookup provider with access to the document you want
* The provider finds your document, scans it, and uploads it to your Genlighten account
* You download or print your document at

If you want to be a "lookup provider," the "Lookup Provider" tab shows:

The how it works process is defined on this page as:

* Create a Provider Profile to help clients see your background and expertise

* Offer lookups for records you know well and can access readily
* Keep track of lookup requests you receive and communicate easily with your clients
* Upload the documents you retrieve in digital form and receive client payments

This process, from both the researcher and provider views, seems to be logical, simple and efficient.

Dean's wife, Cynthia, writes the Chicago Genealogy blog ( and has been providing Chicago area lookups since 2003.

Cynthia posted a 67-slide presentation in her post Introducing on her blog in November (and Dean should put a link to it on the Genlighten page):

If this service interests you, from either the researcher or provider angle, I recommend that you investigate Genlighten and consider it for your research needs.

The Genlighten web site has several more pages to help the reader understand how it works I checked out the provider listings and noted that there was only one provider for California at this time. There may be opportunities for genealogists to be lookup providers in many states and countries.

If you need research assistance or a record from a distant place, Genlighten may be the best way to obtain the help you need quickly and cost efficiently.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, affiliate or a provider for Genlighten, have not used the service yet, and have received no remuneration for writing this post. I have met Dean several times at genealogy conferences and was impressed by his vision for the web site and the progress he's made to bring it to a useful service.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Genealogy Site Traffic - Rankings, US People and Visits

Being a "numbers guy," I am interested in how genealogy information providers stack up against each other, and what the trends are over a period of time. I last looked at genealogy website traffic in January 2009 in a series of posts.

For this series, I am using the Quantcast statistics because they are easily understandable, and free. There are other websites that measure traffic, and their traffic statistics may be different from Quantcast.

So far in this series, I have posted traffic information, and commented on, the web sites,,,,, and the other sites in the FamilyLink network. Rather than continue that for many web sites, I'm going to summarize them in a long list ordered by Rank. Most of this data was collected as of 30 November 2009 and is US only data:

* - Rank = 140, Monthly People = 7.1 million, Daily Visits = 508,000.
* - Rank = 197, Monthly People = 5.5 million, Daily Visits = 1.2 million.
* - Rank = 1,113, Monthly People = 1.4 million, Daily Visits = 226,000.
* - Rank = 1,675, Monthly People = 985,200, Daily Visits = 340,000.
* - Rank = 1,735, Monthly People = 957,300, Daily Visits = 149,000.

* - Rank = 2,182, Monthly People = 774,900, Daily Visits = 91,500.
* - Rank = 2,677, Monthly People = 641,600, Daily Visits = 62,000.
* - Rank = 3,636, Monthly People = 479,000, Daily Visits = 28,600.
* - Rank = 4,443, Monthly People = 341,800, Daily Visits = 24,200.
* - Rank = 4,595, Monthly People = 379,200, Daily Visits = 26,500.

* - Rank = 6,100, Monthly People = 282,100, Daily Visits = 15,600.
* - Rank = 6,428, Monthly People = 288,800, Daily Visits = N/A.
* - Rank = 7,730, Monthly People = 216,300, Daily Visits = 8,100.
* - Rank = 8,552, Monthly People = 192,500, Daily Visits = 8,800.
* - Rank = 8,869, Monthly People = 184,700, Daily Visits = 11,200.

* - Rank = 9,539, Monthly People = 109,100, Daily Visits = 9,700.
* - Rank = 9,660, Monthly People = 167,500, Daily Visits = 6,800.
* - Rank = 9,777, Monthly People = 165,000, Daily Visits = 8,600.
* - Rank = 9,832, Monthly People = 164,000, Daily Visits = 8,700.
* - Rank = 10,983, Monthly People = 143,800, Daily Visits = 13,600.

