Monday, June 29, 2009

You Love Them Online - They're Even Better In Person


My Conference Badge &
My Rock Star Ribbon



Back from Jamboree and did I have fun? It was fan-tastic! And I am a fan of each and every GeneaBlogger I met. What a group of (as Randy Seaver [Genea-Musings] has coined) GeneaBabes and GeneaHunks.

After spending time with these wonderful GeneaBloggers, I have a few observations about this group as a whole. GeneaBloggers have tons of personality, not a shrinking violet in the group. Personality is followed closely by a great sense of humor, intelligence, good looks, and being vertically unchallenged. Many of them are tall, really tall.

It was an honor and a pleasure to be a participant in each GeneaBlogger Think Tank session, also known as hanging out in the GeneaBlogger's lounge. I am so honored to know these people and call them friends. As Susan Kitchens (Family Oral History Using Digital Tools) would say, I drank the GeneaBlogger kool-aid and came back for more.

Now, a few well deserved Thank You notes.

To Paula Hinckle and the SCGS09 team. Bravo! I enjoyed every moment of the beautifully put together genealogy meet-up & educational conference. Having put together a few meetings and conferences myself - I salute you! There wasn't a question that wasn't answered, a request that wasn't granted (there were some taken care of before I even thought of them), a session that wasn't of benefit to our community, or a smoother run conference. I know when you run these events you have all the stress and little of the pleasure. I hope you will accept my pleasure as a partial substitute. And a special personal thank you to Paula, I will love you forever.

One more thing about Jamboree. Paula, putting the computer geek - official paparazzi in a kilt so I could see him coming and duck, was brilliant! But, yes, the camera got me.

To Schelly Talalay Dardashti, thank you for being the perfect roommate. There is no one I'd rather have roomed with for this or any conference. But clearly, not enough time to gossip. And to those loyal followers of Schelly and Tracing The Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog, this woman is so dedicated to her blogging that I rolled over at 4:45am one morning to find her posting. I am not worthy.

To Thomas MacEntee, thank you for organizing, arranging, and instigating some of the very best experiences of Jamboree. Thomas is the fuse responsible for the GeneaBlogger explosion. Also, the Mardi Gras beads seen in all those happening photographs on facebook were courtesy of our Thomas. Berry beads and beads with palm trees. I'm a berry and they're hanging in my office this morning.

To Denise Levenick (The Family Curator & Penelope Dreadful), how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. SWAG! Yes, our celebrity status as bloggers was cemented by Swag Bags when we arrived. I love goodies, but these bags also contained the work and personality of our very own PennyD. Thomas and Denise cooked/baked up this surprise and it was such a keeper. Look at this -

Dreadfully delicious muffins they were and accompanied by a label keepsake. Mrs. Fields, look out, Penelope Dreadful's in the kitchen. The bag was filled to the brim, and a very attractive bag it was too. I slipped the label off my muffins and added it to my copy of RootsMagic found in the bag.

Denise also gave us another gift. She brought her mother. What a beautiful woman, we now know where Denise gets her good looks. It was such a pleasure.

To our own Texas Waffle, Amy Coffin (We Tree), thank you. Amy made every GeneaBlogger a "Rock Star!" I was stopped more times then I can count by someone asking where I became a Rock Star. It's all in who you know. I'm certain the reason I got such a good seat and a chat with the pilot on the flight home was down to my rock star status.

To Elyse Doerflinger (Elyse’s Genealogy Blog) for the highlight of my trip - her reaction to meeting footnoteMaven. How I wish I had that on film. So completely unexpected. Could footnoteMaven possibly be that exciting to someone under twenty? NOT! Thank you, Elyse, my husband is certain I'm exaggerating this story.

And as a balance to my Elyse moment, a woman attending the conference and I struck up a conversation. She explained that she was a blogger and asked who I was. I told her I was the footnoteMaven. "Oh, I love your site," she said. "I find so much good stuff in your databases." That hiss you hear is hot air leaving the over inflated head of the footnoteMaven, sometimes mistaken for footnote.com.

