Saturday, May 12, 2007

SCGS Surname List - open to all

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) has invited all researchers to add their family surnames to the SCGS Virtual Surname Wall. This feature will be unveiled at the 38th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 8-10 in Burbank, CA.

Paula Hinkel, President of SCGS, posted notes on a number of Rootsweb mailing lists - see it on the San Diego County list here. It has details about the Virtual Surname Wall, the process to submit names, etc. Go to to submit your names.

This is a very worthwhile thing to do for a researcher. While you are limited to 10 surnames, you can choose wisely - if you have brick wall ancestors, you might choose them just in case someone else is also searching for that person or surname. Or if you have an ongoing one-name study, you could choose that surname if you want people to contribute to it.

I will contribute my 10 surnames soon - and then I will check back occasionally to see how many and which surnames are on the Virtual Surname Wall.

Many genealogy societies have surname lists like this in online databases or on 3x5 cards in a repository. Then there is the "big daddy" of all surname lists - The Rootsweb Surname List - at Have you contributed your surnames to this list? Anyone can do it!

Have you ever used the Rootsweb Surname List to find other researchers looking for your surnames of interest? If not, you should - and may be surprised to find a distant cousin or two looking for you. Try it at!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Genealogy "Time Tunnel"

Wouldn't you love to go back in time to witness the history of the world, see how your ancestors lived (and perhaps find out who their parents were), or even revisit your early childhood. All from a viewpoint, not actually in the action yourself, of course, because we can't change the course of history - large or small.

I ran across a link today to "Time Tunnel," a science fiction series on ABC TV From 1966-1967 - see I don't recall watching this series, but I wish I had.

A "Genealogy Time Tunnel" TV series, or articles or books, would be really great. I guess that's why I like the James Michener, Edward Rutherford, Jeff Shaara and other historical novels - they put you into the action at discreet moments in time with human actors - real or fictional.

In our family history and genealogy research, we capture "moments in time" but rarely do most of us fit our ancestors into the history and events of their day. We are lucky to find a birth record, a marriage record, some census records, a military record, some deeds, a probate record, a death notice, an obituary and a gravestone for some of our ancestors, and not all of those before 1900.

What would I like to see in my own "Genealogy Time Tunnel" article or video?

1) Watching Elizabeth Horton Dill interact with her family - especially seeing who her parents and siblings were.

2) Living in the Joseph Richards house in Southboro MA in 1756-7 to see who really fathered Isaac Buck (1757-1846) by Mary Richards? Was it Isaac Buck I or II? Was there an Isaac Buck II?

3) Experiencing Isaac Buck III's Revolutionary War service as a matross - from Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights, especially.

4) Witnessing the wedding of Burgess Metcalf and Jerusha --?-- in Piermont NH in about 1775. Hopefully, her parents attended.

5) Following the Samuel Vaux family as they emigrated from England in the 1830's, settling in Aurora NY in the 1840's, moving on to Dodge County WI in the 1850's, to Andrew County MO in the 1960's and to Pottawatomie County KS in the 1870's. Oh, I hope I figure out where and when they died!

6) Attending the playhouse performances in Wano, Cheyenne County, KS in 1885-1887, where my great-grandparents Austin Carringer and Della Smith met and became a married couple.

Obviously, I could go on and on - there are so many mysteries in our ancestors lives - why did they do what they did? when? how? I want to know more about them - to understand them, to honor them, to appreciate their struggles and achievements in producing ME!

How about you? What events in your ancestor's lives would you like to witness in a "genealogy time tunnel?" Notice that I didn't use the word "voyeur" here, although that was my first inclination! Tell us about it - either in comments here or on your own blog. Or perhaps this could be a topic for a "Carnival of Genealogy" down the road.

UPDATE 5/14, 9 AM: JMKGenealogy Gifts has a neat T-shirt design that says "Genealogy - Build Your Own Time Tunnel." Excellent!

Dick Eastman seminar in San Diego on 5/12

I posted a notice of the Dick Eastman seminar in San Diego on Saturday, 12 May, here. Information about the seminar and directions to the venue are at Hopefully, my colleagues in SDGS, CGSSD and CVGS haven't forgotten about it and will attend.

I was looking forward to hearing Dick speak on his four topics - but I am away from home in Santa Cruz to help my daughter for a week. So I will miss Dick's talks and the opportunity to meet him in person. This is when I wish that video conferencing was pervasive in genealogy - I would gladly pay a fee to hear and see Dick's talks at my own convenient time.

Hopefully, some of my colleagues will attend and give me a summary of the talks. I would welcome a "guest blogger" - any takers?

Ancestry does a good thing - subscribers can use it at FHL/FHC has arranged it so that personal subscribers can connect to the web site at LDS Family History Library and local Family History Centers.

