Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 5 at Grandpa Camp - Winding Down

The last full day of Grandpa Camp was pretty good - I asked Lucas what he wanted to do today - and gave him choices of the Fleet Science Museum and Theater, the Aerospace Museum, the Children's Museum in downtown San Diego. He wanted to go back to the Zoo. So we did, and had a great time.

We were there shortly after 9 a.m. (but that was after throwing the baseball around and counting the 911 call boxes all the way there), and it was nice and cool - about 70F when we got there and about 75F when we left at noon. We walked down the Tiger Trail and saw the cubs sleeping in their den, then past the empty hippo pool (apparently they are late swimmers), then saw the 2-year-old Panda, scrunched two more pennies in the machine that takes 51 cents for each one, up the moving sidewalk to the top of the mesa, across on the Skyride to the entrance, and a snack in the shade. He wanted to take the 30 minute bus tour, so we sat up top in the sun and he fell asleep about halfway through the tour. Refreshed, he insisted on riding on my shoulders to the exit and out to the car.

We were home by 12:30, had some lunch, and watched a movie (The Even Stevens?) on the Disney Channel which he thought was funny - I did too, for different reasons. Great parody! Linda came home and they decided not to go swimming, so while Linda napped, I played catch with Lucas and then actually won a soccer game. I'm so proud of myself - brute force and chicanery can win out over skill and energy once in awhile! Of course, I was exhausted by then and so we played Uno for awhile, and when Linda got up, I had an hour on the computer to work on the CVGS newsletter due to the printer on Sunday.

Linda fixed dinner, we ate out on the cool patio - a nice breeze in the shade - and then we flew the model airplane out in front and had another round of catch in back. Finally, at 7 p.m., we came in to watch the Padres game.

Lucas had his snack, watched a video, and had his bath, then we did his hair and teeth, and he was in bed at 9 p.m. And asleep by 9:15 p.m., very peaceful tonight! Cool - I went back to the Padres game and watched them come from behind 6-2 with a walkoff grand slam in the 9th.

Then this post, and I'm done for the night.

Did anything great happen in genealogy today? I read the blogs and saw nothing fantastic. I even tried the 1930 census on Footnote and couldn't get on. Ancestry has added no new American content for weeks, it seems. My correction to the 1870 census still hasn't showed up in the Ancestry indexes (it's been a week now), and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog is still held hostage by an unseen Blogger monster. Oh well!

Tomorrow will be hectic with Lucas to the airport until 11 a.m., the SDGS meeting, and the Padres game in the evening. SNGF? Sure...hold your horses, I gotta think of something fun to do.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 4 of Grandpa Camp- the Decathlon

Day 4 of Grandpa Camp featured two trips out and many games played in and out... I feel like an Olympic decathlete having to do so many things in one day. Let's see - the games played by five-year-old Lucas and his real old Grandpa (well, I feel old tonight):

* Baseball in the morning, baseball in the afternoon, baseball in the summertime. Then the Padres game - which was a decathlon all to itself.

* Soccer in the morning...he won 11-7 as I recall. We go until I can't breathe then take a chocolate chip cookie break with water...he's not even breathing hard.

* Call box counting - in the car, we started playing I Spy but that quickly evolved into finding all of the 911 call boxes along the freeway.

* Counting airplanes on the USS Midway - we toured the Midway Museum today and he was bored (because he can't read everything yet, I think). So we counted airplanes and US Navy symbols. Then we went shopping and had lunch. Total gifts = 4: two airplanes, a baseball and a T-shirt.

* Back home after lunch, we played his hockey card game. He has like 200 hockey cards and knows all of the teams but not all of the players. So we try to match teams by drawing cards.

* Bottle bowling. We bowled in the family room with water bottles as pins and a baseball as the bowling ball. He's pretty good!

* Uno. He's good at Uno too, although we split four matches.

* Car counting over the back wall. We've done this since he was a baby. He picks silver cars so I pick white or black cars, and lose every time. It's cool in the shade there. We talk too.

* Piggyback riding - around the house. Not a competition.

* Quiet time - while I napped, he watched some videos on his DVD. Good boy!

Our visit to the USS Midway was pretty short - he was bored, and didn't want to listen to the docents talk, or even sit in a severed cockpit, or traipse around the sleeping quarters below decks. He wants action... and I love quiet. The pretzel was good, and the shopping was fun.