GeneaHugs and kisses to Craig Manson (Geneablogie & Appealing Subjects) for his beautiful plug for the footnoteMaven and Shades of The Departed during "Son of Blogger." I can't take credit for the columnists that write for Shades. It's all them. My skill is that I know talent when I see it! Craig Manson you are the talent, Shades the agent. (See, a few days this close to Hollywood and I talk as if I'm "in the business.")

A big thank you to Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems Podcast & Genealogy Gems News) for inviting me to be a guest on her podcast. Lisa is an extremely skilled interviewer. She has the ability to put you at ease, become your best friend, and convince you you're just hanging out and getting in some girl talk; in the space of a few short minutes. That's real talent!

I'd like to thank Eric Keith of footnote.com (the real deal) for spending so much time discussing my pet project, a central database of photographers, and its adaptability to footnote's existing structure, as well as some of the wonderful additions we will be seeing in the near future. This was such an exciting conversation. Eric even gave me a few ideas for The GYRabbits and Leland Meitzler should take a look at this for his project of a town and a school here in Washington.

The Generations Network invited me to a very nice breakfast and a sneek peek at Family Tree Maker 10. Thank you, it was an introduction into another interesting project. I am a Mac user and have not gotten to the point where I will live in a parallel universe, but I'm always willing to try something new. I'll keep you updated.

Now for my own "Elyse Like Conference Moment." The footnoteMaven got to meet the "Goddess of Old Photo Investigation," Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective). Thanks to Paula Hinkle, I was able to secure a ticket to Maureen's workshop. She is masterful in front of an audience of photo enthusiasts. I doubt there is anything she doesn't know, has seen, or knows where to find relating to old photographs. I picked up three really important pieces of information that I will incorporate into my own research and share on Shades. I also got to sit down and have a conversation with my idol. I am excited to report we may soon be working on a collaborative project. Thank you, Maureen.

During Jamboree, the Geneabloggers traded cards. I'll trade you a Moo Maven for your Mad Macedonian. I believe it was Kathryn Doyle (California Genealogical and Historical Society) who remarked that we should create GeneaBlogger trading cards. I love this idea! We create the cards (a Moo Mini might be a great vehicle) and announce that we have them on our blogs. Then anyone who wants one sends a self-addressed stamped envelope and a card to trade, to the GeneaBloggers of their choice. Moo even sells a frame and mat for Moo Minis that would look great on my wall. Let me know what you think.

I have saved the best for last. If Thomas is the GeneaBlogger's fuse, then these GeneaBloggers are the firecrackers. It was so good to meet each of you. You were everything I'd hoped you'd be and more. See you next year when our numbers are certain to triple. Until then, you have an open invitation for lunch anytime you're in Seattle.

GENEAHUNKS

Bruce Buzbee


Roots Magic Blog

Stephen Danko

Steve’s Genealogy Blog

Illya D’Addezio

Live Roots Blog

Dick Eastman

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Jay Holladay


Jay’s Genealogy Blog

Ancestry Insider

The Ancestry Insider

Thomas Jay Kemp

Genealogy Bank

Ask The Genealogist

Genealogy Librarian News

Kiril Kundurazieff

Musings of a Mad Macedonian

Thomas MacEntee

Geneabloggers

Destination: Austin Family

Craig Manson

Geneablogie

Appealing Subjects

Leland Meitzler

GenealogyBlog

George G. Morgan

George’s Genealogical Gleanings

The Genealogy Guys

Randy Seaver

Genea-Musings

The Geneaholic

Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe

Drew Smith

Social Networking for Genealogists

The Genealogy Guys



GENEABABES

Lisa Alzo

The Accidental Genealogist

Amy Coffin

We Tree

Lisa Louise Cooke

Genealogy Gems Podcast

Genealogy Gems News

Schelly Dardashti

Tracing The Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog

International Jewish Graveyard Rabbit

MyHeritage Genealogy Blog

Elyse Doerflinger

Elyse’s Genealogy Blog

Kathryn Doyle

California Genealogical and Historical Society

Sheri Fenley

The Educated Genealogist

The Year Was . . .

