Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day 23 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

On the twenty-third day of Christmas,
Christmas Tree Ornaments are the rage.

Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family make ornaments?

I really don't remember many heirloom or cherished ornaments from my childhood. Almost all of the ornaments were small or medium sized round glass balls of varied colors. We usually applied a lot of tinsel to the tree branches.

As school children, we brought home paper chains for the tree. Sometimes we had a popcorn string, but never cranberries.

I don't think we made ornaments - we were boys! We did have some of Dorothy's home-made ornaments on our trees.

When we had children, my mother made Christmas ornaments for each of her grandchildren. Each was unique and incorporated angels into the design. They were kiln-fired enamels on flat copper plate. Each had the child's name and the year on it. These were given featured places on our family Christmas trees as my kids grew up. After my mother died, and as my daughters started their family, we gave them to our daughters. Each has chosen to display them year round in a case on the wall rather than put them on their Christmas trees.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 24 - The Christmas Tree

On the 24th Day of Christmas,
I'm supposed to talk about the Christmas Tree.

Did you have a real tree, or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree?

When I was a kid ... we always had a real tree, but a dead one. My folks would get it from a tree lot somewhere. The tree was usually 6 to 7 feet tall, and was almost always a Douglas Fir. I think we had several flocked trees over the years.

The tree was set up in the "cubby-hole" at 2119 30th Street in San Diego - the upstairs flat. It was visible from the street. I think my dad attached the tree stand, and strung the lights - they were multi-colored bulb lights on a continuous string - if one went out, they all went out. My mom would put most of the ornaments on the tree, especially the "nice" ones that were up at the top where little boys couldn't touch them. Then she had a gauzy white covering to put over the tree stand.

The "cubby-hole" was out of the traffic areas of the living room, but it was highly visible to anybody in the living room. If one of we boys were caught shaking, feeling up or opening the wrapped gift boxes, there were threats made about taking them back to the store.

There were other Christmas trees in my life as a kid. My grandparents always set up a tall Douglas Fir in their living room - in the corner by the window looking out toward the Bay. We went there for Christmas Eve because they had a fireplace (made sense - Santa could visit us much better - although he never neglected us at 2119).

The other Christmas Tree was at cousin Dorothy's house in Kensington. Dorothy was my dad's first cousin - her mother Emily (Richmond) Taylor was my father's mother's sister. Dorothy was an artist, and always had a non-traditional tree. Not an evergreen - usually a manzanita bush without leaves, or some other hand-cut bush or tree. She decorated this tree with hand-made ornaments of her own design. My mother always loved the originality, to we boys (including my dad), this wasn't really a Christmas Tree.

A side note: I'm going to concentrate in these posts on my childhood, rather than on my married family times, or the current post-children years. My goal in writing these is to be able to provide a nice collection of memories so that my children and grandchildren can read them if they are interested.

Another side note: The B&B in Julian does have wireless access, so I will post a time or two each day. We got here after stops at Dudley's Bakery in Santa Ysabel and at the Santa Ysabel casino, which is fairly new, and relatively small. We met two couples at the B&B, and shared life stories with them over hors d'oeuvres. We went to dinner at Romano's - Italian food, decent. Linda called an old friend that lives in Julian - we'll meet them tomorrow. It rained all day and will get down in the 30's tonight. We're in the lodge so we don't have to go out in the weather.

Dashing to the snow...

Maybe it will snow on us this weekend. Where - in San Diego County? Sure - up in our mountains, they get snow several times each year.

We are off to Julian (4,000 foot elevation) today for the weekend - about 60 miles away. Julian is a small mountain town with character - apple pies, mines, old-fashioned drugstore, antique stores, small cemetery, leaves turning colors, etc. The fires of the last five years have burned all around it, but not the town itself. We'll stay at a Bed and Breakfast, find neat places to eat, do a little shopping, visit the local casino and bookstore, and celebrate my Angel Linda's birthday.