We went to the Padres game tonight on the trolley. We ate dinner at El Pollo Loco and then took the trolley to downtown San Diego, and were in our seats by 6:20. Here the feasting marathon began - ice cream cone (shared), popcorn (shared) cookie (shared), and a little candy. We managed to avoid the cotton candy and he didn't want the peanuts. We know two of the head ushers, and they both gave Lucas some ballpark swag. He wore the Chris Young glove for the rest of the game and was ready for foul balls. Then we went to the gift store and got ... baseball cards. The Padres won 8-3 and we were home by 10:30 - Lucas was sound asleep in the car.

That's my day - how was yours? Did anything great happen in genealogy today? I have no clue!

Tomorrow is Day 5 of Grandpa Camp and we're going back to the zoo I think. Lucas' choice. We can do more with just the two of us. I think Grandma is taking him swimming in the afternoon. Cool - I can work on the CVGS newsletter - or take a nap - while they're gone. Wanna bet which one I choose?

Making Family History with a five-year-old is hard work. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I get three more five-year-olds in the years ahead too, so this is good practice. Of course, as they get older, so do I. When Lucas is 18, I'll be, oh boy, 78. Hmmm, wonder if he'll remember Grandpa Camp 2009? And if so, what will be the highlights? He'll probably have to tell me all about it as I sit there drooling in my rocker at the genealogy rest home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Grandpa Camp Day 3 - A Welcome Break

Since Grandpa had a meeting to go to at noontime, Grandma stepped in and had a fun day with Lucas. He's now calling the week "Grandpa and Grandma Camp" which is appropriate!

* He was up early again - out the front door at 6 a.m. to get rubber bands (he said...don't ask). Grandma got up and started the breakfast routine. He and I had our waffles at 7:15 or so. Lucas has a bunch of hockey cards (pictures of hockey players - you know, like the old baseball cards) and knows all of the teams and many of the players. He loves hockey! He played PBS games on the computer for awhile, then we looked at recent family pictures, and pictures of his mother's wedding. He loves to do this with me!

* After Linda left for swimming, he and I went out front to throw the ball around, then to the back yard for hitting. We also played one half of soccer before Grandpa was too hot and tired (well, maybe 10 minutes). Ah - snacks - watermelon and choc chip cookie hits the spot! This kid loves to snack! Then three games of Uno - he loves to play games!

* Linda came back and we headed out for Costco at 11 a.m. Bought a GPS unit, then had lunch (Hot dog and lemonade) there, and I went off to my CVGS Board meeting at the library, and Grandma took Lucas shopping for his birthday.

* My Board meeting was over at 2 p.m., so I was home by 2:30 and found a note that said they had gone swimming at a friend's home. Free time? What am I gonna do? I read my email and blogs, then took a nap! Answered some email, made a genealogy report for the San Francisco cousins and sent it off to them, and was ready to write a blog post when they came home. Oh well!

* Back out to the backyard to play catch and he tried to rope me into a soccer game but I resisted... we came in and had a snack and he played with his cards while I tried to make the GPS unit work. Ah, needs to be charged - plugged it into the USB port.

* Dinner time was spare ribs and green beans out in the patio. Very pleasant - he ate it all...probably hungry after all of the snacks and games. Then he helped me water the front plants and put out the trash. Came back in for dessert (angel food cake, strawberries and ice cream) out on the patio where it was pleasantly cool (maybe only 80F but shady and breezy).

* Bath time, then watch ESPN for awhile (did I mention that Lucas loves sports on TV too?), ready for bed, a story about Grandpa playing football at the park, and he conked out within ten minutes of lying down with me. Cool.

Genealogy today? Not much. Email and blogs in the morning, a blog post about the SDGS program, then the afternoon email review and genealogy reports, and that's about it.

Lots of family history made, though. Tomorrow is a big day - we go off to the USS MIdway floating museum to see an aircraft carrier and a lot of planes on the flight deck, then in the evening we'll go to the Padres game at Petco Park. He loves riding the trolley.

I hope you don't mind these daily activity reports - they will help me remember what we did, and I can send them to my daughter so that Lucas can read them in the future.

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 8 August

The August meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society will be Saturday, 8 August, starting at 11:30 a.m. (note the earlier time!) at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 8350 ake Murray Blvd (at Jackson Drive).