Jean Wilcox Hibben

Circle Mending

Ruth Himan

Genealogy Is Ruthless Without Me

Paula Hinkel

It Just Never Came Up

SoCal Genealogy Jamboree

Janet Hovorka

The Chart Chick

Susan Kitchens

Family Oral History Using Digital Tools

Denise Levenick

The Family Curator

Penelope Dreadful

Leslie Mehana

La Donna Bella

Elizabeth O’Neal

Little Bytes of Life

Cheryl Palmer

Heritage Happens

Dear Myrtle

Dear Myrtle

Teach Genealogy

Internet Genealogy

Maureen Taylor

The Photo Detective

Gini Webb


Ginisology

Diane Wright


The GYRabbit Travels Wright




Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. California have you missed me, because I've missed you.

Yes, I will be spending the weekend with my fellow geneaBloggers at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

My Moo-Mavens have arrived and I will be taking them with me. If I don't have them, how will anyone know who I am? Because, I'm not telling.

I'll try to visit footnoteMaven with a few Jamboree updates. I can't guarantee it, though, Thomas has so much planned and Jamboree is so chocked full of treasures that it may be out of my control.

I'm so excited! Did I mention, I'M SO EXCITED!

Jamboree should be hot, hot, hot! And not just the weather.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

“Justice and Independence” Call On The COG

75th Edition of The COG


The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


“Justice and Independence”


Since our beginnings as a nation, the United States of America has seen changes with every year, every decade, and every century. Each generation adds growth to our lives, our communities, and our nation. One thing that has never changed, however, is our desire for Justice for those who wrong us and Independence from those who try to oppress us.

- ¤ -

This month’s COG asks you to relate to these concepts
of Justice and Independence in one or all of three ways:

- ¤ -

1. Tell a story of an ancestor(s) who fought for freedom.

- ¤ -

2. Tell a story about how Independence Day was celebrated by your ancestors.
Did any of their celebratory traditions get passed down for your own family to continue?

- ¤ -

3. Post the lyrics of a song that exemplifies how Justice and Independence
have worked in the lives of your ancestors and/or family. Include photos!

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
July 1, 2009


Colleen will host the next edition of the COG at OMcHodoy.

- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 75th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Janice Brown Is Lost In The Puckerbrush and We Miss Her

In Terry Thornton's blog post, One Blogger's Guide Through the Puckerbrush: The First Puckerbrush Blog Awards for Excellence, our host at the Hill Country of Monroe County asked, "Where is Janice Brown when we need her?" Where is she indeed.

For quite a while now those of us who call Janice our friend, have been searching for her out in the Puckerbrush. I still drop by and read through her archives; that was until I read a Tweet that said Cow Hampshire had disappeared in a cloud of pixel dust in the blogosphere. I went to see for myself. It's true. Cow Hampshire is gone.

I have to say this really hit me hard and is the reason I have had such a difficult time writing this post. Year's of work gone, just gone. It upset me; probably because I projected that loss on how I feel about my own blogs. Year's of work gone, just gone? I'd be devastated. Please, let all Janice's research, humor, photographs, and awards be preserved somewhere. Please.

At this time of year the Cow of Cow Hampshire would be waving the U.S. flag. But no more. The Cow is gone. So, with apologies to Terry and Janice, I reworked the Puckerbrush Blog Excellence Award to include the Cow and his flag. It gives me a small measure of comfort.

To the bloglings who have the privilege of being a recipient of the Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence, I'd like you to know something about the woman who is its inspiration.

Janice Brown was always starting something. The snowball fights. Do you remember the snowball fights? Then there was the dancing. Maven cut a rug with her old flame Mark Twain. Jib Jab has eliminated the dances. It no longer shows on my blog. What a shame. Watching my fellow bloggers was a scream. Apple, didn't you hula?