I have no idea if the B&B has Internet access (I forgot to ask), so Genea-Musings and my other blogs may be dormant until Sunday evening. I'm taking the laptop so if there is access, I may post a time or two. Maybe I'll just work on the Advent Calendar posts that are supposed to start tomorrow.

The latest weather report says that it won't snow - it will only rain hard, and that's probably good for all of Southern California - it will preclude more fires, at least for the next month or so. I was really looking forward to snow.

If you have to satisfy your blog-reading obsession, then please read some of the wonderful posts by my genea-blogging colleagues. Go back and read the posts in my weekly "Best of the Genea-Blogs" series, or revisit the Carnival of Genealogy posts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Should Genealogical Societies Go Virtual?

Jasia posted today about the birth of a new genealogy society blog for the California Genealogical Society and Library - at

Welcome to Kathryn Doyle and the CGS people - and congratulations on taking an exciting step into the genealogy blogosphere.

In Kathryn's first post, she mentioned attending the FGS conference and witnessing David E. Rencher's 2005 keynote address on "Societies Going Virtual." David's presentation slides in PDF format are here.

There are many challenging issues facing genealogy societies of all kinds, and David addresses them well, and concludes "Go Virtual or Perish." Now that doesn't mean a society has to have a blog, but it does have to have a web site. It also needs to attract "distance members" who have an interest in a town, county, region, state, country, ethnic group, church denomination, etc. On the web site, it could have a "members only" area for publications, databases, presentations, etc. It could have a sales operation for publications on paper, CDROM, etc.

To be sure, there are genealogy societies that have many of the "virtual" characteristics - the New England Historic Genealogical Society comes to mind because I am a member. They have an online store, a members-only area with databases, a regular email newsletter, but they also have a physical building, a large manuscript, books, and periodical collection, and members across the country.

David's presentation material should be "must-reading" for every society leader struggling with membership, budgets, projects, and programs. I'm going to pass the link to it to my Board members for their perusal, comments, and ideas.

Thank you to Jasia for the 17 part series on genealogy societies in August 2006, to Kathryn for her link to the Rencher material, and to David for his presentation which made me think a bit tonight.

To answer my own question - I do think that genealogy societies should have a strong online presence that complements and supplements the physical meetings and projects of an existing society anchored at a location with members and resources. Going"completely virtual" is not feasible for most societies now or perhaps ever. We'll see - the future has a way of sneaking up on us, doesn't it?

Dear Genea-Santa

The current Carnival of Genealogy topic is - Wish Lists! Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner and these are the seasons of gift giving and receiving. What are you wishing for this Christmas? The Genea-Santa wants to know! Do you have any suggestions for the folks who have to buy a gift "for the genealogist who has everything"?

I posted my 2006 wish list here - and did get some of those wishes answered - just not the ones that would advance my research! I guess I was a "naughty genealogist" or something (I did have a lot of risque census whacker posts last year, was it that?). Anyway, this is a different year, so maybe Santa will be kinder.

My genealogy wish list for Christmas (in addition to what I asked for and didn't get last year):

1) A genealogy software program called, say, "Genealogy Seance" that will contact the spirits of my ancestors wherever they may be. I'd like to ask many of my ancestors a lot of questions, and be able to follow up with more questions. I hope someone will take my wish and run with it - think of the profits!

2) Travel and cruise tickets for the Legacy Cruise in July 2008 to the Baltic Sea. My wife is ready to go ... we can spend some time in England before and after.

3) Another good deal at for a World Deluxe subscription to Ancestry.

4) Travel and registration fees for one of the major genealogy conferences - Philadelphia in September would be great!

5) Another healthy and happy grandchild to make new family history with. And more time with all of my grandchildren to make more family history with.

6) A safe return from Iraq for my Marine son-in-law so that he can continue to make wonderful family history with his wife and sons.

That's enough for now. Does somebody want Linda's email address (hint hint)?