The program will be "The Civil War: Reliving The Past" and an Ice Cream Social

Relive history with Civil War reenactors! Our presenters, in uniform, will relate a brief history of the impact of the Civil War, show some period weapons and discuss their uniforms. They will also relate an ancestor’s Civil War experience in the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry for which he was awarded a medal. This will truly make history come alive! Even if you don’t have a Civil War ancestor, this will be a most unique and memorable experience.

Tom Helmantoler serves as the commander of Sgt. William Pittenger Camp No. 21 and is a Corporal in Company G, 5th California Infantry. He is also active in Sons of Veterans Reserve and the San Diego Civil War Roundtable as well as Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and is a Sergeant in the California State Military. Tom will be assisted by fellow reenactor, Deane Poole.

A retired Julian High School history, government and economics teacher, Tom graduated from San Dieguito High School and has a BA in History from San Diego State College and a master’s in Education from Pepperdine University.

This will also be our ever-popular ‘Ice Cream Social’ meeting where you can order up your own ice cream sundae with all the fixins. We will serve up different flavored ice cream for $1 a scoop and 25¢ for each topping. The big decision will be whether to have 1, 2 (or is that 3?) scoops -- and is that with sprinkles, fudge or caramel? A great way to cool down and kick off the summer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A hot day at Grandpa Camp

Day two of Grandpa Camp - making Family History with one special little boy (lucas is almost six) at a time - was a hot one - we had 90F+ heat with relatively high humdity and it made being in the sun difficult. But we persevered. Camp events today were:

* Playing baseball in the backyard - hitting, fielding, throwing with wiffle balls and soft rubber balls and a plastic bat. I don't have a light enough aluminum bat for him - he's only 45 pounds and the 27 inch bat we have swings him. He tries so hard!

* Playing soccer in the backyard. This kid has a motor that never stops. After ten minutes, I'm breathing hard and sweating and he's still running. He won the soccer game 7-6. He's a really good sport and a competitor.

* We went to the San Diego Zoo today, along with about 50,000 other people. We met my other daughter and her two little girls (ages 4+ and 1+) - so Grandma and Grandpa had three of the four grandkids to watch have fun. We ate lunch first. I rode the Skyfari to the far side of the Zoo with Lucas and Lauren, and then we walked the half mile of Elephant Odyssey. The kids loved the big animals they can climb on - and we took pictures. It was too hot to stop and really watch the real animals we ended up at the snack bar and had a nice ice cream in the shade and got everybody hydrated again. Lucas and Lauren played in the play area for awhile, and then we walked the mile to the entrance and came home. It was a short day at the zoo, but we go often and everybody has a pass.

* Lucas was the only one that didn't get a nap, but he watched his DVD player while everybody else snoozed. Then he and Lauren played in the kiddie pool for awhile and drew chalk pictures on the patio concrete. Audrey is just starting to walk and she really wanted to get wet too but we kept her relatively dry.

* We went out to dinner at Rubio's in Otay Ranch, and after eating the kids chased bubbles around the fountain. They had a blast doing that, and throwing coins in the fountain (of course, Lucas had to reach in and get more coins to throw back in). He really shared well with his smaller cousins, and helped me feed Audrey, sharing his burrito and drink with her.

* Back at home, Tami got her girls in and out of the bath while Linda put a small birthday party for Lucas together. Cake and strawberries and ice cream, a candle and song. Tami packed her girls up and headed home and Lucas went into the bath. We watched the Padres game after that and he fell asleep on the bed watching the game.

So Day two is done, and Grandpa is still hot, and tired out. Lucas will be ready to rumble early in the morning, so this is all the blogging I'm going to do for today.

If I'm not doing genealogy research, I really want to make great family history!

So what happened in genealogy today? I see that will have a public offering, and that they've released some income and revenue statements. My view is that we genealogists need the commercial genealogy companies to be profitable so that they'll stay in business, and we need competition in the industry in order to keep the companies vying for our subscription business. There are a lot of records that need digitizing and indexing so that they can be accessed by researchers. The database companies are doing a pretty good job of adding new content, and improving their website navigation and search capabilities. There are several excellent software companies that are continually upgrading their products, and the competition keeps them in this continuous improvement cycle. Enough for the to bed!