And Janice didn't just start things, she could finish things. If you were her friend she would defend you against all odds. Remember the late unpleasantness that kept us posting for weeks? Well, someone attacked me in Eastman's comments and Janice jumped into the middle of it guns blazing, to defend me. Circle the wagons. That woman could wield a word.

Then came the 30th Carnival of Genealogy. The topic was Genealogy Conferences and Seminars I'd like to see. Janice wrote a post Jasia described this way:

Starting us off with a hilarious post that had me laughing out loud, we have Janice Brown presenting Genealogy Seminars I'd Like to See posted at Cow Hampshire. Janice isn't the seasoned veteran that many others are when it comes to genealogy conferences but she sure has a good start on putting together a conference we'd all drop what we're doing to attend! Sign me up Janice! And thanks for sharing and making us laugh!

This was Janice's list:

I'll fess up that my seminar interests would probably not appear in any of the traditional conferences (mostly because I have yet to find a "Bizarre Twist" category). If Chris Dunham, the "Master of Fractured Genealogy Top Ten Lists," was willing to explain his creative methodology, I'd be the first in line to sign up.

Genealogy Seminars I'd Like To See include:

- Digging Up Dirt Through Cemetery Research.
- Clowning Around--Locating Carnival Performers Under Your Family Tent.
- Gleaning Gems From The Family Privy.
- My Auntie Made Gumballs: Discovering Family Businesses.
- Evaluating Scars and Pock Marks in your Ancestor's Photographs.
- Jailhouse Anecdotes: Was That Arsenic in Gramma's Tea? [or Peas in Miriam's case]
- The Chris Dunham Method: How Palm Prints Are Better than DNA
- Terry Thornton's Guide to Family Hills and Mounds.
- *footnoteMaven's Guide to Finding That Two Hundredth Victorian Woman in the White Dress.
- Steve's Guide to Translating Illegible Handwriting.
- John Newmark's "I'm Dracula's Cousin, Are You?.
- Blaine Bettinger: "I'm Related To You, Like It Or Not."
- *Bill West: "49 Things To Do With A Flutaphone."
- *Randy Seaver: "Performing Genealogical Research While Wearing a Mask and Snorkel."
- *Becky Wiseman: "Preserving Historic Outhouses."
- *Lori Thornton: "Unfortunate Tombstones."
- Jasia: "How to Gain Ancestors and Weight At the Same Time."
- Miriam Midkiff: "192 Year Old Trash To Treasure."
- Tim Agazio: "Power Trimming Your Family Bush."
- Craig Manson: "FOIA Is Not For Sissies."



Those with stars actually wrote the articles as a challenge and a tribute to Janice's wicked sense of humor.

Finding That Two Hundredth Edwardian Woman in a White Dress inspired by Janice Brown was then, and is now, my favorite post. I will be eternally grateful to Janice for her inspiration and good humor. That post along with Dating Old Photographs :: Becky's Mystery Photograph #9 was the impetus for creating my companion blog Shades of The Departed.

Janice could also write a wicked comment, which she did for my women in their white dresses.

Thank you so much for the dedication, I am truly honored. I have already updated your link.

As for your post... it is what I call a "jaw-dropper." Amazing isn't a good enough word. Lovely job on both the research, and for creating such a lovely story. Any genealogist or historian (whichever you call yourself) should find another calling if they can't tell a good story. You, on the other hand, could give lessons :D

Janice

When you're new to GeneaBlogging, comments like this are so encouraging. They're what keep you going. They are confidence builders.

We should all remember this as the new geneabloggers enter our community. We should go out of our way to offer encouragement to them through our comments.

To me the quality of Janice's work, the encouraging comments, her sense of humor and dedication are contained in this award.

I'd like to thank my good friend Terry Thornton for honoring Janice Brown, she deserves this. And I'd also like to express my gratitude for being named one of the first recipients of "The Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence." It is truly an honor. Thank you, Terry, it was a brilliant idea.

Janice Brown, phone home. Your fans miss you!