Internet Genealogy TOC - Dec/Jan 2008 Issue

The Internet Genealogy magazine Table of Contents includes:

* "What's coming in Internet Genealogy" - page 4
* "Home Page" - page 5
* "Net Notes" - page 6
* "The Hidden Web: Beneath the Surface" by George G. Morgan - page 9
* "Do You Need a Genealogy Agent?" by Lisa A. Alzo - page 13

* "Case Study: There's something About Mary" by Lisa A. Alzo - page 16
* "Old Soldiers Homes" by Donna Murray - page 20
* "Unearthing Those Hidden Gems on" by Lisa A. Alzo - page 23
* "Lineage, First Family and Pioneer Societies on the Web" by Diane L. Richard - page 29
* "In Praise of Genealogy 2.0" by Marian Press - page 33

* "American Indian Ancestry: An Introduction" by Pat Wohler - page 35
* "E-mails and Old Newspapers: A Story of a Diabolical Deed" by Denise A. McGlinchey - page 39
* "Wills and Administrations in Britain and Ireland" by Alan Stewart - page 41
* "National Genealogical Society" by Diane L. Richard - page 45
* "Paying it Forward in Genealogy" by Donna Potter Phillips - page 46

* "WorldVitalRecords" by Diane L. Richard - page 49
* "A Different Type of Family Reunion" by Andrew Gudgel - page 53
* "More Than One Way to Lose a Document" by David A. Norris - page 54

There is a lot of information in these 56 pages. I learned a lot from George Morgan's article on the Hidden Web, and really enjoyed Lisa Alzo's Case Study article. The web site is You can subscribe or renew for $22.50 per year. Access to each issue comes in your email - you have to click a link, put in the username and password, and see a PDF format file. You can download the PDF file for future reference on your computer. You can print pages if you wish.

A more complete Table of contents can be found at (but today it shows the October/November issue - go figure!). The Current Issue list of web links is at (but it is for the August/September issue - someone is falling down here!).

I like this magazine - it's timely, has useful articles, and is very readable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One of Ancestry's patents

There was an intriguing post on the APG mailing list today - about Patent 7,249,129 issued 24 July 2007 to The Generations Network for "Correlating genealogy records systems and methods." The patent abstract reads:

"A method of consolidating genealogy records includes partitioning the records using at least one index file to form one or more partitions, sorting the records in a partition based on a data element in the records, comparing records within a sort range, based on the comparison, identifying same person records, consolidating information in the same person records, receiving a request from a user to view at least a portion of the consolidated information for a particular group of same person records, and sending a file that includes the portion to the user. "

The background, description and claims are very detailed with a high "fog factor" - it is difficult to understand exactly what they mean without being able to see the figures (the Images didn't show for me when I clicked on the link).

My summation is "what you see on when you do a search is obtained by what they describe in this patent." The patent describes the methods used to interrogate a number of databases, determine that certain entries meet the search criteria, and then present the information to the requestor.

Having patented this particular "correlation process," will TGN now legally go after other database providers if they use the same record correlation methods? How will they determine that the methods are the same as what they have patented?

The two comments (so far) to the APG post lament that what TGN has patented is "logic" and is what researchers have been doing for many years with pencil and paper. They may be right, but TGN took it a step further and defined it step-by-step as part of a computer program, and now have a patent on it. You and I can still apply all the logic we want in our searches - we just can't create a correlation system using the same methods that TGN has described and use it to make money unless we have a license from TGN to do it. I wonder what a license would cost?

Some may see this as a "big brother" thing where the "genealogy bully" is stomping on the little guys. In reality, it is a sound business decision taken to protect intellectual property. I wonder what else they've patented?

Hugh Watkins posted about this here and Dick Eastman posted it here (there are many comments).

CVGS Research Group summary

The November meeting of the Research Group for the Chula Vista Genealogical society had 11 attendees today.

The first order of business was to talk about the "genealogy news of the month" which is summarized here. As part of that, I passed several US passport applications around and several of the township maps from the Ancestry collection. I also passed the great "Finding local history buried in the past" article from the Union-Tribune around.