* - Rank = 12,519, Monthly People = 123,800, Daily Visits = 7,900.
* - Rank = 13,040, Monthly People = 119,000, Daily Visits = 5,200.
* - Rank = 13,529, Monthly People = 113,700, Daily Visits = 13,100.
* - Rank = 14,511, Monthly People = 104,900, Daily Visits = 4,800.
* - Rank = 15,838, Monthly People = 94,800, Daily Visits = 24,200.

* - Rank = 18,076, Monthly People = 81,300, Daily Visits = 4,900.
* - Rank = 20,159, Monthly People = 71,700, Daily Visits = 2,700.
* - Rank = 31,438, Monthly People = 44,000, Daily Visits = 2,400.
* - Rank = 33,961, Monthly People = 42,800, Daily Visits = 1,400.
* - Rank = 34,057, Monthly People = 40,300, Daily Visits = 1,600.

* - Rank = 34,731, Monthly People = 39,500, Daily Visits = 4,300.
* - Rank = 38,679, Monthly People = 35,700, Daily Visits = 4,400.
* - Rank = 41,795, Monthly People = 32,300, Daily Visits = 1,000.
* - Rank = 42,344, Monthly People = 31,800, Daily Visits = 1,500.
* - Rank = 44,659, Monthly People = 30,100, Daily Visits = 1,300.

* - Rank = 45,611, Monthly People = 29,400, Daily Visits = 2,300.
* - Rank = 47,894, Monthly People = 28,000, Daily Visits = 4,300.
* - Rank = 53,766, Monthly People = 24,700, Daily Visits = 1,400.
* - Rank = 54,167, Monthly People = 24,500, Daily Visits = 1,500.
* - Rank = 58,072, Monthly People = 22,800, Daily Visits = 317.

* - Rank = 58,825, Monthly People = 22,500, Daily Visits = 2,500.
* - Rank = 67,035, Monthly People = 19,500, Daily Visits = 2,500.
* - Rank = 67,635, Monthly People = 19,200, Daily Visits = 1,200.
* - Rank = 68,999, Monthly People = 18,900, Daily Visits = 0.
* - Rank = 78,531, Monthly People = 14,600, Daily Visits = 1,100 (global).

* - Rank = 86,491, Monthly People = 14,900, Daily Visits = 3,200.
* - Rank = 87,045, Monthly People = 14,600, Daily Visits = 1,100.
* - Rank = 88,817, Monthly People = 14,400, Daily Visits = 240.
* - Rank = 95,201, Monthly People = 13,400, Daily Visits = 391.
* - Rank = 104,791, Monthly People = 12,000, Daily Visits = 1,200.

* - Rank = 130,875, Monthly People = 14,900 (global), Daily Visits = 1,500 (global).
* - Rank = 150,791, Monthly People = 8,000, Daily Visits = 0.
* - Rank = 162,370, Monthly People = 7,300, Daily Visits = 2,000.
* - Rank = 184,555, Monthly People = 6,300, Daily Visits = 0.
* - Rank = 209,428, Monthly People = 8,700 (global), Daily Visits = 441 (global).

* - Rank = 233,897, Monthly People = 4,000, Daily Visits = 1,400.
* - Rank = 316,768, Monthly People = 3,300, Daily Visits = 4,000.
* - Rank = 329,946, Monthly People = 3,100, Daily Visits = 936.
* - Rank = 369,537, Monthly People = 2,600, Daily Visits = 706.
* - Rank = 437,704, Monthly People = 3,200 (global), Daily Visits = 133 (global).
* - Rank = 476,242, Monthly People = 2,100, Daily Visits = 0.

I know that I haven't included every popular genealogy link, database or family tree website, or many genealogy blogs. If you want a site added to this list, I will add it. I will probably add more when I have some more time.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of John Norman (1660?-1709?)

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday theme several months ago called Amanuensis Monday. I loved the idea, and recently decided to follow it in order to share ancestral information and keep the theme going, and perhaps it will expand to other genealogy bloggers.

First of all, what does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Sounds like a town clerk, a county clerk, or a transcriber of documents, diaries or memoirs. So a genealogist that transcribes historical or personal documents fits. That describes me - I've transcribed a number of wills, a memoir (Aunt Gerry's four audio tapes), and a diary (Della Carringer's 1929 Journal).