Now there will be another post where I thank those that have honored me and I will reciprocate with a few honors of my own.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Under The Boardwalk, Down By The Sea

The bathing suits in which you dress
Are nothing much and mostly less,
And as you saunter to and fro

A lot of family traits they show.


~ J.P. McEvoy 1919 ~



TheEnd


I marvel every time I look at the photograph below, how anyone thought they could swim in this outfit. A hat, a dress, stockings, and laced boots - all to go swimming? But look at the vintage poster above. The lovely mermaid is wearing a hat, a dress, and boots. I assume it was fashionable.

This is a photograph of my Grandmother Greene when she was about eleven years old. Where she was going to go swimming is unknown; or even for that matter if she ever got wet. Note the man in the background wearing a wool swimsuit. I wonder if the weight of a wet wool swimsuit contributed to people drowning.


My Mother's family spent a great deal of time near the water. Note I have said near, as I have no photographs of them actually in the water. Before they were married, my grandparents would motor down to Edgemere from Flushing with my Great Grandparents on holiday. They stayed in one of the many cottages found there in the early 1900s.


Cottage At Edgemere
1915


Edgemere was a neighborhood in southwestern Queens on the Rockaway Peninsula. It is found between Beach 32nd and Beach 16th streets. It was home to the famous Edgemere Hotel built by Frederick Lancaster in 1895 and operated by him until 1919. He also owned many of the cottages.


Great Grandmother Salter
Edgemere 1915
Woman's Work Knows No Holiday



My Grandfather Greene
& The Hottest Car on Long Island
Edgemere 1915

This photo is the reason I believe my family motored out to Edgemere. My Grandfather loved to drive and was fond of what he called hot cars. Once on a visit to New York he took my sister and me for a ride in his Karman Gia which he called the "Hottest Car On Long Island." He drove so fast it scared my Mother and she had a conversation with he about speeding with her children in the car. He laughed, teased my Mother and she gave up on the lecture. We did not, however, go for a ride with Grandpa again. So it is an assumption on my part that he always had a hot car and that the family drove to Edgemere. Rail service at the time made it a very easy trip from Flushing, so perhaps they took the train and hired a car when they arrived.


Grandpa Greene & His Camera
Edgemere 1915


My Grandfather never went anywhere without a camera, and as you can see here, he had graduated to moving pictures. He documented everything. How I wish I knew where some of those old moving pictures were hidden.

Once they were married and my Uncle Edward was born the family would take the baby with them on their trips to the beach. Below is a photograph of the family having a picnic on the beach, fully clothed, hats, and ties with nothing that resembles a bathing suit.

Then of course, the baby had to be wheeled down the boardwalk - notice no bathing suits in sight. I'm beginning to get an idea of why the old photographers had the painted backdrops of the beach. No one actually put on a bathing suit and got wet during this period of time.


More Beach - No Suits
Bathing Suits That Is

I had started to think that perhaps it was just the part of the country. New York wasn't then and isn't now sunny California. Then I found the photograph below. Venice City, California, 1915, on the beach with Grandpa Greene. Dapper as always, but no bathing suit.


Venice Beach, California
1915

So it can only be the times or the family. My money is on the family. You don't see any photos of me in a swimsuit do you? We're a lot smarter than we look!

This article is from a previous edition of the COG. It's one of my favorites and contains all the swimsuit photographs I can find. I have reworked the article a bit and I hope you enjoy the second look. And, like Jasia, I've used these photographs as decorative elements in my home. These photographs decorate the powder room; as close to "Down By The Sea" as I get.


Sources:

Photographs:


Lillian Salter. Photograph. ca. 1908. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Cottage At Edgemere. Photograph. 1915. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Julia Salter Sweeping. Photograph. 1915. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Edward Greene In Car. Photograph. 1915. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Edward Greene With Camera. Photograph. 1915. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Picnic. Photograph. Unknown. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Boardwalk
. Photograph. Unknown. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007.

Venice Beach
. Photograph. 1915. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007

Stop The Music!



With thanks to Bill West of West in New England, here are the rules:

1. Set the names of your ancestors to the music of any song. It can be any number of names, any song. Just remember to mention what song you are using so we can all sing along as we read!