I'm at Grandpa Camp this week

Blogging on Genea-Musings may be lighter than usual all of this week because I am hosting Grandpa Camp. I picked my 5-year-old grandson, Lucas, up at the airport on Monday at 1 p.m. and we headed for the Miniature Golf place and promptly spent about $20 on games and things. Then it was home to have milk and cookies, then play baseball in the front driveway, and then he played Uno with Grandma while Grandpa rested his eyes.

We went out to pizza for dinner and dropped more cash in the arcade games - he likes the Race Car ones where he can drive on the sidewalk and smash into buildings - it's great fun to watch him. Hopefully, by the time he's 16, he will have had enough practice that he'll stay to the right of the centerline. He ate his pizza and we brought some home for lunches for the rest of the week.

To top off the evening, we went swimming at our friend's home - Lucas is a great swimmer - he dives, he jumps from high places, he dogpaddles furiously and swims underwater beautifully. We had so much fun. Then it was home for ice cream and watching the Padres game (Pads beat Atlanta 4-2). We put a puzzle together while watching the game.

He finally conked out at 10...which left precious little time to write anything blogwise. So you get a "new" Family History post instead of some boring "how-to" article with lots of screen shots.

Angel Linda had him guess what was in one of her four-generations pictures while we riding in the car to dinner. Then when we got home, she showed him the picture. This is his mitochondrial DNA line! I haven't told him that, of course! Yet - I better wait until he is eight and can understand genetics.

One little note - I've heard from two more descendants of Elijah and Jane McKnew and have started corresponding with them. One of them went by the San Francisco houses on Saturday and spoke to the owner. How cool is that?

One last thing - has the 1930 United States census for free access through the end of August. Try it! Here's the information they sent out:

"We will be opening the entire Interactive 1930 US Census for free throughout the month of August. All the indexes in their entirety are always free on However, for this month we will allow free access to the images as well. Visitors will need to go to and register (provide email address) to gain free access."

Monday, August 3, 2009

SCGS "The News and Notes" newsletter available

The August-September-October 2009 issue of the Southern California Genealogical Society's (SCGS) newsletter "The News and Notes" is available via a link on the SCGS webpage (

This issue is 20 pages, and is available as a PDF file here.

The summary of the Genealogy Jamboree is on Page 11. There were over 1,500 attendees at Jamboree. That is amazing! It seemed like at least that many!

I've been updating my list of videos and podcasts that were recorded at the Jamboree in my post More SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Audio/Video. If I've missed anyone, please let me know!

For what it's worth, here is another society that is putting their "newsletter" (as opposed to a magazine or journal) online for free access to interested readers. Everything in this newsletter is intended to inform existing and potential members and to encourage them to participate in SCGS activities. It's an excellent communication and marketing tool.

Same house, 103 years later? Revisited

I love it when my readers are more enterprising than me (and smarter?), and take my posts and dig a little deeper. I posted 18 April 1906 - San Francisco - They Were There! on Thursday and followed it up with Same house, 103 years later? on Friday.

This was the picture of the house at (then) 4135 19th Street in San Francisco in the days after the 1906 earthquake:

I searched for the house on Google Maps and found it in the Street View, with the address of 4131 19th Street:

Reader Pete Small saw these pictures and did a little detective work that is revealing and useful to other researchers. Here are Pete's emails to me (posted with his permission):

"First, the County (usually) Assessor-Recorders Offices around the country have, for the most part, all digitalized their property records. Some have more detail than others, but there is usually a Block and Lot map and a description of the property. Some, like my County, actually have a picture of the house (SF does not) and the original handwritten property cards back to 1938.

"The Google maps are excellent, but the addresses that appear on-screen are usually off and sometimes you don't know if you are on the right side of the street (unless you can read the house number attached to the front door). Using the county Assessors map, you can verify the exact location of the property.

"Second, some facts (?) and a fun observation.

"The 1900 Census has:

"4131 19th St McKnew, Elijah 63 and Jane 52 (+some children). Elijah owns the house and it is mortgaged.

"4137 19th St McKnew, Henry 29 and Annie 28. Henry is renting.

"* The County Assessor has 4135-4137 as a 3 family house built 1900. You can see the three entrances in Google maps street level and one of the house numbers is clearly (4137)

"The 1910 Census has:

"4103 19th St McKnew, Elijah 74 and Jane 62 (12 children 11 living) + Gladys 18 (dau) owns home-Free

"4135 19th St McKnew, Leland J 21 and Agnes 20 married 1 year and they are renting.