Here is the post from Suzanne Russo Adams posted on the APG listserv (mailing list) this morning:

"Dear Colleagues,

"We are happy to announce that has found a solution to enable patrons at the Family History Library and Family History Centers to login to Ancestry using their personal accounts. We have been coordinating this deployment closely with representatives from the Family and Church History Department, the Family History Library, and administrative representatives of the Family History Centers.

"What we have done...

"We have created a new domain called for the Family History Library and the Family History Centers to use to get access to the collections available to them by contract.

"With this new domain name, patrons at the FHL and local FHCs can log in to their own personal accounts using just like they would from home.

"Thank you,
Suzanne Russo Adams,
AGProfessional Services Desk Manager,
part of The Generations Network"

This makes personal researching at LDS facilities a lot easier - if you have an Ancestry subscription. You can log onto just like you do at home (you might want to remember your password before you go if you have it set up automatically on your home computer!) and the FHL/FHC will connect you.

Thank you, LDS, FHL, TGN and Ancestry!

Leland Meitzler and Schelly Talalay Dardashti were first with the good news this morning!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Family, not genealogy

A day without any genealogy research, or even pondering genealogy, is welcome sometimes. I had one of them today. We are visiting my daughter and her two sons - ages 3-1/2 and 15 months.

The little one just started walking about 5 weeks ago, and he goes pretty well now. He falls or trips sometimes, but gets up and goes on. He is very persistent. When he sees you (and anyone, not just me) he gives you a big smile and giggle and holds his arms out. He is a chow hound - he loves food and he and I share a lot of it - today it was grapes and melon. We took him for a walk at the park today with their new dog, then to the store and home for lunch. I put him to sleep at nap time and bed time today - he has to be on your shoulder to fall asleep - and it's hard to put him in the crib without waking him up.

The older one is a ball of fire. His motor never stops, nor does his mind or his mouth. He went to pre-school today, and I enjoyed meeting the teachers and helpers. After our nap (yes, I had one too!), he and I played outside for about two hours. He rode his bike a bit, and we played ball, then hide and seek, and we built sand castles. Then his mom came out with his little brother and we cleaned out the wading pool and the boys went in naked. They had a blast. We found some worms and a slug in the weeds, and the boys watched them for awhile and gave them a bath. I'm not sure they survived - we lost some of them in the process.

I got to put him to bed tonight - he played a card game with grandma, then we read two books, and I told him a dinosaur story in the dark. Then he asked me about dying and what happens to your body and your clothes. I told him (and his mom said this is a frequent question from him). He wants me to stay in his room until he's asleep, so I did - it only took 10 minutes tonight.

So it was a good day without genealogy, but I sure had a fun time with family, and maybe created a little family history for my grandsons. They are probably too young to remember these adventures with grandpa, but I'm not!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shoestring Genealogy web site

I love to follow genealogy links wherever I find them - in this case it was on Dick Eastman's blog.

The Shoestring Genealogy web site, posted by Dae Powell, has some interesting links to follow. On the main page, there are areas for "What's New" and "Tip of the Dae" and some links to other genealogy sites.

The real treasures on this site are the well-written articles listed under "Presentations" and the unique forms listed under "Forms" - both on the top menu of the web page. There are also menu items for "Services," "Chats and Quizzes," "Reviews," "Resources," "Utilities," and "Gallery."

You have to run your mouse over those menu items and then you can see what is listed - and they may run off the bottom of your screen.

Check out Shoestring Genealogy - you may find some useful information to help you pursue your elusive ancestors.

Restrictions on use of content

After thinking about my two posts (here and here) about using content on the Internet, in publications or in presentations, I decided to see what the Terms and Conditions are:

For a personal subscriber (like me), the T&Cs include the following:

" 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, 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.
"You are licensed to use the Content only for personal or professional family history research, and may download Content only as search results relevant to that research. The download of the whole or significant portions of any work or database is prohibited. Resale of a work or database or portion thereof, except as specific results relevant to specific research for an individual, is prohibited. Online or other republication of Content is prohibited except as unique data elements that are part of a unique family history or genealogy. Violation of this License may result in immediate termination of your membership and may result in legal action for injunction, damages or both. You may use access software provided on the Service only while on line and may not download, copy, reuse or distribute that software, except where it is clearly stated in connection with software that it is made available for offline use and a license for that use is provided in connection with that software."

If I read and interpret those words correctly, then I as an individual user can:

1) Download record images for my personal and professional use.

2) Use the image in a conference or society presentation (personal and/or professional use)

3) Use record images in a published book or magazine article as long as it is part of a "...unique family history or genealogy."

4) Use a record image on a web site if it is part of a "...unique family history or genealogy" - such as a family history web site, or a blog about my own research.