2. Publish your efforts on your blog and send Bill the link (Email:BillWest48@gmail.com). If you don't have a blog then leave them as a comment for Bill on his blog.

2. Dead line is June 30th. He'll publish the final list on his blog on the 4th of July!

So, Bill, here is the frustration that is my Great Grandmother Lula Morangue or Lois Green or so many more names, sung to the tune of Runaround Sue.

Runaround Lu

(Ooooo.)
Here's my story, it's sad but true.
(Ooooo.)
It's about an ancestor I never knew.
(Ooooo.)
She took the kids then ran around,
(Ooooo.)
Dodging every census taker in town.

(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey.) Lat-lat-lat-lat.
(Hey, hey,) Wo, oh, oh, oh, oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) ohoh-ohoh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) oh oh-oh, ohhh, oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey.) (Awwwwwww.)

Yeah, I should have known it from the very start-a,
Great Grandma’d leave me with a broken chart-a.
A-listen people what I'm telling you-a,
I-keep a lookin’ for-a Runaround Lu.

Yeah, can’t find her grave and she died with no trace-a,
No marriage license and no birthplace-a.
So if you don't wanna cry like I do-a,
Don’t be related to-a Runaround Lu.

(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey, hey,) Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh/(Wum-de-hey-de-hey-de).
(Hey.) (Awwwwwww.)

She likes to travel 'round. Yeah.
She’s tricked me but I can’t put her down-a.
Now people this is no surprise-a,
Lu got good at telling lies-a.

Here's the moral and the story from the one who knows-a,
I hit a wall and that wall still grows-a.
Used every search that I ever knew, they say,
"A-no results for-a Runaround Lu."

I tried them all.
Yeah, can’t find this Lu.
I don't know what to do-a.
Keep a-lookin’ for Lu.
(Awwwwwww,)

She likes to travel 'round, yeah.
She tricks me and she lets me down-a.
Now people let me summarize-a,
Lu got good at telling lies-a.

Here's the moral and the story from the one who tried-a,
Why even Lula’s sons have lied-a.
Used every search that I ever knew, they say,
"A-no results for-a Runaround Lu."

Yeah, got to find that girl.
Don't you know where she is now?

Wo-oh-ohoh-oh.
Wo-ohoh-oh.
[Fade.]
Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh.
Wo-oh-oh-ohoh-oh.

Keep a-lookin’ for Lu.
Don’t Know What I’ll Do Now
Keep-A Lookin’ for Lu . . .

If you're too young to know the tune, listen to the real thing.



With apologies to Dion and The Belmonts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dive In The Water's Fine

74th Edition of The COG


The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


"Swimsuit Edition"



Why should Sports Illustrated have all the fun?

- ¤ -

This is your chance to show off the bathing beauties in your family.

- ¤ -

Pull out the old photos of Grandma Moses in her seaside bloomers,
Auntie Mae in her pin-up girl suit from the 1940s or 50s,
cousin Paula in her psychedelic bikini from the 1970s,
or even yourself in your Speedo!

- ¤ -

Let's have some fun here!

- ¤ -

Memorial Weekend is behind us and that means the start of the
summer sun, sand, and lakeside season so let's get in the mood
with summer fun photos.

- ¤ -

What? You don't have any swimsuit photos you dare to share?
No problem! Tell us your best family beach stories instead!

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
June 15, 2009



- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 74th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Search Engines Can't Read Your Mind Or Your Images

As genealogists and family historians, we blog hoping to make online connections. Connections to family, friends, and other researchers. When those connections occur it is most often attributable to the use of search engines.

Much of the valuable information contained on our blogs and websites involves photographs. Photographs of people (our ancestors), places (cemeteries and tombstones), and things (documents).

Are you getting the most contact potential from the photographs that you post? Have you optimized your images for search engines?

At this time, search engines can only "read" text. Any information that you think is important for a search engine to find must be text. Wouldn't you agree all our content is important?