"*The fun part. Leland is a Wells Fargo Express Messenger. Look at the outfit on the young guy in your 1906 photo. There is writing across his chest and what may be a small shield. Also, there is a bicycle by the front door! He is also wearing leggings. I worked for United Parcel Service for 33 years as a Finance Manager. UPS got their start in 1907 Seattle, Washington as a messenger service. I have a few old photos of the original bicycle/motorcycle messengers and they all wear those same leggings.

"I have tried to enhance your photo to read the house number better, but the last digit is still unclear. It is possible it is 4131*. The house seems much closer to the curb in the 1906 photo vs Google, but may be a trick caused by the cameras of that era.

"*4131 was built 1990 according to the Assessor's Office, but I think that is because of the recent addition and it is a 3 family with 17 rooms, 6 Bdrms and 6 Baths."

After I responded commending his work, Pete wrote back saying:

"Another goodie: 1920 Jane 42 (s/b 72) a widow b. Austria (s/b Australia) owned (mortgaged) 4137 19th St and has it currently listed for $1,271,000. Always pays to be nice to your out-laws!"

I thank Pete for his keen observations and digging in the county assessor records for these properties.

Here is another Street View that shows what is currently 4131 (on the left) and 4135-37 19th Street (in the middle with the tree in front of it), and 4143 19th Street on the far right (the green house).

I can barely see the street number 4137 for the right door of the middle house above the door in the Street View. Thank you, eagle-eye Pete! Do you see two dogs on the sidewalk in the far left lower corner of the above picture? I wonder if those are the current residents of one of my wife's ancestral home?

Since the current building at 4131 19th Street is 3 units with 17 rooms, 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, I wondered just how far back the building goes. I used the Satellite view from Google Maps for the block and zoomed in as much as possible:

As you can see, the current 4131 19th Street (with the red stick-pin over the white roof) has the deepest lot on that side of the street, and it appears to have had a significant addition in the back, plus the front addition, if the different roof colors are any indication. The 4135-37 building doesn't go as far back as the current 4131 building does.

Finally, picking up on Pete's research in the census, it looks like the Elijah McKnew family lived in 4135 (current 4131) 19th Street in the 1900 census, and his son Henry lived in 4137 (probably current 4135) 19th Street then. In 1910, Elijah and Jane had moved down the street where it says they owned the house at 4103 19th Street, and son Leland McKnew was in 4135 19th Street. By 1920, Elijah had died (in 1912) and Jane lived in 4137 19th Street (probably the current 4135-37 address).

A review of the San Francisco City Directories for this time period may be helpful too!

To top it off, I received a response on the Scanfest Today post from a great-granddaughter of Veronica McKnew, who may have been a granddaughter of Elijah and Jane McKnew. If this anonymous poster is reading this post, please email me at and "let's talk" about the family. I have quite a bit of McKnew family history information and am married to one of your cousins.

Since I started the last paragraph (and had to go look in my email files), I received an email from Tim Cox of CGSL, who lives near this neighborhood, and he walked by the houses today and took many pictures from street level and even knocked on the door of 4135! He found the property descriptions online and sent them to me. Thank you Tim!!!

Isn't genealogy, family history and house history fun?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where, oh where, has my little blog gone?

Where, oh where, has my little blog gone,
Where, oh where, can it be?
With its posts so short and its archives long,
Where, oh where, can it be?

Um, one of my "other" blogs - the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe (, the official blog of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, has disappeared from the blogosphere and the Internet.

I'm not sure when it happened - my last post was Thursday, as I recall.

When I tried to read it today, I got the message from Blogger:

"Blog has been removed. Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs. Did you expect to see your blog here? See: 'I can't find my blog on the Web, where is it?'"

I clicked on the link above and got:

"I can't find my blog on the Web, where is it?

"If you can't find your blog online and you're certain you (or one or your team members if you have a team blog) didn't delete your blog, then the first thing to do is make sure you've typed in the correct URL. If your blog is published with a custom domain or if you have an FTP blog, make sure you've correctly entered your settings in order for your blog to appear online.