Shirley H. presented the first "research problem" discussed. She has an ancestor named Sarah/Sally Pearce born ca 1787 in RI, who married Peter Hazelton, and they resided in Genesee and Orleans Counties in NY, and then in Berry County MI. They were in the 1850 census in Michigan. A Pierce/Pearce book lists a Sarah/Sally born in 1787 to James and Phoebe (Wood) Pearce in Little Compton RI, but James' will in Cayuga County NY gives her married name as Jayne, not Hazelton. Shirley wanted ideas on how to find Sarah's parents. We suggested that she follow a cluster research approach - find out who the associates of Sarah's family were (the witnesses to deeds and wills, the neighbors on plat maps, deeds or census records, etc.), and find out where they were from (look in surname books, county history books, land deeds, probates, message boards, etc.). Then search Pearce (and other spellings) families in those places, especially looking for vital records, probate records and land records.

Shirley B. shared her success in finding information about her Daniel Miller in NY. A correspondent of hers found a number of obituaries in the Utica NY newspaper for descendants of Daniel Miller in collateral lines, and passed them on to Shirley. She now knows a lot more about the family, and in particular Daniel's birthplace, which will help narrow her search.

Phyllis told us about her serendipity experience - she has been unable to find James Regnol in the immigration records on Ancestry, but she knew the year and ship he came on to New York. She input "james" "ontario" and "1855" into the database and found the complete James "Regwell" family - her missing folks!

Cynthia asked how she could find information about the "American Ammunition Company" in New York City that her grandfather founded in the early 1900's. We suggested a Google search with her grandfather's name, a Wikipedia search for the company, NYC City Directories (on Ancestry, FHC microfilm, NYC library), NYC newspapers online, and NYC library vertical files.

Finally, I discussed finding living people in public records, obtaining death certificates at the County Clerk's office, and finding an unmarked grave using a cemetery map showing "neighbors" of the deceased.

This meeting was helpful and productive - the attendees openly shared their problems, successes, knowledge and experiences to help others. is a Super Genealogy Search site

One of the problems with a blog post like my last one (" is Useful") is that it doesn't provide much context - meaning "what else does the same job or better?"

There are several other web sites that provide some sort of "survey many web site databases" for a name search.

The one with by far the most web sites searched is at MyHeritage - You have to register to use the site, but it is free. You can input a given name and last name and the search engine will look in over 900 different databases. It takes a little time to do this, but for a unique name it might find just the database you haven't found yet. Many of the databases surveyed are commercial for-fee sites, but at least you get an idea that some information may reside on those sites.

For example, today I input "David" "Auble" into the MyHeritage search engine. It first asked me to specify some spelling variations (I chose "Aubl" and "Huble" - it didn't have "Aubel" as an option). MyHeritage searched 957 web sites and found over 50,000 matches in 129 databases, with 15 databases timed out. There are some web sites on this list that I haven't seen before - mainly English shire or town sites. MyHeritage finds entries in Rootsweb, USGenWeb, FamilySearch, obituary sites, people search sites, newspaper sites, vital records sites, etc.

All in all, it is an excellent search site, especially for an uncommon name. For a common surname only search, the results would be way too many to effectively find a nugget in the coal mine.

While MyHeritage was "working," it used 100% of my computer CPU for much of the time, effectively preventing me from doing anything else on my computer. I had to cancel all running programs, reload IE7 and sign back in to MyHeritage and Blogger. The David Auble search took about ten minutes to complete on my system. You can progressively see how many matches it has found and the number of databases searched until the search is complete.

UPDATE 11/29: Please read Gilad's comments about my post in Comments. Thanks, Gilad, for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 is useful

I was reading the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine and Lisa Alzo's article about the Genealogy Agent web site ( It mentioned three web sites I wasn't familiar with -

* - searches 8 web sites with online databases using the name and some vital record dates/places.
* - a question-and-answer site to help you determine what records you need to find, based on what you already know.
* - a decision-tree site that helps you perform search tasks based on what you have already done.