In the examples listed above, many of the images we use contain graphical text (this means text that is itself an image or part of an image). Search engines can't read the text embedded in our images. If you want search engines to understand your content, it must be textual.

Below is a perfect example often used by the genealogical community; a photograph of a tombstone. The textual information contained on this tombstone is an image, not text that can be read by a search engine. If you simply placed this image on your blog or website you'd probably be wondering why no one has found you. The answer is, search engines can't read this image.

So how do we optimize this photograph to be found by family, friends and other researchers through the use of search engines?

tombstone of Jacob W. Huffman, Civil War veteran, Co. B, 93 Illinois Infantry, Fall City WA Cemetery

Start by telling your readers and the search engines as much as you can about the image. I use four methods:

1. Naming Your Image: Give your images detailed, informative file names.

A properly constructed file name can give a search engine clues about the subject matter of the image. Make your file name a good description of the image.

Let's look at our example image. Had I named it IMG_0031.JPG, the default name from my digital camera, it would have offered no clues as to the photograph's content.

Not Good:

‹img src="http://www.blogger.com/IMG_0031.jpg" alt=""/›

Helpful hint: Preferred image formatting - jpg; Search engines see .gif as a graphic rather than a photo.

Better:

‹img src="http://www.blogger.com/huffman.jpg" alt="" /›

Best:

‹ img src="http://www.blogger.com/jacob-huffman-tombstone.jpg" alt="tombstone of Jacob W. Huffman, Civil War veteran, Co. B, 93 Illinois Infantry, Fall City WA Cemetery" /›

2. Add descriptive information to the alt tag (as above).

The alt text of an image contains a brief description of that image. Be specific, as if you were describing the image to someone who has their images turned off or is blind.

‹ img src="http://www.blogger.com/jacob-huffman-tombstone.jpg" alt="tombstone of Jacob W. Huffman, Civil War veteran, Co. B, 93 Illinois Infantry, Fall City WA Cemetery" /›

In the Best Example above descriptive information has been added to the alt tag. Google instructions say descriptions in excess of twenty words are probably excessive.

When posting articles with photographs in Blogger, the alt tag can be found in the Edit Html window. When you up load a photograph, this is how the information looks in the Edit Html window (alt tag in bold):

‹ a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6klksNlnOz0/SisnebGC4dI/AAAAAAAAFSo/8P1rHPaeoJs/s1600-h/jacob-huffman-tombstone.jpg"›‹img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 350px; height: 400px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6klksNlnOz0/SisnebGC4dI/AAAAAAAAFSo/8P1rHPaeoJs/s400/jacob-huffman-tombstone.jpg" alt="Your descriptive information goes here" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5344408786427896274" border="0" /›‹/a›



Avoid just a list of keywords:

‹ img src="http://www.blogger.com/jacob-huffman-tombstone.jpg" alt="tombstone, graveyard, headstone, burial plot, cemetery, churchyard, burial ground, necropolis, memorial park, memorial garden, potter's field, God's acre, monument, headstone, stone, gravestone" /›

Don’t just stuff your alt tag with keywords. Filling alt tags with nothing but keywords may cause your site to be read as spam by search engines. Instead, create useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

3. Caption that image!

I try to always caption an image. In the case of tombstones and small documents I repeat the information in bold underneath the image. There are css methods of captioning a photograph which are beyond the scope of this article. I have had success with placing the information in bold directly under the photograph.


tombstone of Jacob W. Huffman, Civil War veteran, Co. B, 93 Illinois Infantry, Fall City WA Cemetery
Jacob W. Huffman
93 Illinois Infantry
Co. B.
Civil War Veteran
4. Insert a footnote!

Yes, that old black magic that is the footnote. Use footnotes, they are all text and can be read by search engines; plus they are "best practices" for genealogists and family historians.

Footnote for this digital photograph:

Huffman, Jacob W. Tombstone. Digital Photograph. 2009. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, WA. 2009.

~*~

Now go back and look at the images you've posted. Could you have done a better job of search engine optimization?