"The final thing to do is review Blogger's policies to see if you may have violated our Terms of Service. If you've typed in the correct URL, haven't deleted your blog yourself, and your FTP or custom domain settings are correct, then please contact us for further assistance."

Okay - I checked with the other registrant, and he didn't delete it. I didn't delete it. Maybe someone else deleted it? Got my password and hit the big orange DELETE button?

I tried to read the mind numbing Blogger policies and Terms of Service and didn't see anything that violated them, but of course how could I tell since the $%^%$&*^$# blog isn't visible anymore?

I tried to login and see what happened and it said that the blog had been removed for review by Blogger for offensive content. Well now, I don't think there was anything more offensive on the blog than a stray "darn" or "shucks." Maybe these young snipperwhackers on this Internet thingie don't understand that type of lingo...or have visions of something else in their pointy little heads.

I was able to log in to my Google account for the society, so the username and password still work. But I couldn't get to the blog. I sent a request for a review of the decision this afternoon and haven't heard anything back yet, but it's Sunday. Those knuckleheaded TIF-throwing nerdaholics at Google are probably throwing a Frisbee somewhere and not fixing my blog back in shape.

I do have a text copy of all of my posts on the CVGC archived so I haven't lost any real content yet.

I know this has happened to others in the genea-blogosphere over the years. Any good advice?

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 26 July - 1 August 2009

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:

* Oscar Wilde, Sonny Bono and the Naked Orphans Redux by Craig Manson in his Appealing Subjects column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog-ezine. Craig writes about photograph copyright issues in this appealing post.

* Crossing My I's and Dotting My T's by Leah on The Internet Genealogist blog. Leah discusses handwriting here -her own, and that of her ancestors, and others too. I really identified with this post! My handwriting is atrocious now.

* Gravestone Rubbings by Midge Frazel on the Granite in My Blood blog. Midge discusses rubbings, and mentions that they are illegal in Massachusetts. I'm glad I haven't been tempted while there!

* Using the Wikipedia map tricks for genealogy by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. James tells us about a neat trick to find the geographical coordinates of a place using Wikipedia. Superb!

* Do I need a Terms of Service agreement on my blog? by Thomas MacEntee on The Geneabloggers blog. Thomas describes blog content protections for genealogy bloggers. Wise words here.

* 25 Great Ideas for Genealogy Society Blogs by Amy Coffin on the We Tree blog. Amy has suggests that genealogy societies create blogs to reach the widest audience possible, and has content suggestions too. Excellent!

* Where Have I Been? by Renee Zamora on Renee's Genealogy Blog. I hate it when a blog goes dormant for awhile, but I love it when the blogger tells us all about their great trip. Renee had a wonderful trip for research and family - the pictures are great! I'm glad she's back among the blogging!

* Setting Your Ancestor in History by Lorine Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. Lorine has great advice about how to find out about events that you ancestors may have experienced.

* Five We Like: Another week of family history goodies by Larry Lehmer on the Passing It On blog. Larry's weekly list of favorites has some interesting links - check out the beginning genealogy video.

* Sometimes "Crazy" Works by Caroline M. Pointer on the Family Stories blog. Caroline tracked down an elusive Mary in the US Census using logic and savvy.

* It's 2014! Do You Know Where Your Data Is? by Dick Eastman on the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog. Dick's magnus opus (maybe his longest post ever?) discusses genealogy software, online family tree databases, data transfer and preservation. Read the comments too.

* The State of Genealogy Software Today by Louis Kessler on Louis Kessler's Behold Blog. Louis reviews today's crop of genealogy database software as it applies to data transfers and preservation.

* We Both Screamed For Ice Cream by Lisa Burks on the Adventures in Grave Hunting by Lisa Burks. Lisa haunts Los Angeles area cemeteries looking for celebrity graves. This post is typical - great pictures and a good story.

* Graveyard Rabbits Carnival – August 2009 by Julie Tarr on The Graveyard Rabbit blog. There were 19 submissions for this Carnival - the topic was "Favorite cemetery-related photo."

* No Fish Tale -- How a Lady Learned to Cast a Line and Landed Quite a Catch by Denise Levenick in her Miss Penelope Dreadful column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog-ezine. Penny Dreadful tells a fascinating story of looking for love in a pretty good place way back when. Enjoy!