Today's amanuensis task is a will transcription that is not easily available at a county clerk or on an FHL microfilm. John Norman (1660-1709?) was the son of Richard and Margaret (Flint) Norman of Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married Sarah Maverick (1659?-1723?) in 1683 in Marblehead, and they had eleven children, including my ancestress, Eunice Norman (1686-1743), who married Samuel Rayment (1679-1723).

John Norman of Marblehead died testate, and his estate papers are in the Essex County, Massachusetts, Probate Records in Packet 19,560. However, the probate packet was transferred to the Massachusetts State Judicial Archives, according to a correspondent. I wrote a letter to Elizabeth Bouvier of the Archives in 1998 and received a clear photocopy of the will with a large spot in the center of the page. The will is not available on FHL Microfilm, and no other papers were included in the probate packet according to the inventory in the book: Sanborn, Melinde Lutz. Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1638-1840. Salem, MA, USA: Essex County, Volume 2, page 654 (index entries, but not complete transcription, available on

The will reads as follows (with paragraph breaks for readability):

"In the Name of God, Amen. The twentie fifth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eight/nine. I, John Norman of Marblehead in the County of Essex in New England carpenter & joyner, being very sick & weak in body, but of perfect mind & memory, thanks be given unto God. Therefor calling to mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for men to dye, Do make & ordain this my last will & testament that is to say: principally & first of all, I give & recommend my soul unto the hands of God that give it, hoping through the merits of Death & passion of my Saviour Jesus Christ, to have full & free pardon & forgiveness of all my sins, & to inherit everlasting life. And my body I commit to the earth, to be decently buried at the discretion of my executrix hereafter to be named & nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shal receive the same again by the might power of God.

"And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life. I give, devise & dispose of the same in the following manner & form: that is to say, first I will that all those debts & duties, as I do owe in right or considered to any manner of persons whatsoever, shall be well & truly consented & paid, or ordained to be paid in convenient time after my decease by my executrix hereafter named out of my personal estate & household goods. I [unreadable] & bequeath to Sarah my dearly beloved wife, whom I [unreadable] constitute, make & ordain my only & sole executrix of [unreadable] will and testament all & singular my estate, both real [unreadable] whether of my own in posssession or by inheritance, or any [unreadable] way to me [unreadable] in Lands, messuages & tenements, by her freely [unreadable] & possessed & enjoyed the full time and term, till her youngest child come to the age of eighteen years.

"Item. I will that when my youngest child shall come to the age of eighteen years that then all my estate that remains shall be divided amongst my children or them that legally represent them equally, only my wife for thirds of real to be enjoyed by her during her life, and also my oldest son a double portion.

"Item. I appoint & ordain Mr. Richard Grover & Mr. Eleazer Ingalls overseers of this my last will & testament and that my executrix is to consult & advise with them, & not to sell or alienate any of my said estate without their consent & approbation. And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke & disannul all & every other former testaments, wills & legacies, bequests & executors by me in any wayes before this time named, willed & bequeathed. Ratifying & Confirming this [unreadable] to be my last will & testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & soul the day & year above written.

....................................................... John Norman"

"Know all men by these presents that I the above named John Norman do hereby establish the above to be my last will & testament and do add with my wife my executrix my son Moses Norman to be joint executor to her, and that they have power in themselfs to sell & alienate & dispose of that piece of land that lying in Salem which I [unreadable] of Joseph Neal (late of Salem) to pay my funeral charges & what they see fit. As witness my hand & seal the twentie fifth day of February 1708/09.

....................................................... John Norman"

"Signed, sealed, published, pronounced & declared by the said John Norman as his last will and testament in presence of us the subscribers. Viz as also the Appendix or revis... was signed, sealed, published & declared to be the sd. John Norman his will & testament. Archd Ferguson, Robert Saskey (?), William Brown."