The last two sites are fairly useless for an experienced researcher.

However, the site is very useful. When you input a given name and a surname, and perhaps a birth date and/or death date, you can then click on links to search databases at these 8 web sites:

* (if you have a subscription)
* - the Computerized Ancestor
* - the LDS FamilySearch site (1880 US census, 1881 Canada census, 1881 UK Census, Ancestral File, IGI, Pedigree Resource File)
* - user-contributed databases
* (some free, some subscription based) - includes free Genforum message boards, and User Pages
* - user-contributed databases
* - user contributed databases (need subscription)
* - user-contributed databases (need subscription).

This site is pretty efficient, although the windows it opens are fairly small. Some of the databases don't show you matches unless you have a subscription.

Rob, would you please contact me?

One of the frustrations with genealogy blogging is that there are times when someone comments on a post and you wish that you could immediately email them.

Last March, I posted "Searching for Minerva" in an effort to publicize one of my colleague's brick wall and hopefully crack through it. I got a comment from "Rob" in October who said:

"My name is Rob and I am a direct descendant of Minerva Jane Coan Crosbie (Crosby). Minerva was born 17 MAR 1853 in Burlington, IN to James W. Coan and Minerva Jane Saxon. James 13 Sep 1824-17OCT 1898 & Minerva Saxon 12 DEC 1828-11 MAR 1915) Thomas Crosbie was born in Earlston Scotland 11 OCT 1848 to James and Mary (Rule) Crosbie. Minerva Jane Coan's parents were both from the US. James was born in Fayette Co. PA and Minerva was born in Deleware Co. IN. They were married 26 May 1846. Please let me know if this helps and if there are any leads you have found, that is where my brick wall is."

I passed that on to my colleague via email, and she recently "found" it again and asked me to try to find Rob so that they can communicate about this family line.

Rob posted his comment anonymously, and therefore there is no way to contact him other than to appeal to his good nature with a post like this. My guess is that Rob found my post by Googling "minerva coan crosbie" or similar. If he Googles again, I hope he finds this post!

I searched the Rootsweb Mailing List Archives, the Rootsweb/Ancestry Message Boards and the GenForum Message Boards to see if Rob or someone else had posted this information. I didn't find any. A Google search was not fruitful. A search on Rootsweb WorldConnect and Ancestry's One World Tree was not productive.

I did find a post about Minerva and her family on Genforum, but it wasn't by Rob. Likewise, her parents are on WorldConnect, but not Minerva and her family. There are two entries for Minerva J. Coan in Ancestry's One World Tree database, but the contributors are not listed.

So I'm down to making this appeal to Rob to please contact me at rjseaver(at) and I will put him in touch with my colleague.

"Finding local history buried in the past"

The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper for Sunday, 25 November 2007 had a front-page center article titled "Finding local history buried in the past" by Michele Clock, with a sub-heading "SDSU team seeks out forgotten grave sites, cemeteries," and pictures showing an old gravesite. The article is still online at the Union-Tribune web site here. I don't know how long the article will be available online, but it is well worth reading, if just for the maps showing cemeterey and gravesite locations.

The story starts with

"David Caterino sweeps a metal detector across a weedy, isolated hillside. When the buzz of the device grows louder, his assistant skims the soil with the edge of a trowel.

"The San Diego State University archaeologist is looking for hints of a late-19th-century cemetery he believes lies beneath this ranch east of Ramona.

"There are no grave markers, so he and his assistant search for more obscure clues in the ground, such as bits of barbed wire that might have fenced off the graves."

The San Diego Gravestone Project is described as

"Since 2002, he and a team from SDSU have meticulously cataloged 140 grave sites and cemeteries, about half of which were unrecorded, that predate 1961.

"The San Diego Gravestone Project is part of a national movement that has grown in the past decade, experts say, with similar databases being compiled in states such as Kentucky and Texas.

"The project has mapped Indian and military cemeteries, large cemeteries and even individual plots. Some of the grave sites now sit beneath homes, restaurants and sidewalks. Others were moved to make way for development."

