Sunday, October 12, 2008

Best of the Genea-Blogs - October 5-11, 2008

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

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the 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:

* Grampa was a Bootlegger by Chery Kinnick on the Nordic Blue blog. You often learn the most interesting stories about your ancestors by talking to other family members. Chery tells the story, as told by her cousin, about her grandfather's still in the woods during the Depression.

* RootsMagic Cruise Wrap-up and Bowzer and the RootsMagic Genealogy Cruise by Dick Eastman on the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog. I've been highlighting conference and cruise summary posts in this series. Dick went on the RootsMagic cruise to the Mexican Riviera in late September and tells us about it. One of the highlights was the musical talents of Bowzer (remember him from Sha Na Na - my favorite singer!). Drat - I missed this cruise.

* Genealogy Filing System - Data Files by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Thomas shares his own genealogy data filing system, and some excellent tips about naming files.

* Build a Family Network with Ning by Denise Olson on the Family Matters blog. Denise shows the features of Ning, a free hosted social network site that could be used as an interactive home for a family association or a genealogy society. I really appreciate Denise finding and testing these technology oriented sites for all of us.

* Our Family's "Alias Smith and Jones" Story by Becky Jamison on the Grace and Glory blog. Smith's and Jones's are hard enough to research without a name change from one to the other - Becky tells the story well, and is really lucky to have learned the story from her cousin.

* Organizing Stories into a Book or Booklet by Emily Aulicino on the Writing Your Memories blog. Emily's post covers just about everything a writer (even bloggers!) need to know about turning their stories into a book. She has a great list of references too.

* Where's Waldo? (Subtitled "Go Ahead, Make My Day") by Becky Wiseman on the kinexxions blog. Becky tells a great research story about her search for information about her distant cousin Waldo Phend and how his granddaughter contacted Becky recently.

* White-Livered Widders by Dave Tabler on the Appalachian History blog. I always wondered what this saying meant - "white-livered" anything of course (I've always heard "lily-livered" - is it the same thing?). Dave explains it all and posts like this are what make his blog, and other regional history blogs, interesting. I'm tempted to say "what a way to go..."

* Friday from the Collectors - October 10: Unknown and Orphan Photos Trying to get Home by Sheri Bush on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Sheri's article is about finding orphan photos and trying to decipher the who, what, where and when of them. Sheri has two genealogy blogs - Twig Talk and Jackson County, Indiana.

* If At First You Don't Succeed, Look What Trying Will Do! by Sheri Fenley on The Educated Genealogist blog. Sheri provides an excellent summary of one family's efforts in the northwest to succeed in life.

* ProGen Study Group #6 by Mark Tucker on the ThinkGenealogy blog. Mark reviews last month's ProGen study group assignment and provides his homework response about his Time Bandits, plus covers Stephen Covey's ideas about organizing your time.

* Ella McKinnon to Annie Carlisle - Last Letter by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple has been transcribing and posting letters she found in Michigan last spring, and this is the last of the batch of letters concerning the descendants of Maryetta Wisner Hall. I've enjoyed reading a letter almost every day - you really come to feel like you know these people from their occasional letters to family in distant places.

* Dumb Luck - Again by Tim Agazio on the Genealogy Reviews Online blog. Tim uses his detective skills to find citizenship records in an unusual place and then says it was just luck. We should all be so lucky, or good! This is a great example of "leaving no stone unturned" in our search for our ancestors records.

Thank you to all genealogy bloggers for an interesting and informative week. Did you notice some new blogs on this list? I hope so!

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

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


Chery Kinnick said...

Hey Randy,

I was surprised to see your link to my article... thanks! I should add that Grampa's stint was thankfully a short one, and it was over well before the 1930s. The 1920s were hard enough, apparently, and those local farmers probably didn't feel much difference.

Dave Tabler said...


Thanks for the encouraging feedback! I expect there IS a direct link between 'lily-livered' and 'white livered.' Elizabethan English had a tremendous impact on the Appalachian dialect right through the mid 20th century; in my research I turned up a reference to 'lily-livered' from MacBeth.

Here's the missing link, though: Shakespeare's meaning is the one we associate with it: cowardice. So how did the Appalachian culture turn the phrase from 'cowardice' to 'oversexed?' A good subject for an upcoming post, I think!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Thanks for the mention Randy. I'm glad you enjoyed the letters. I plan to start with another group next month.


Sheri Fenley said...

Thank you Randy. I am having a blast with SIL's family. If only mine were so so ...Rich?
I can't seem to find a "poor relation" among any of her ancestors!

Sheri Fenley