There is no record of the proving of this will by the Essex Probate Court. Note also that the children of John Norman are not listed in the will above. Fortunately, there were entries in the land records for Essex County MA - to wit (my abstracts):

On 7 March 1720/1, John Norman, fisherman of Marblehead, and Benjamin Norman, cordwainer and fisherman of Marblehead, and sons of John Norman and Sarah Norman, and grandsons of Moses Maverick and Eunice his wife late of Marblehead deceased, sold land in Marblehead to their brother-in-law Samuel Raymond, mariner of Marblehead, for 57 pounds and two shillings. John Norman stated that the land which Samuel Raymond now lives upon, was given to their mother Sarah Norman by their grandparents. The land consisted of five parts, with John Norman having purchased rights from his brother Moses Norman and his sister Sarah Broughton, and having one right to himself and one right to his brother Benjamin Norman. The fifth right belonged to their sister Eunice Norman who married Samuel Raymond. Witnesses to the deed were Archibald Ferguson and John Broughton (Essex County (MA) Deeds, Volume 39, Page 184, recorded 18 March 1720/1, on LDS Microfilm 0,866,031).

On 16 March 1723/4, the natural children of John Norman, late of Marblehead deceased, sold land in Salem to Joseph Neale for 25 shillings each. The children listed were Eunice Raymond of Marblehead, widow, Moses Norman of Boston, mariner, Sarah Broughton wife of John Broughton of Marblehead, John Norman of Marblehead, fisherman, Benjamin Norman of Marblehead, cordwainer, and Elizabeth Norman, singlewoman of Boston. The land was about 15 rods more or less, being 12 feet 4 inches in the front near the main street and 12 feet 4 inches in breadth in the rear bounded westerly with Mr. Kitchen's land, southerly by Mr. Pickering's land, and easterly with Joseph Neale's land. The deed was signed by Benjamin Norman, John Broughton, Sarah Broughton, and Eunice Rayment (Essex County (MA) Deeds, Volume 43, Page 173, recorded 28 March 1724, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,866,033).

Note that none of the records noted above are available in online databases yet. The Probate Index is available at Land and probate records on FHL microfilms eventually may be imaged and indexed in the FamilySearch Indexing project, but they may be a long time coming. The message here is that all researchers need to use brick-and-mortar repositories - libraries, archives, and FHCs in order to obtain original source documents that prove events and relationships.

How I wish that all ancestors left documents like this! Many beginning genealogists soon learn that documents like these are "golden" - they are original sources, primary information and direct evidence. However, not every person leaves such definitive records. It turns out that documents of this type are "low hanging fruit" in New England - found relatively easily in courthouses or on FHL microfilm. The research challenges in New England are the ancestors that don't leave these fruits to be plucked by eager researchers.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gena Ortega's "Social Networking and Genealogy" talk at CGSSD

Gena Philibert Ortega was the featured speaker at the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting on Saturday, 16 January on the UCSD campus in La Jolla. Gena's talk was "Social Networking and Genealogy" - the talk description and Gena's CV are here. There were about 70 persons in attendance.

Gena spent quite a bit of time describing working in Facebook, and some time discussing Twitter and GenealogyWise, and just a minute or two on Second Life. She started her talk by saying she was "dragged kicking and screaming to Facebook..." - that sounded familiar! For all of the sites, Gena tried to describe how using them can enhance your genealogy research.

After a brief history of genealogy social networking (letters, queries, message boards, mailing lists, email, websites), she noted that many genealogists today don't have the patience shown in earlier times - most of us want an answer right now and don't write letters or post queries.

After reviewing why a genealogist should use social networking sites (e.g., sharing with relatives, finding other researchers, chatting, joining groups, receiving updates), she discussed the privacy issues and how to protect your privacy when on social networking sites. Her handout had a whole page devoted to privacy, which was helpful, I think, to the attendees. Some time was spent showing the step-by-step process for the privacy settings on Facebook, and finding, and discerning who might be, Friends on Facebook - again with some guidelines. A show of hands indicated that perhaps 70% of the attendees had a Facebook account.

Very few of the attendees use Twitter. Gena demonstrated how to find people to Follow, the use of hashtags to facilitate searches, and how Twitter was used at genealogy conferences to follow presentations or events.