I don't want to excerpt more because of fair use limitations.

For a San Diego area genealogist, this article and the accompanying maps are invaluable.

I had heard of this project in the last year or so, but had not followed up on it. I think it would be an excellent society presentation to see what the archaeologists are doing, and to obtain the list of 140 different local gravestone sites. We know where the cemeteries that currently bury remains are, but some of the dormant or long forgotten cemeteries are invisible to most of us. The maps in the article show a graveyard on Otay Mesa that I didn't know about (and still don't - it may be for San Ysidro).

Once in awhile, the local newspapers provide articles that surprise and educate genealogists. This was one of those times, and I hope that our local societies follow up and learn about this project.

Does your area have a similar project? Do you know what the archaeology department at the local university is doing? Perhaps there is an opportunity to cooperate with these scientists in a synergistic manner.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cruising with Eastman

Roots Television has posted a number of interviews done by Dick Eastman on the 2007 Wholly Genes cruise to the Caribbean. This looks like really hard work for Dick, and I can really see the strain he's under as he interviews several of the speakers on the genealogy program.

The interviews include -

* Megan Smolenyak, one of the founders of Roots Television, and the Chief Family Historian at

* Tony Burroughs, the author of Black Roots.

* John Grenham, the author of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors.

* Cyndi Howells, the creator of Cyndi's List.

These videos are 9 to 14 minutes in length, and are useful as an introduction to these important people in genealogy, and their work. Dick skillfully leads them through their background and professional interests. One thing I noticed was that these people are passionate about their work and love to talk about it.

If you haven't watched some of Roots Television, you are missing a really good thing.

Georgie Stillman presented a wonderful program

November is always "show and tell" month on the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) program calendar - usually it is about our genealogy research, a document or treasure found, etc. Today's program was different!

The CVGS program today, called "Heirloom Discovery Day," was presented Georgie Stillman, an American Society of Appraisers member and a member of several Chula Vista community boards. We had 33 in attendance.

Everybody has seen the "Antiques Road Show" programs on PBS where a team of appraisers visit a certain area and residents there bring in antiques, collectibles, and the like to be appraised by the experts.

Today, 13 CVGS members brought in their treasures and collectibles. Each person gave a short description of what they think it is, where they obtained it, and what time period they think it is from. Georgie then described each article, often giving the method of manufacture, the time period made (and how she knows the time period), and a comment on the value of the item. These were not dry recitals of facts and figures - Georgie is exuberant, extemporaneous and funny, and she loves to see these family treasures. Needless to say, nobody stumped her!

What did our members bring in for evaluation?

* A small stoneware pitcher from the 1850 time frame.
* A decorated lamp fixture from the 1920's.
* A mustache cup from the 1920's.
* An elaborate silver necklace from the 1920's.
* A silver chalice from England, and a small sterling silver plate from 1920.
* A large home-made quilt from the 1920's.
* A glass pedestal vase (not carnival glass)
* A child's red chair from the early 1900's.
* A handmade sewing box from the early 1900s.
* A china pitcher from the 1870 time frame.
* A china export cup and saucer from the early 1800s.
* A child's sampler from the 1840's time period.
* A blown-glass egg with Edwardian lettering from around 1900.
* Two cross-stitch samplers from the early 1800's.

Georgie recommended that the two samplers be preserved by removing the cardboard backing and using an acid-free backing on them. She warned that you should not use dry cleaners for handmade quilts and rugs because of the chemicals used.

Georgie gave us some information about why collectibles and antiques are valued the way they are at present. She said that very rich people buy the higher priced items. These people want status and to display special pieces. They really don't value the "old" furniture, jewelry, art, silver, china, etc. unless it is unique and/or quirky.

Needless to say, the 80 minutes flew by quickly. The members got some idea of the value and rarity of their collectibles, and all attendees marveled at Georgie's expertise and knowledge, and really appreciated her willingness to take time from her busy schedule to inform and entertain us.