Some genealogy bloggers were posting census and other images of their personal and/or professional research - that is permissible if I read and interpret the TGN T&Cs correctly. It would be very helpful to have a very clear understanding of what we can and cannot do with record images downloaded from

An email from a correspondent noted that, since Michael John Neill was in the TGN Affiliate program, he would have to abide by the Terms and Conditions of that program also. The link to the Ancestry affiliate program doesn't provide information about those T&Cs at this time.

I only see the search box on Michael's web site, not any notice that he is a member of the Affiliate program. He does have Google ads on his page. Does that mean that he is (or was) making money from using the census and other images?

UPDATE 5/9, 8 PM: Added links to my earlier posts on this subject.

Please see the comments of these posts for further discussion and information.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

More on images

Concerning the issue of The Generations Network (TGN) demanding deletion of full or partial images obtained from the subscription web site:

I posted my own comment yesterday here. Please read the comments to that post for some excellent insights. Dave and Wunder think that this is not a copyright law issue, but a contract law issue. Subscribers to may have agreed to some restriction on the use of images from Ancestry on a web site or in a report or book. It would be useful to have that information so we all can understand what the limitations are.

I wonder if there is a similar problem with images from a NARA microfilm, an FHL microfilm or an image from HeritageQuestOnline, so there may be work-arounds for researchers who want to use census images. But it will be a hassle segregating the Ancestry images from the other images on our computers, and even obtaining the images may be a hassle - a trip to the FHC, FHL, NARA, or a library with HQO.

Another work-around for someone like Michael John Neill, who posted images of famous people, would be to transcribe the information onto a census form and post the transcription. That would take considerable time and effort, but it would be doable. As long as it is not an Ancestry copyrighted form, I guess.

I am quite sure that many professional speakers and writers have used Ancestry images in their presentations, magazine articles and books. Is TGN going to hunt them all down and force them to delete the images on penalty of canceling their Ancestry subscription? Or require them to pay a fee for use of the images? Those options sure seem like "biting the hand that feeds them" to me.

This still seems real petty on the part of TGN. Will we have to try to spot the "Ancestry spies" at conferences and society meetings?

For a good discussion of copyright law and its application to genealogy research, please go to Craig Manson's Geneablogie blog and read his posts.

UPDATE 5/9, 12:30 PM: I used a word in my initial post that was inappropriate. I have substituted a better word for it. My apologies to anyone that was offended.

Monday, May 7, 2007

More light blogging

We leave on Tuesday morning for my daughter's home in Santa Cruz - the major attraction is her two sons, ages 15 months and 3-1/2 years old - we haven't seen them since mid-March and we need our grandson fix! We will return to CV on Sunday.

I will have the laptop and will try to post occasionally from there, but will not have the voluminous resources available to me in the Genea-Cave here at the world headquarters of Genea-Musings.

Now I need to go get my weekly fix of "24."

Posting record images from

Michael John Neill at had a superb set of census, World War I draft registrations, passenger manifests, and other records that showed famous people in the records. It was an excellent way to inform genealogy buffs of the available records, and plugged besides!

Now The Generations Network (TGN) has "requested" that he eliminate the images downloaded from Ancestry from his web site.

Michael's blog post says:

"The new marketing staff at The Generations Network made me remove the images we formerly hosted on this site. The phrases “legal action” and “hear from legal department” were used. The pages clearly contained links to Ancestry, indicated where the images had been obtained, and indicated the value a subscription had for the average person.

"Until I have time to view the NARA film myself and re-obtain the images they will not be posted on this site. "

If Michael had been posting the full image from the records, and had thousands of them on his site, I could understand the logic of this. But he was posting only fragments - usually just a few columns showing the names and ages of the family members, and not the whole page. Then he would provide a link to the full image. To my non-lawyerly eye, I would construe what he was doing as "fair use." They were snippets, much as most people do with text.

Would they have made the same request if he had transcribed the census entries and provided a source citation rather than the image? That is what most of us do in the normal course of our genealogy research - Michael just made it more fun to see the handwritten entry.

So will TGN come after all of the genealogists who put record images in their genealogy databases and then upload them to web pages or the social network or shared genealogy database sites? Or can they only be uploaded to sites that TGN operates?

We need some guidelines from The Generations Network, I think. How many images are too many? Even fragments and not whole pages? What if the images originate at another web site, like the newspaper images?

And will other commercial web sites do the same thing?

Is this hardball commercialism, or a big mental error on the part of TGN?

UPDATE 5/9 8 PM: I posted portions of the TGN Terms and Conditions for subscribers at My non-lawyerly opinion (FWIW) is that a subscriber can post images that pertain to their personal or professional research. However, we really need TGN to confirm this so that everybody understands the restrictions imposed by the T&Cs.