Several attendees had a GenealogyWise account, and Gena demonstrated more several features, including chat, groups, and surname searching. She said that there were 16,500 members and over 3,300 groups.

Only one attendee had used Second Life, and Gena showed screen shots of the site, noted that it was a virtual world where users have pseudonyms, and she thought that there was a high learning curve. The chats with PowerPoint presentations in the genealogy section can be helpful.

The audience had a lot of detail questions about Facebook, especially navigating between the different screens, uploading photos, and using the privacy settings. I thought Gena did a good job of working through the questions.

I think that this presentation was very useful to many CGSSD members - it clarified some issues for some of them and will, hopefully, provide enough guidance to steer new users to try and utilize the sites for genealogical purposes.

Gena's presentation style is very viewer-friendly - she speaks concisely and clearly, the slides are not cluttered and she has a neat sense of humor to go along with the intelligence and knowledge she brings to a presentation.

She and I had a little time before and after her talk to discuss several things. It's always great to see Gena!

Best of the Genea-Blogs - January 10-16, 2010

Hundreds of 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 genealogy carnivals, 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:

* What Is A Genealogist? by Martin Hollick on The Slovak Yankee blog. Martin differentiates a genealogist from a family historian from a detective searching for living people. He's a genealogist.

* Video: The Twittering Genealogist – Following by Mark Tucker on the ThinkGenealogy blog. Mark demonstrates how to find and follow genealogists on Twitter. Useful if you are new to Twitter.

* Genealogy Startup Idea: Preserve and Curate My Social Media for Future Generations by Dean Richardson on the Genlighten Blog - Genealogy Documented blog. I love it when smart people think up new business ideas. This sounds like one that might work. Good idea, Dean!

* DNA Testing Solves Mysteries and Brings Family Together, part 2b by Emily Aulicino on the DNA - Genealem's Genetic Genealogy blog. Here are two more DNA success stories. I appreciate Emily collecting these!

* Back to Adam? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. Some cautionary words, and osme excellent references, from James on this topic.

* Sticking My Toe in the DAR Pool and Sticking Another Toe in the DAR Pool by Amy Coffin on the We Tree blog. Readers can ride along with Amy as she explores getting involved in the DAR.

* McGinnis Mysteries: Exploring the Native American Connection by Chris Staats on The McGinnis History blog. Chris presents a fascinating research problem, analyzes it, and ocmes up with a research plan.

* Do Wikis really work for genealogy? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. A very useful discussion about new FamilySearch, WeRelate and wikis in general.

* How to Unlock the Facts and Folklore through Interviews by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog. Excellent ideas about interviewing from Lynn.

* 52 Weeks of Genealogy Sources: Week 1, Archive Category in FamilySearch by Gena Ortega on Gena's Genealogy blog. Gena has devised her own weekly blog theme, and it's an excellent one, since Archives are often hidden from our view.

* The Thrill of the Hunt by Sharon on the Find Your Dead blog. Sharon finds another research project in a different way, but I think she does it just for the thrill. Most of us do, eh?

* What Do I Do With My Research? or How to Have Your Hard Work Outlive You by Jean L. Cooper on the blog. What an interesting, and useful, post by Jean on this subject that almost everyone I know has thought about. Really useful ideas here.

* A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad by Sandra Taliaferro on the I Never Knew My Father blog. Sandra's story about the password on the Underground Railroad, and more, touched my heart. Great post!

* The Best Laid Genealogical Plans... by Chery Kinnick on the Nordic Blue blog. Chery found her father, and tells her story. Sad, uplifting, moving - I'm glad she found him, though.

* Weekly Rewind by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple's weekly summary of her activities, genealogy carnivals and her reading favorites. I often find blog posts listed here that escaped my attention!

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John's weekly summary of reading favorites from blogs, newspapers and other sources.

* Donna’s Picks: January 10, 2010 by Donna Pointkouski on the What's Past is Prologue blog. Besides enjoying Donna's picks, check out her nifty super-hero poster!

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 - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 580 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.