Have other societies had a program like this? Is there someone in your local area who would be able to do this type of program?

Della's Journal - Week 48 (November 26-December 2, 1929)

This is Installment 48 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944), 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 48 -


Tuesday, November 26: Austin's birthday. 76 years old. Lyle's gave him a pair [of] pliers & a card. We will get a oil stove so that will have to be his present from all of us. Emily worked. Letter from Aunt L[ibbie].

Wednesday, November 27 (warm): I painted the porch floors in front porch upstairs of 2116 Fern St & back porch then our back porch. Rose phoned & invited us to go out to the Park to hear the Thanksgiving program, then to Pepper Grove to eat Turkey & chicken dinner, cranberry jelly pie, mashed potato & gravy, sweet potatoes, pickles, olives, turkey dressing. We took apples, cake, cheese, mints & candy.

Thursday, November 28 (pleasant): Geo[rge] Kimball came for us at 10-30 A.M. had a lovely time. Austin stove well (??). Lyle's cut down Fig tree, then took ride in afternoon. Ma sat in auto, the rest went down to the organ and listened to the program. Not a very big crowd at organ.

Friday, November 29: We washed. Teachers went to Los Angeles. I ironed.

Saturday, November 30: Ed over, gave Ed $10. We took wire off front porch at 2114 Fern. Girls came home 11 P.M. Got coal oil stove $11.50, oil 5 gal.

Sunday, December 1: Mr. Paden moved part of their things in. I baked some war cake. Austin not feeling extra well, stomach bothers.

Monday, December 2: I worked outside, gave Ma her bath in morning.


November 28th was the last date that was written on the pages of the Journal. The rest of the Journal pages contain Della's "account book" for 1929, plus Christmas gifts and cards given and received. Della used loose pages to continue the Journal to the end of the year.

Poor Austin got a pair of pliers and a new oil stove for his 76th birthday. Very practical! I don't understand the "Austin stove well" comment. The word "stove" is difficult to decipher. At first I thought that it was "drove" but it looks like George Kimball drove.

I've wondered who Rose was - looking at the account pages and the 1930 census, it looks like she is Rosella Kimball (age 62, born IA), wife of George Kimball (age 62, born ME).

It looks like they had Thanksgiving dinner on the night before at Pepper Grove. I think that Pepper Grove is in Chula Vista just east of Hilltop Drive and G Street (current street names) - perhaps that is where George and Rose Kimball lived? No - it appears that in 1930 they lived on "6th St." near National Avenue in the area just south and west of Chula Vista. 6th St. was probably what is now H Street in Chula Vista. I need to check the city directories for the exact location.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Conferences, Cruises, Seminars, Societies, Webinars, Videos and You

Does it seem like there are so many more "learning opportunities" for genealogy researchers these days? There are many opportunities, but many of them cost a significant amount of money to attend and participate in. Some of them are very familiar to most researchers - the "traditional" ones are National Conferences, Regional Conferences, University Degree Programs or Courses, Genealogy Society Courses, Local Fairs or Seminars, Genealogy Cruises, Local society meetings, classes and groups, etc. Some of these cost a significant amount of money and all require attendance at a physical location.

With the advent of the Internet, Powerpoint, Webcasts, Voice Over IP and the like, there are now more opportunities for a single researcher to obtain educational information at home in front of their computer. These opportunities include (but are not limited to, since I'm not smart enough yet to ferret them all out!):

1) has over 1,100 videos available to watch for free - and many are tutorial or seminar quality videos.

2) The Genealogy Guys (George G. Morgan and Drew Smith), Genealogy Gems (Lisa Louise Cooke) and DearMYRTLE (Pat Richley) have regular podcasts (audio only) on genealogy news. You can listen to them online, or save them to an MP3 device. Lisa Cooke also has some genealogy videos at

3) - Family History Live Online has free all-day seminars on an occasional basis. You have to download software and syllabus content.

4) - GenClass has online genealogy classes on many subjects for a fee ($29.95 per class).