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 500 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- My Genealogical Threes

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

Over on Facebook, some people have been posting their "3s of Me" with information about themselves providing three responses in different categories like "Three names I go by," "Three jobs I've had," "Three favorite drinks," etc. You get the idea.

So here is your assignment, if you decide to accept it (this is not Mission Impossible, of course):

1) Tell us your three responses to the questions:

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent
* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips
* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)
* Three websites that help my research
* Three ancestral graves that I've visited
* Three ancestral places I want to visit
* Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more

2) Post your responses as comments to this blog post, in your own blog, or in a Facebook comment.

Here are my responses:

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent
1) San Diego Regional Family History Center in Mission Valley
2) Carlsbad Georgina Cole Library in Carlsbad
3) Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library

* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips

1) Norway - Oslo, Voss and Bergen
2) England - Richmond in Yorkshire, Oxford in Oxfordshire, Hilperton in Wiltshire
3) New York - Watertown

* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)

1) New England Historic Genealogical Society
2) National Genealogical Society
3) Chula Vista Genealogical Society

* Three websites that help my research

* Three ancestral graves that I've visited

1) Isaac Seaver in Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster MA
2) Thomas Richmond in Grove Street Cemetery, Putnam CT
3) D.J. Carringer in La vista Cemetery, National City CA

* Three ancestral places I want to visit
1) Dodge County WI (Smith)
2) Andrew County MO (Smith, Vaux)
3) Aurora, Erie County NY (Vaux, Underhill)

* Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more
1) Thomas J. Newton (ca1795 ME - >1834)
2) William Knapp (1775 NY - 1856 NJ)
3) Hannah Smith (1768 NH - 1827 MA)

Family Tree Maker 2010 <=> Ancestry Member Tree Synchronization

Family Tree Maker 2010 finally made an appearance in the Ancestry Store - see this Pre-sell announcement. The web page lists the new features, the existing features, the system requirements and the retail cost for FTM 2010 as $39.95.

Russ Worthington called the Ancestry Store listing to our attention yesterday in his post Family Tree Maker Version 2010 at . Russ's link has a Direct Upgrade price of $29.95. There are some comments on Russ's post about synchronizing Ancestry Member Trees with Family Tree Maker 2010 databases that are helpful.

I posted about the FTM 2010 features several weeks ago in Family Tree Maker 2010 software - what? when? It looks like the features I listed in that post are similar to the features listed in the Ancestry Store page but they are in a different order and there is more descriptive text.

The bottom line for me is still synchronization:

* Users of FTM 2010 will be able to upload their native FTM file to a new Ancestry Member Tree with their attached media (images, audio, video). This can presently be done with FTM 2009 as I demonstrated in Uploading a FTM 2009 Database with Attached Media to

* Users of Ancestry Member Trees will be able to download their own Tree to FTM 2010 with the attached media (images, audio, video) previously uploaded by the user to their Ancestry Member Tree. However, Ancestry's historical records (e.g., census, military, vital, etc. records) attached to the Member Tree will not be downloaded to FTM 2010 media.

* A download from Ancestry Member Tree to an FTM 2010 database will probably have to be a new FTM 2010 database in order to avoid duplicating data in an existing FTM 2010 database. A problem here may be too many copies of media items if the user has many database versions saved.

* If users want to include the Ancestry historical record images in their FTM 2010 and Ancestry Member Tree, they should download the images to their computer system, and then upload them to FTM 2010 and/or their Ancestry Member Tree as media. If users do that, then the historical record images (census, military, vital, etc.) can be transferred between the Ancestry Member Tree and FTM 2010. The benefit here is that you only have to do this once! Not once into Ancestry and once into FTM.

* Keeping track of which tree on which site has the latest database information and media collection will be a challenge for many users. It is so much easier to add database information and media items to Family Tree Maker than to Ancestry Member Trees that I'm going to continue to do my work in FTM and upload major changes to an Ancestry Member Tree when I feel the need to do so. That minimizes the number of database versions I have in FTM and I have only one at Ancestry - the latest (after I delete the previous one).

* An Ancestry Member Tree with recent FTM uploads is an excellent backup of a genealogy database and the attached media, and is probably my major reason for keeping my Family Tree Maker software current.

Keeping up with all of these changes and complications is not easy - I hope that this post has helped my readers understand the issues and the tradeoffs involved with synchronization of Family Tree Maker databases and Ancestry Member Trees.