Della's Journal - Week 19 (May 7-13, 1929)

This is Installment 19 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer, my great-grandmother, who resided at 2115 30th Street in San Diego in 1929.

The "players" and "setting" are described here. Pictures of some of the players are here.

Last week's Journal entry is here. Here is Week 19:


Tuesday, May 7 (pleasant, cooler): I called on Mrs. Benford. Ironed, worked on parking in morning. Letter to Ma from Aunt Libbie & one from Ruth. Got magazines ready for Jessie.

Wednesday, May 8 (pleasant): Fred & Jessie came at 11 AM, stayed to lunch, brought us some new potatoes. Watters Photo, it is nice. Hazel sent a letter, I sent her some candy & cookies. Mrs. Turner came, I gave her some plants & sent a boquet to Mrs. Wilts, she is sick.

Thursday, May 9 (warm): Worked in yard, trimmed the vines on 2114 Fern. Ma gaining.

Friday, May 10 (warm): 21 Planes start to New York. Ma walked to neighbors. Washed A[ustin]'s shirt & coveralls. I worked outside, put out snail medicine in bran. Josephine Hughes told me she was engaged to be married. President of West Shore Co to see us, will send $100 on Int[erest] next week.

Saturday, May 11 (warm): Ma & I worked outside a while. A[ustin] did not do much, watered (his feet hurt him). Lyle's went to country, took carpet I gave him.

Sunday, May 12 (warmer, Mother's Day): A[ustin] cut lawn and watered. So warm I did not do much. Ma & I took bath. It is Mother's day. Lyle's gave us cards. We gave Emily grass rug for porch.

Monday, May 13 (warm): We worked on yard, burned some more.


Some more new "players" appear - Fred and Jessie Kanagy are close friends of Emily Carringer and Gladys Taylor. The Kanagy house on Kalmia Street in San Diego was willed to Gladys, and her family rented it to SDGS to use as the society library for many years.

I finally realized that when "Lyle's" goes to the "country" that the Lyle Carringer family (wife Emily, daughter Betty - my mother) went almost every week with the Taylors to rebuild and renovate a church in Dehesa (southeast of El Cajon) that they had acquired - they wanted to use it as a weekend retreat.

The planes going to New York probably relate to Austin's work at Rockwell Field as an aircraft mechanic, or to the Ryan Aeronautical Company deliveries (Ryan built the Spirit of St. Louis for Lindbergh in 1927).

Gena's Cemetery web sites

Gena Philibert Ortega gave her "Cemeteries and Their Secrets" presentation to CVGS several months ago, and it was very well done.

She presented it on Saturday at the Family History Live Online webinar. Gena put a list of some of the web sites she discussed in the talk on her blog at

If you are looking for cemetery web sites, try Gena's links.

20th century nostalgia

My friend Ed sent me this link to a Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire" - it is a summary of history of the second half of the 20th century.

The link is at (it needs Flash player, of course).

When the song is playing, you can click on the "Lyrics" link (lower right hand corner) and see the lyrics and the event year for each picture. It would be interesting to have something like this for each decade...with an appropriate music selection.

This is history, not genealogy, but I love stuff like this - it's visual. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Internet and Web 2.0

It's hard for me to keep up with all of the latest technology and trends - I try to read all of the print magazines but I don't read the online commercial magazines regularly. I guess I should!

Miriam Midkiff has an excellent summary of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society seminar which featured Halvor Moorshead, the publisher of Family Chronicles (print) and Internet Genealogy (digital) magazines.

Halvor made four presentations:

1) The Internet 2007: What's New and What's Coming;

2) Researching Old Newspapers Online: Your Ancestor's 15 Minutes of Fame;

3) Web 2.0: New Uses of the Internet for Genealogical Research;

4) Dating Old Photographs.

His lecture notes and several magazine articles (not all by his authorship) that back up his material are here.

I found all of the magazine articles listed very interesting - especially the Web 2.0 articles.

Thanks to Miriam for the link, and to Halvor for posting the notes and articles.

Funny Genealogy apparel designs

JMK Genealogy continues to turn out new and funny genealogy wearing apparel - see these examples (they aren't all T-shirts!):

National Genealogy Transcription Endurance Tournament
"Many will enter but only one will emerge dazed and triumphant! or they would if such a cool tournament really did exist... "

Surname Variation Tournament
"one ancestor. as many documented spellings as possible."

All State Headstone Rubbing Tournament
"1 cemetery, 80 headstones, 3000 sheets of tracing paper, 12000 wax crayons, zero damage"

Check out the full selection at

Note that I don't have any interest in this company - I just like the selection and sense of humor!