5) has three Webinars online for viewing at any time (until they take them off the site).

6) - The Learn Web Skills site has excellent hands-on free tutorials to learn traditional and online genealogy research methods.

I'm sure that I have missed some - if someone can point me to them, I will add them to my list.

Some of these online videos, podcasts and Webinars could be used in a conference room with a group of genealogists as long as there is an active Internet connection.

Other speakers and researchers are experimenting with audio along with video of the presentation slides - see Sharon Sergeant's post here, Donna Moughty's post here, Sandy Clunies post here, and Dick Eastman's post here. Some of these may require a per-view or per-session fee in order to watch and listen.

Will these online tutorial or "learning opportunities" starve conferences, seminars, cruises or society meetings of attendees? I really don't think they will, although those venues may use some of these technologies. The real value of societies and conferences is the synergy generated by meeting other researchers and discussing problems or experiences.

Will these new technologies proliferate until there are "too many?" I doubt it - some will be judged inefficient and will wither from competition. Others will thrive.

Will all genealogy education opportunities cost money in the future? I think that some will cost a nominal per-view fee - this may be one way an expert genealogist benefits from their experience, knowledge and teaching skills. The software and database companies will continue to provide free educational tools so that genealogy researchers can use their products.

What do you think? Some of these issues currently are being discussed on the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) mailing list. If they interest you, go read the posts and participate if you have something to add to the discussion.

Family Survival Kit

Do your family reunions and holiday get-togethers turn into marathon gripe sessions? Do the kids run wild? Does your cousin get drunk and make a scene? Why do you put up with it?

There is a solution - get a Family Survival Kit - it will help you survive family reunions and holiday get-togethers. See the video on RootsTelevision here.

It's hilarious. Great job!

Best of the Genea-blogs - November 18-24, 2007

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week. My criteria are pretty simple - I like posts that advance knowledge about genealogy, or are funny and/or poignant. I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or my own posts (hopefully, others will do that!).

* "Research Resource: Library of Congress" by Craig Manson on the Geneablogie blog. Craig reviews the photograph, ephemera, document, map and other collections available online at the Library of Congress. You don't have to go to Washington DC to see them!

* "Yearning and Family History (from the Oral History Association Conference)" by Susan Kitchens on the Family Oral History Using Digital Tools blog. Susan attended a conference and heard some fascinating and tragic stories. "Yearning" is a great word!

* "Five Ways to Create an Online Tribute" on the Family History Quick Start blog. This is an excellent article with good ideas to honor someone, either dead or alive.

* "Cabinet of Curiosities #1 - PT Barnum Edition" by Tim Abbott on the Walking the Berkshires blog. Tim started this Carnival and had a good response for the first one - 8 submissions, and they were pretty curious to this city boy.

* "Time to Make Your Custom Christmas Gifts" by Jasia on the Creative Genealogy blog. Jasia described ways to make Christmas ornaments to give to your family and friends. Excellent ideas here.

* "DNA Ancestry Review Part 3" by Tim Agazio on the Genealogy Reviews Online blog. Tim finishes his three part series by comparing test results from DNA Ancestry and Family Tree DNA. Read the comments too.

* "Great Expectorations: Genome-tainment Part 2 Genes" by Howard Wolinsky on the Gen-erocity blog. This is an interesting post about Howard's DNA search and that of others recently in the news. I think this is one of the best-ever post titles too!

* "Eatin' Outta the Bully Bucket and Other Reasons to be Thankful" by Terry Thornton on the Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi blog. This was the best Thanksgiving post by a genea-blogger, I think. I learned about friend biscuits, the bucket and that Terry's sweetie is better now. I'm glad!

* "Getting More out of" by Megan Smolenyak on the Roots Television Megan's Roots World blog. Megan has put together a 5 minute guided tout video of RootsTV. Excellent! They have over 1100 videos now online.

Those are my favorites. If I missed some really good ones, please tell me.

Tune in next Sunday for the next "Best of the Genea-Blogs" post.